I have to admit, I was a little biased when I reviewed the last Rick Riordan book (The Lost Hero) last year. I had been hoping for something extraordinary and instead I got a non-Percy Jackson book. However, the next book of the series, The Son of Neptune, promised to have Percy Jackson in it, so (late to the party, I know) I went and bought it.
Amnesia seems to be the theme of this new series as Percy, unable to remember who he is or what he is doing, stumbles upon the Roman camp of Half-Bloods (see? yin-yang continuity in a Greek/Roman demigod world…) and is “saved” by two Roman counterparts, a daughter of Pluto and a son of Mars. Which, if you’ve read the original series, is sort of amusing because Aries and Percy Jackson do not get along.
So yeah, quest, blah blah blah… the true story here is the mystery behind why Percy doesn’t have his memory and what is the special birth circumstances of his two new friends, Frank and Hazel. It seems that the author is dropping hints about other gods and goddesses and who their parents are, hereditary powers that haven’t been discovered.
There was simply too much about the “mystery” (something Riordan did in book one of the new series as well) and less actual “story”. I literally spent half the book wondering when everything was going to start clicking. Part of the problem is that, like The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune jumps from point of view to point of view. While it is fascinating to see what Frank and Hazel think and feel, the series feels like it has been usurped by outside characters. It finally gets going about 2/3 of the way through the book, which is almost too little, too late. However, the last third of the book makes up for it and takes the reader for the ride you’d expect from the author.
Good writing, even if I am complaining about the pacing. The story is lacking a bit, but if you prefer the build up of demigods to actual doing things, this book will be enjoyable.
–Reviewed by Jason