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 . . . Quoted from Goodreads
First, I won't lie. Have you seen the cover? The cover alone is amazing. You could rate the book off of that and get it pretty much right. I know it's shallow and you're not supposed to judge, but I totally do.
What can I say, Rick Riordan does it again. He is the master of never a dull moment books. Honestly, I liked him in the first Percy Jackson series, but not half as much as I enjoy this second one. I really think he's become a much better writer, and I like that the characters are a little bit older. A sixteen-year-old kicking butt with a sword is much more believable than a twelve-year old, and there's a lot of action in this book.
Like I said, Riordan has mastered keeping the plot moving, and he doesn't let up. There is a sweet little moment or someone pauses to catch their breath, and boom! Something is happening. Again.
You know what you're getting when you open the book, but it still manages to sweep you away and keep you turning pages, well past when you told yourself you were going to stop. I really liked the obstacles in this book. Some monsters aren't as much fun as others, but these were excellent. And, we get to meet Hercules! I won't tell you more, but I've been waiting for him to appear. I love seeing how Riordan interprets the characters from myth. Some are funny, others sad, and none come out quite like you might expect.
Plus, we finally get Annabeth's point of view! I didn't miss it in the first series because those were Percy's books, but once The Lost Hero started handing out varying points of view, I wanted to be in Annabeth's head. In The Son of Neptune, we know how much Percy misses Annabeth, so it is great to get their reunion from her point of view, and it is perfect. Love, love, love it--not exactly what I was expecting, but adorable.
Now, lest after two books of alternating POVs you think it's all Annabeth, it's not. We still get to see Percy, Leo, and Piper, which was nice. Leo was great because of the whole Sammy mystery and the Argo II (yes, I'm assuming you've read The Son of Neptune, so now you're warned). Piper was good because I felt like she still had to kind of grow up a bit in this book, plus she is more feelings where Leo is machines so they contrast. The there is Percy, and . . . Percy is Percy. He may be sharing the spotlight, but come on. We all know he's really the main attraction.
The ending! Aaahhggg, the ending! So the endings in The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune made me excited for the next book, but the main adventure was semi wrapped-up at that point. This one left me going, wait, you can't do that. Aaaaahhhggg, I can't believe you . . . (I'll stop before I give anything away). I need the fourth book. Now. Next year can not come soon enough.
This book is 4.5 lovely stars. I really like what Riordan's done with the plot and the multiple threats and turning good guys into bad guys (sort of). I love watching the characters grow as they face different challenges. This book is everything I hoped The Mark of Athena would be.