Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune

 

Percy Jackson has no memories beyond a few days ago. Except one, concerning a blond-haired girl, Annabeth. But besides, that, Percy does not remember a thing.

But when he arrives at Camp Jupiter, a city full of Roman demigods, accompanied by the most important goddess of Rome, Juno, things begin to change. And when Mars, the Roman god of war, appeaers later that day, Percy and his new friends, Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang must travel to Alaska to free death.

But that's not the least of it. An army of monsters is marching towards New Rome. An army that can not die. Death is being held by an all powerful giant, Alcyoneus. A giant that Hazel helped raise from Tartarus. And too top it all off, Gaia, the embodiement of the Earth, is rising to destroy her grandchildren, the Gods of Olympus. And should she fully awaken from her slumber, the world as it is known will be destroyed.

Can Percy, Hazel, and Frank stop Alcyoneus and free death? Or is Gaia about to strike a death blow to the empire of New Rome?

 

 

 

/*** THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***\

**/** SPOILERS ARE PRESENT **\**

 

 

This book is definitely not as good as the Lost Hero. While it does return us to the world of Percy Jackson, I didn't personally enjoy any of the other characters in the book. Hazel and Frank seemed kind of pointless as demigods. Was it not for Percy, the three of them wouldn't have even made it out of the continental United States. Much less to Alaska and back. Plus, I didn't feel that the plot line was as strongly developed as many of Riordan's other books. But it is Rick's first book written from a Roman perspective, so it may have just been that. Anyway, I much prefer The Lost Hero, in both plot and characters, to this book in the series

 

Alrighty. PERCY JACKSON IS BACK!!! After his absence in The Lost Hero, it has been almost two years since we last heard from Percy Jackson. But something is wrong. He's fleeing monsters, like usual, but he has no memory of anything before about three days ago. All he knows is his name, how to fight, and a girl named Annabeth.

Well this sounds familiar doesn’t it. Its pretty much exactly like Jason. Like exactly. So Jason's theory at the end of The Lost Hero is correct. Percy has no memory…and is probably in his way to the Roman Camp. What fun.

 

So. Camp Jupiter. Its very different from Camp Half-Blood. Its like a freaking city. Not a camp. You live there full time. Not just during the summers. Its obscenely organized and militant. And people live there for their entire lives. They can grow up, get married, go to a university, et cetera. So its pretty much everything that Camp Half-Blood is not.

 

Now, like in The Lost Hero, we meet some new characters, presumably others pertaining to the Prophecy to Seven. They are Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang/

Hazel first. She's is a daughter of Pluto (not Hades, get it right). But what's weird is that she is from the 1930s. She lived almost eighty years ago. WHAT?!?!?! WHAT TYPE OF BLASPHEMY IS THIS!!!! Apparently, she ended up moving to Alaska, and almost raised the giant Alcyoneus for Gaia. But she was able to destroy the island he was rising from in time, killing herself in the process. In the underworld, she was given the chance at Elysium but traded eternal salvation for a pardon for her mothers bad choices (ie. Working for Gaia). And then Nico di'Angelo got her out of the underworld just months ago. But what even cooler about her is that she can summon precious gem stones from the ground at will. Diamonds, gold, silver, celestial bronze, you name it. If its metal she can get it. This is due to the fact that Pluto was not only the god of the Underworld, but the god of riches and wealth also. Thus, his children cam summon wealth from the ground. Unfortunately, the wealth she pulls from the ground is cursed. But the curse is supposed to be washed away by a relative of the sea god (*cough*Percy*cough*). Personally, she is not my favorite character of the seven, but I do not completely despise her as I do Leo. Never the less, I can not yet say that I like her as a character. I simply tolerate her.

The other new demigod is Frank Zhang. Upon meeting Percy, Frank is unclaimed but is eventually claimed as a son of Mars, the god of war. But the actual cool part about him is his other godly relation: Neptune, or Poseidon. He is descended from Peryclemes who was the son of Poseidon. He also had the gift from shape-shifting into animals. And Frank inherited that gift. Elephants, snakes, bears, et cetera. He can do them all. And he likes the crossbow. Again, like with Hazel, I simply tolerate Frank. I neither like nor dislike him. But unlike the other two I dislike, at least Frank is pretty good at fighting. So he is at least useful. 

 

Next topic. The lares, or ghosts, all call Percy graecus. Meaning Greek. This is preshadowing, which is only ever else used in The Fellowship of the Ring. The ghosts knew he was Greek before anyone else. Even Percy. I think that’s kind of weird considering their GHOSTS. HOW THE HELL CAN THEY TELL HE IS GREEK!!! They have never seen him. Never met him. Don't know anything about him. And yet they can tell that he is Greek, WHAT IS THIS.

 

Now we get to meet a fun dude. Octavian. He's essentially the oracle of Camp Jupiter. Except he likes to read prophecies from the intestinal stuffing of stuffed animals. Especially panda bears. He cuts them up with his knife and then like reads the pattern of their stuffing for prophecy. And that is because they are missing the Sybylline Books. The eternal books of prophecy for Rome. The ones that have contained the Prophecy Seven for hundreds of years. The ones that are lost forever.

While Octavian isn't a complete bitch yet, he does turn into one in the next two books. But I have not fallen to the point of wanting him completely destroyed in The Blood of Olympus, like some fan-girls.

 

The first major, non-characters-discussing, point is the War Games. The ones the Fifth Cohort fail at. Luckily though, Percy picked up some strategy from Annabeth and he leads a three person route on the siege castle they were supposed to attack. He, Frank, and Hazel pretty much single handedly scale the wall, beat off the defenders, storm the Keep, and take the flag all by themselves. Gotta love that fighting skill from Percy. Even though he "fights like a Greek". I guess we know who would win in a one-on-one battle between Greece and Rome. LETS GO GREECE!!

 

But there a bigger point from the war games. Dakota died during them. And then she undied. She resurrected. WHAT IS HAPPENING. The answer, the god of death, Thanatos, has been captured and now, souls can leave the underworld freely. All souls. Good and bad. Friends and foes. Demigods and giants. Everything. This is a huge problem because, while demigods can no longer die, neither can monsters. No matter what happens, any monster that is killed can immediately come back to life. So if, hypothetically, you have a giant army of monsters lead by an almighty giant, and you attack Camp Jupiter, you can't be defeated. Period. Your army would just keep coming back to life . 

 

Now, with the war games just finished, Mars decides to may the romans a visit. First off, that was nice of him. As Ares, he would have left them to fight the giants army with no notice. Just to see how they did. But Mars is different. Less cruel. More tactical. He warns the Romans of an impending attack by Polybotes and explains that the giant Alcyoneus has chained death and that no one or nothing will die until he is released. And then he claims Frank.

That was nice of him. Again.

 

And lets not forget the all important "prophecy":

 

Go to Alaska;

Free Thanatos;

Return by June 24 or die;

 

Well If that's doesn’t tell us much about what the book will be about. And as Octavian mentioned "but it doesn't rhyme". Congratulations Octavian, you can see the obvious. Yes it doesn't rhyme, but there isn't a better prophecy so this is the one we are going to use. At least…until we meet Ella the Harpy.

 

So. We have a Quest. Just like in every other Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus Book.

 

Step 1: gain access to the roman navy. And by that, we mean the single decrepit boat in a San Francisco Harbor. What the hell new Rome?!?! You once had the most powerful navy the Mediterranean had ever seen, and now it has depreciated to a single boat that is getting ready to fall apart. Take more pride in your historical roots and maintain that navy. Because, for the powerful New Roman Empire, this navy is ridiculous.

 

Step 2: do not get killed by Polybotes and his army of monsters. And it’s a big army; probably measuring thousands strong. New Rome would have no chance against them. And to make it worse, Polybotes was the anti-Poseidon. Just what Percy needed. Another all powerful enemy. Like Kronos was enough for him.

 

And so, while they wait for the army pass, Percy meets an old Greek friend. One he has never spoken too but communicated with many times. Iris. The Goddess of the Rainbow. Patron of iris messaging. I kind of liked her. She was funny and influenced the story enough to make her important. She influenced Frank a lot…too a point where he decides to use Mars gift and attack some basilisks solo. Which was a bas idea. Just as a general statement to al demigods…if you think you can take on more than one monster at once. YOU ARE WRONG. YOU CAN NOT. It will only turn out badly.

 

Step 3: find Phineas and figure out where precisely Alcyoneus is located. And boy was that a fun time. First there was Ella the Harpy. The one who memorized the Sybylline Books of prophecy and recites them at random. I find Ella pretty interesting for several reasons: 1) where did she find a copy of the Sybylline Books to memorize. Its not like they are just lying around for anyone to read.  2) she says a couple of prophecies that make sense in the context of the Percy Jackson world. She recites a portion of the original Great Prophecy about Kronos rising. She gives the beginning of the Mark of Athena prophecy. She gives a two line segment of some unknown prophecy pertaining to the quest that was currently being undertaken. Etc. She's a pretty interesting harpy.

Now what we should really be questioning here is Percy's faith in Gaia. He reports that Gaia told him that she needed him as a pawn in order to rise. And Percy calls her bluff by potentially drinking a deadly poison from Grogon blood. What if Gaia had lied? What if she decided that she would call his bluff on his call of her bluff? She could have let him die. In fact, he would have died had she not intervened. For being considered smart by many, and dating Annabeth, that was a pretty STUPID move by Percy? That was far too risky to have been attempted.

 

Step 4: survive the male hating Amazons. While the group is not very important, Hazel becomes very important here. But before we discuss Hazel, I would like to make the point that this is an example of a time in which Piper would have VERY USEFUL. She could have charmspoken her and eveyrone's way out of this predicament. But Piper isn't here. So Hazel has to save the day on the world's greatest horse.

Arion. The fastest horse in the world. One that can run on water. Run up 90˚ glacial ice faces. And one that can run his way from Alaska to San Francisco in four hours. That is one impressive horse. Too bad he can't fly though. That would be nice.

It also appears that this horse has some attitude problems. And he dislikes Frank. Percy comments many times that Arion curses at Frank.  That was a good time. If only, Rick had revealed what was actually being said.

 

Step 5: Do not get killed by laistrygonians (or as Annabeth and Percy known them; Canadians). But that’s going to be difficult when they surround Frank's house.  And while they are there Mars pays Frank a visit. An important one. A revealing one. Mars reveals that Frank can "be anything". Like an animal. And elephant. A bird. A horse. Etc. And that he will have to help Percy with some decision in the future. One that Percy can't make without him. That…that right there…is possible one of the most important quotes from the while series, leading up to the Blood of Olympus. It tells us that Percy will have to make a choice; one that goes against everything he believes in; one that he can't make without Frank; one that could destroy the world…or save it.

And then all hell breaks lose as the three demigods break out of the house, drive to a plane, and fly to Alaska. But first, they decide to leave Ella behind. To be picked up by Tyson and Mrs. O'Leary from CHB. Percy is slowly regaining his memories, thanks to Gaia and the gorgon healing blood.

 

So. We are finally in Alaska. The land beyond the gods. And there is some  fun stuff up there: like griffins and hyperborean giants. If that sounds familiar, its because some fought for Kronos during the Battle for Manhattan. 

And then we get to the actual freaking battle. The battle against Alcyoneus. One of the tamest battles in all Percy Jackson books. No one got injured or almost died. There was no super monster that appears out of no where and is barely killed. Alcyoneus doesn’t even seem all that powerful. Its just that clause in his life stating that he can't be killed in his home land. Which in this case is Alaska.

Just one problem with that. He set up base on Hubbard Glacier, 10 MILES FROM THE ALASKA-CANADA BORDER!!! What a dumbass. He's invincible in Alaska and decides to set up his base of operations 10 miles inside the border. For being a giant, he is pretty stupid. I can't believe that Gaia would even let him do something that stupid. 

And then there is Thanatos. Honestly…I was super excited when Thanatos said he could only be freed by the "fire of life". Because, at this point, I really hated Frank. I would have been very please if he died freeing death. Unfortunately, that didn't quite happen. Frank is still alive and Death can start claiming spirits again. While that’s good, I just wish Frank's spirit had been claimed with them.

 

 

And that leaves u with one final battle: the Battle for Camp Jupiter. And Giant battle #4 of this still short series. The on between Percy and Polybotes. Just one problem here, there is no god here to help Percy kill the anti-Poseidon. Or is there.

Remember that guy Terminus. God of boundaries. The one that guards the city of New Rome. He's a god. A minor god. But still god. And I guess that is all that it takes to kill a giant. A god. Of any kind. Olympian. Minor. Any kind of god.  And thus Polybotes is killed.

And when Polybotes falls to the sword of Percy Jackson, Hera gets what she had always wanted. A complete trust of each other between Greeks and Romans. Even if they don't know it. Percy becomes praetor of New Rome, taking the place of Jason Grace who is currently at CHB becoming Percy Jackson. The plan has worked. The two camps have embraced each other. Kind of.

 

And its good that they do. Because CHB is coming to New Rome. In a giant, flying, armed, war ship. And to Rome that’s a bit of an issue.

 

See what happens in the next book, The Mark of Athena, when the true quest begins. And when things get truly dangerous.