The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena
Book Three, Heroes of Olympus

Rick Riordan
Disney Hyperion Books, 2012

So, here’s the story – The demi-god exchange is at an end, with Camp Half-Blood coming to Camp Jupiter to pick up Percy and the Roman demi-gods so they can go on this crazy quest to close the Doors of Death and stop Gaea from rising and destroying not only Olympus but the mortal world as well. At first the reunion/first-time meeting of Roman and Greek demi-gods is going well then all hades breaks loose and the Romans end up chasing the quest team across North America. Meanwhile, Annabeth has a single quest of her own to accomplish and they have to save Nico before they can even begin to think about going to on to Greece to fight Gaea’s Giants. When I first read the book I remember being disappointed that the book wasn’t ending then – especially with Percy and Annabeth falling into Tartarus! But in reading it a second time I see there was just too much story to tell in only 3 books!

MAIN CHARACTERS & NARRATED BY:
• Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon/Neptune, just as stubborn about being in charge as Jason, boyfriend to Annabeth
• Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena/Minerva, sent on a singluar quest by her mother so that the old infighting between the Greek and Roman demi-gods can finally end – she has to find the statue of Athena stolen from the Parthenon in Athens by the Romans thousands of years earlier
• Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite/Venus, very powerful Charmspeaker, can make anyone do anything if she tries hard enough, girlfriend to Jason
• Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus/Vulcan, creator and builder of the Argo II, can summon fire at a moment’s notice, the 7th wheel, or at least that’s what Nemisis called him; also weirdly related to Hazel

CONTINUING CHARACTERS:
• Jason Grace, son of Jupiter/Zeus, natural rival to Percy, as much as Zeus and Poseidon are rivals (and don’t get along with each other)
• Hazel Levesque, daughter of Pluto/Hades, brought back to from the Underworld by Nico 70 years after her death, she now has to find Nico and rescue him, girlfriend to Frank
• Frank Zhang, son of Mars/Ares, whose life depends on a candy bar-sized piece of burnt wood – when it burns down completely he will die and he can change into anything (so far it has been an eagle, a bear, a dragon and an elephant)
• Coach Hedge, baseball bat and war hungry satyr, chaperone of the quest
• Nico de Angelo, son of Hades/Pluto, brother to Hazel, held captive by Gaea in the Underworld, captured while searching for the Gates of Death
• Tyson, cyclopes, brother to Percy takes Ella the harpy to Camp Half-Blood where she will be safe from harm
• 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):
• Nemesis, Greek and Roman goddess of revenge, she doesn’t choose sides as long as there is revenge and resentment involved, she’s there, gives Hazel and Leo a hard time
• Echo, poor gossiping nymph forever cursed to repeat the last thing said by anyone & Narcissus, doomed to forever be in love with his own face
• Eidolon, spirits released from the Underworld by Gaea and promised a new life if they would do her bidding. They took up residence in Leo, Jason and Percy’s body to cause hate and discontent before Piper was able to banish them completely
• Phorcys, an ancient sea god & Keto, ancient goddess of sea monsters, both children of Gaea and who try to keep Percy and Frank as exhibits in their sideshow exhibit under the Atlanta Aquarium
• Bythos and Aphros, ichthycentaurs, or “fish-horse-guys” who save Leo, Frank and Hazel from “shrimpzilla”
• Hercules/Heracles, the ancient world’s strongest demi-god turned minor god & Achelous, a river god who fought each other over a woman and still hate each other. Jason and Piper face them in a ‘trial’
• Chrysaor, aka ‘the golden boy’, son of Medusa and Poseidon, brother to Pegasus, tries to sink the Argo II, but gets sunk himself by Percy!
• Tiberinus, river god of the Tiber who looks like Gregory Peck & Rhea Silvia, mother to Romulus and Remus and who looks like Audrey Hepburn (both from the movie Roman Holiday); they start Annabeth on her path to follow the Mark of Athena
• Arachne, extraordinary weaver whom Athena turned into a giant spider in a fit of jealousy over her better weaving skills; she is determined to kill Annabeth or at least turn her over to Gaea
• Otis & Ephialtes, twin brother giants who are keeping Nico captive and plan to destroy Rome

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws for excitement, thrills and chills! It is also educational! – at least in terms of Greek and Roman mythology. Perfectly written story in my not-so-humble opinion! The right amount of romance (meaning not much) and loads of adventure. Read it. Now. Well, read the other two first! Now if you will excuse me, I am off to book 4 and find out what happens with Percy and Annabeth!!

cropped-toby-the-great-plus.jpgReviewer: Toby

 Rick Riordan

 Arachne   Hercules

 Bacchus   Venus

 Athena Parthenos 

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