Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review: "The Son of Neptune"

"The Son of Neptune" by Rick Riordan
Originally published in 2011
My rating: 4 out of 5

As far as page-turning potential goes, I would give this book a 10 out of 5. I tore through all 513 pages in under three days, a feat I haven't attempted since the days of "Harry Potter" new releases. This book is the second in "The Heroes of Olympus" series, a spin-off of the widely popular "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" five-book collection.

Since this is the seventh Percy Jackson book, I don't want to give too much away and spoil the suspense of the previous novels, which I'm hoping I can convince you to read. They're about a group of teenagers battling evil and saving the world. Sounds a little Potter-esque -- and it is -- but what sets Riordan's books apart is the element of Greek -- and in this book Roman -- mythology. The ancient Greek and Roman gods are alive and well and they reside at Mt. Olympus, which is currently perched above Manhattan. But a dark, terrible being is threatening to rise again and destroy both the mortal world and the godly one. It's up to a group of demigods -- kids who have a godly parent and a human one -- to save civilization. (Percy Jackson is a son of the sea god Poseidon -- Neptune in Roman culture -- in case you were wondering.)

Riordan's books are packed full of adventure, a smidge of romance, and some sarcastic writing and PG-rated humor. The world Riordan has created is one of prophecies, quests, strange weapons and even stranger monsters and beasts. The plot will keep you turning pages, but riding along with Percy Jackson and crew to save the world is also a learning experience. The Percy Jackson novels are like a crash course in mythology. Did you know that Minerva McGonagall from Harry Potter is named after the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva? Did you know that the planets are named after Roman gods? Have you ever wondered what Styx means?

My only gripe about these books is that Riordan's writing can sometimes seem less refined than other young adult authors like J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins or Stephanie Meyer. Granted, the Percy Jackson books are probably geared toward a slightly younger audience. But it bugs me to no end when Riordan uses amateurish devices to create suspense. It's common for a character to be on the verge of revealing some big secret or clue, only to be interrupted at the last second. I think that's totally unneccessary -- the fascinating plot is enough to keep readers glued to the pages.

I strongly recommend checking out the Percy Jackson series. Anyone who's ever been curious about Greek mythology will enjoy the books. And so will fans of Harry Potter, Eragon and the like. The books are super-fast reads, fun, interesting and full of vivid, fantastical descriptions to get your imagination going. Plus, you'll probably learn something!

(Image Source)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Comments make my day, and I read and appreciate every single one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...