Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book Review: The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2)
Rick Riordan
Disney-Hyperion, 2011
Source: purchased
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In this second Heroes of Olympus book, Rick Riordan reunites us with Percy Jackson, but it is a Percy Jackson with no memory of his previous life, just the knowledge that he must find camp--Camp Jupiter.  Right away, Percy is an outsider, untrusted by the members of Camp Jupiter, except for two outsiders Frank and Hazel.  Now the three of them must travel north to the land where the gods have no power and defeat the giant Alcyoneus.  They have four days to complete their mission, return back to camp, and help their comrades save camp from the monsters who will attack.  It is a big quest, an important one, and it's up to the three of them to save camp and the world.

I really love the way Rick Riordan structures his books.  It could easily become overwhelming with three different perspectives--switching back and forth, different voices, background information that could easily become confusing.  That has never happened for me and I think part of that is how he sticks with three chapters at a time for each character before looping back around.  It's enough time to get to know what's going on for that person and see events fully through their perspective before pulling us out into another point of view.  I find myself wondering how he goes about crafting his stories.  Does he stick to one character's perspective first, then go on to another and finally the third before weaving them together?  Does he stick with sections of the story, working through each character's perspective before moving onto the next event?  However he does it, Rick Riordan seamlessly intertwines three distinct voices.

My favorite character out of the three is Hazel.  You can tell right away that she's different from the other campers and there is something very strange about her difference.  She's almost afraid around the other campers, like she's just trying to stay under the radar, but when Percy Jackson appears and they have to fight two gorgons, she's forced into the camp's attention.  Hazel is nervous a lot, concerned about what others will think when they find out who she truly is and the truth of her past.  But Hazel is confident and brave as well.  When no else will speak up for Percy, she does even though she has only just become eligible to do so.  She has a strong moral sense and she understands that there are things that must be done and acknowledges the consequences of those actions.  I am so glad that Rick Riordan's female characters are strong.  They are flawed, but so are his male characters, and they have real worth and value in the quests.  They are brave and intelligent.  They lead their friends into battles, and jump in to save them when they need saving.  Sometimes they need saving--but not every time.  They struggle and, almost always, triumph in some way--even if they don't exactly win.

I might have a slight crush on Rick Riordan.    

I am so very excited with the direction in which this series is going and am looking forward to the next book in the series.  I may try and read it over break!

Are there any other Rick Riordan fans out there?  I am truly amazed by his talent.

Image Source: Goodreads

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