Series: The Heroes of Olympus #3
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 2nd, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.
And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?
Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare….
First off, I AM IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION. (Because the ending. Yeah.)
*cough* So after devouring the original Percy Jackson & the Olympians series in May and the first two books of The Heroes of Olympus in June, the time finally came that I had to wait for the next installment. Ew, waiting. However, I was not totally convinced by The Heroes of Olympus – I didn’t like it as much as PJO. I didn’t feel like it was quite at the same level. So waiting was not too awful. But The Mark of Athena changes things.
Obviously, looking at the title, Annabeth plays a far greater role in this novel. Especially since she was missing in the first two installments of the series, I appreciated having a lot more Annabeth in my life. And, it was her POV. In my review of The Son of Neptune, I mentioned that I thought Rick just couldn’t manage writing a female POV. I take it back. My apologies. Annabeth is flawless. So much depth to her character, and so realistic. I see a lot of myself in her, especially the flaws that we share. And her take down of Arachne was awesome, and pretty much had me cheering for her.
In this novel I also came to terms with the idea of seven equal heroes. Like I’ve said before, I think the first two novels suffered a bit because it took so long to introduce the new characters which would all play vital roles. The setting up of the characters and the prophecies all just took a bit long and that is ultimately the reason why I didn’t like those two so much. Here the momentum picked up, and basically all the characters I can stand. Except Piper. I just can’t stand Piper. Such a Mary Sue character. I seriously just want to bash her head in. But that would be a personal bias, I suppose. And people like her do exist in the world, so it’s still very realistic. Leo is now my third favorite character (after, obviously, Percy and Annabeth). Every character development for him is getting me more excited. So much depth – but at the same time his POV is constantly amusing, much like Percy’s.
But I digress. If you’ve read PJO and The Heroes of Olympus, you know Rick’s formula. Every book basically has the same qualitites of adventure and same kinds of twists. Sometimes I wonder why I’m not getting tired of it, but it’s so compulsively readable and enjoyable. I think this installment in particular just added so much depth that it was much easier to forgive.
And now comes the flailing – because PERCABETH. It’s perfect. Absolutely perfect. I love romance – I do – but I hate it when it’s the main topic. Rick strikes exactly the right balance of adventure and action with a BEAUTIFUL love story on the side. When you look for it, it’s there, but it can be easy to overlook if that’s not your thing. But how could you not like it? Because seriously, their relationship is perfect and basically everything I’d ever want. Every moment, every mention between the two of them basically had me squealing. Which is not something I do all too often.
Now, finally. That ending. How. How could you do this to me, Rick? How???!?! I’m so close to crying, it’s ridiculous. And at the same time, while I HATE YOU for your stupid cliffhangers that kill me, I think this was a really cool move. A super twist. One I absolutely NEVER saw coming. But one that will ultimately have a great, positive impact on the story just because it adds a bit of a darker edge.