Book of the Week: Mark of Athena

Hello, case all. Are you happy that its Friday? I know that I definitely am! Weekends are amazing. The best part of this weekend? Southern California finally got some rain today, website and some lovely fall weather! After weeks and weeks of extremely hot weather, here it was so nice to finally get some cold weather! I’m stoked on it.

You know what else comes along with fall, it seems like? Besides colder weather and new boots and sweaters and Thanksgiving and new TV shows? New book releases. I’ve already blown through J.K. Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy, and Jen Calonita’s new book in her Belles series, Winter White. Now we’re going to talk about another recent release…our book of the week.

Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan may have started off writing books for children, just the way J.K. Rowling did, but to me, he has definitely roped in adults as well. His stories are fun, adventurous, relatable and addicting. He is most famous for his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian), which chronicle Percy Jackson’s discovery of being a demigod-the son of Poseidon-and his quests to keep the Titan, Kronos, from resurrecting and taking down the gods of Olympus. His home is Camp Half-Blood, where demigods can go to be safe and to train, and his best friends are Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, and Grover Underwood, a satyr.

The newer series is called the Heroes of Olympus. The Lost Hero is about a new demigod, Jason Grace, the son of Jupiter (Roman version of Zeus) and his friends Piper, daughter of Aphrodite, and Leo, son of Hephaestus, and their own entrance into this world. Jason doesn’t remember who he is and winds up at Camp Half-Blood, brought there by Annabeth Chase, who is looking for her missing boyfriend, Percy, and then a quest to find and free Hera, who has been kidnapped. At the end of the story, once Hera has been saved, Jason full gets his memory back. He came from a camp called Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of the Greek Camp Half-Blood, and it is revealed that there is a prophecy, a prophecy of seven demigods, a mix of Roman and Greek, who are going to defeat the earth mother, Gaia and that Percy has probably ended up at Camp Jupiter.

The second novel in the series is The Son of Neptune, where we find Percy Jackson, lost of his memory of all his previous adventures and of everything that he is, except for one thing, one name: Annabeth. Soon he finds his way to Camp Jupiter and makes friends with Frank, son of Mars (Roman equivalent of Ares) and Hazel, daughter of Pluto (Roman equivalent of Hades). They embark on a quest to free Thanatos, death itself, from Gaia’s clutches. Just as with Jason, Percy gets his memories back and the book ends with the arrival of the Camp Half-Blood demigods showing up.

Now that I’ve caught you up for the most part (though I really, seriously, definitely recommend reading the first two), I’m ready to talk about the third installment of the series, Mark of Athena. Mark of Athena opens up at the end of The Son of Neptune, with Annabeth on the deck of the Argo II, looking out at Camp Jupiter, feeling pretty excited to be reunited with Percy. As the Greeks and Romans attempt to reconcile and work together, Leo, posessed by some spirits, bombs the Roman camp, causing Leo, Hazel, Frank, Percy, Annabeth, Piper and Jason to flee, setting off their quest, the seven of the prophecy. They embark on their way across the United States, on their way to Rome, where they have to save Nico di Angelo, Hazel’s brother, and defeat two giants. Annabeth is on a mission for her mother to follow the Mark of Athena, to finally bring peace between the Roman and the Greek demigods.

In the end, they rescue Nico, and defeat the two giants with the help of their camp director, Dionysus, in his Roman form, Bacchus. Annabeth has gone off her own, to find the statue of Athena to bring it back to its rightful place. The demigods of Camp Jupiter are headed to Camp Half-Blood on the warpath.

Spoiler Alert!! If you don’t want to know the end, then stop reading. The demigods attempt to rescue the statue of Athena, but as they are doing so, the floor begins to crumble and Annbeth and Percy fall, together, holding hands, into the pit of Tartarus, promising to meet them on the other side, to close the doors of death.

The Good or Bad:

This book was amazing! I loved it and the best part was meeting up with some of my friends for a book club lunch to talk about it. There were soooo many good things about this book.

One, Percabeth. Percy and Annabeth. Their relationship was barely blossoming at the end of The Last Olympian, when they shared the best underwater kiss ever. So their reunion is awesome, and something we’ve been waiting for in two other books. The fact that they embraced and then Annabeth flipped him over her shoulder and threatened him to never leave her again.

Two, Piper. There wasn’t much of Jason in this one and I’m kind of okay with that. I’m glad Piper and Jason are together because I’m corny and I love relationships haha. But I wasn’t the biggest fan of Piper before, probably because I love Annabeth so much. But Piper becomes badass in this one, using her charmspeak to save the day and coming up with awesome plans and all of that.

Three, there’s a part where Annabeth, Piper and Hazel are surrounded and there’s no way to get out of the situation, no way to call the others, who are in other parts of Charleston or underwater (Percy). So Annabeth drops her dagger in the water…and Percy comes up, dousing the enemy with water, and holds up the dagger, in the most poker face ever, “You dropped this.” I freakin LOVE Percy.

Four, Annabeth going on her own to find the Mark of Athena, and how she has to get through all these obstacles to find the statue of Athena. She has to work on her own, through some crazy things, weaving away from spiders, setting said spiders on fire, and tricking Arachne into weaving her own prisoner. Annabeth is badass, she has always badass but this is amazing. Did I mention she does it with a broken ankle?

Fifth, Leo…Leo is adorable. I liked Leo in the Lost Hero but in the Mark of Athena he is that much better. He built the badass Argo II, and kept it running across the United States, the Atlantic Ocean and into Rome. He’s smart and powerful and people tend overlook Leo, maybe because he isn’t paired up or he isn’t the hero of the story. But he is important and without him and his awesome talents, this quest would’ve been an ultimate failure.

So the fourth installment of the series is called The House of Hades and is due to release next fall, in 2013. Too. Far. Away. Especially with the ending that they left us with. Annabeth is being yanked into Tartarus and instead of letting her go, Percy holds on her to and goes with her, because he doesn’t want to be apart from her again (can we say waterworks? Damn you, Rick Riordan). The statue of Athena is rescued and they have a month to stop Gaia from rising and they have to stop Camp Jupiter from obliberating Camp Half-Blood. I can’t wait til the next release, and I seriously recommend to anyone who hasn’t read any of the Percy Jackson books or the Heroes of Olympus to read them. Now. Go. Okay awesome :D

What did you guys think? Let me know what you think, in the comments!

*     *     *     *     *     *

Share YOUR Nerd!