The Son of Neptune
Book Two, Heroes of Olympus
Disney Hyperion Books, 2011
So, here’s the story – Juno/Hera is up to her old tricks again with the demi-gods. This time she has taken Percy Jackson, put him on the other side of the country and taken away his memories. Percy is found by Lupa, trained how to fight, then sent on his way to find safety at Camp Jupiter – sort of like a foreign exchange student (like Jason in book 1). He makes his way to camp, rescues Hazel and Frank, becoming fast friends with them because they, like he, are outcasts and misfits. There’s a night of war games, Percy leads the 5th Cohort to victory, Mars makes an appearance, claims Frank as his son, and sets Frank on a quest to free Death (Death, or Thanatos, is held captive by one of Gaea’s giant sons, allowing the dead to escape the Underworld). This book is the story of the quest; it is also to introduce the reader to 3 more of the prophecy of 7 demi-gods who go on the main quest to defeat Gaea (Jason, Piper, and Leo being the other 3 – Annabeth is the 7th).
• Percy Jackson, son on Neptune/Poseidon, hero from the previous books, starts out as missing in this book, so we really don’t know what is going on with him until the next book (Son of Neptune)
• Hazel Levesque, daughter of Pluto/Hades, she has a curse on her life that precious metals and gems pop up out of the ground where ever she goes – the curse is that whoever touches those items will have tragedy befall them in very short order; she is also back from the dead, a secret only she and Nico know about.
• Frank Zhang, son of Mars/Ares, he has a terrible secret as well – one that he carries around in his pocket – a piece of half-charred wood that is still warm to the touch – and can easily ignite – and when that wood is burnt up, he will die
• Tyson, cyclopes, brother to Percy, makes an appearance at the very end of the book – glad to see him back!
• Jason Grace, son of Jupiter/Zeus, appearing only in visions
• Piper McLean, daughter of Venus/Aphrodite, goddess of love and Tristan McLean, famous movie star, she is only mentioned in this book
• Leo Valdez, son of Vulcan/Hephaestus, has the gift of fire – appearing only in visions and dreams as well
• Nico de Angelo, son of Pluto/Hades, makes a reappearance at Camp Jupiter; he knows about both camps even if at the beginning of the book they don’t know about each other; we do learn that his other sister, Bianca, who died in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, chose to be reborn instead of staying in the Fields of Elysium.
• Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, Percy’s girlfriend; she is sending him dream messages telling him to stay where he is because she is on her way to rescue him
• All the Greek/Roman gods: Zeus/Jupiter; Hera/Juno; Aphrodite/Venus; Hephaestus/Vulcan; Poseidon/Neptune; Athena/Minerva
• Gaea, evil Earth Mother, whose ever presence is the driving enemy in this series, much like Kronos was in the last series
NEW CHARACTERS, (monsters, humans and such):
• Reyna, praetorian of the camp (or camp leader); she has a peanut butter colored Pegasus named Scipio (or Skippy) and 2 metal greyhounds, Argentum, made of silver and Aurum, made of gold (she and her sister were on Circe’s island when Percy was turned into a guinea pig in book 2 of the original Percy Jackson series)
• Octavian, senior centurion, camp augur (he tells the future – like Camp Half-Blood has a seer) by ripping open and reading the entrails of stuffed animals
• The Lares, the house gods of camp or, ancestral spirits
• Alcyoneus, eldest of the giants, holding Thanatos captive
• Thanatos, the god of death, lieutenant of Pluto/Hades
• Karpoi, spirits of grain, children of the earth mother, kidnap Hazel and attempt to take her to Gaea
• Polybotes, a giant of Gaea, created to destroy Neptune/Poseidon
• Iris, rainbow goddess, Greek messenger goddess, but now runs a health food store in Oregon/Washington
• Phineas & his harpies, a blind prophet raised from the dead by Gaea and ultimately sent back to the Underworld by her after choosing to keep Percy alive over him.
• Ella, the red-feathered Harpy, who reads, is a little loony and finds a friend in Hazel, has memorized an ancient prophecy and is quite valuable for that reason
• Hylla, Reyna’s sister, queen of the Amazons – the good queen
• Otrera, the original queen of the Amazons, raised from the dead by Gaea – the bad queen and minion of Gaea
• Arion, the fastest horse in the world, able to achieve super-sonic speeds, eats only gold, and only Hazel can tame him
What a book! Second time around is better than the first time; but like with book 1, it has been so long since I read it I felt like I was reading it for the first time. In classic Rick Riordan writing style, the action is non-stop, the characters are so real you get the feeling they are going to climb (or fly) off the page. The richness of the characters makes you cry and laugh when they do. They become a part of you – or – me. Now, on to book 3!!!
Rating: 5 out of 5 paws for non-stop adventure, excitement, and a cast of crazy characters that make me feel sane (and that’s not easy to do!)