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I Belong

Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Title: The Mark of Athena

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Heroes of Olympus (Book 3)

Publication Date: October 2, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 608 Pages

ISBN-10: 1423140605 (Disney Hyperion)

ISBN-13: 978-1423140603 (Disney Hyperion)

Reviewed by: Kayla


Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy–after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera–it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by that prophesy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find–and close–the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader–but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare…

Quick & Dirty: The seven demigods of the Great Prophesy have finally gotten together. Now they set their sights on Rome and rescuing their friend Nico de Angelo.

Opening Sentence: Until she met the exploding statue, Annabeth thought she was prepared for anything.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

It’s finally here!!! And it’s huge!!! But Mark of Athena was definitely worth the 400 some pages! Percy and the gang are back in this hilarious and jaw-dropping third installment. We finally get the reunion of Percabeth but of course nothing goes as planned and the seven demigods are already running for their lives by the end of the second chapter. Unlike most other Riordan books, this one lacks the usual structure of prophesy, quest, rescue the camp just in time. Now that the seven demigods of the Great Prophesy have finally grouped together, they journey across the nation and eventually the Atlantic to reach Rome, where Nico de Angelo (who might know where the Doors of Death are located) is trapped. Along the way the group goes on miniature quests to either repair the Argo II or find help along the way. Now that the group is together, can they close the Doors of Death before Gaea awakens? And will Annabeth be able to avenge her mother? Riordan spins yet another dramatically funny and unexpected novel about Greek and Roman mythology.

Ever read any of the previous Hero of Olympus novels? Mark of Athena will completely blow you away and catch you by surprise. Usually the stories are revolving around three  characters, but this time there are seven demigods that have tone accounted for. Riordan does an excellent job of juggling all the action and conflicts that develop between all of the characters, plus timing each one to match the others. This story is narrated from four different points of views — Annabeth, Leo, Piper and Percy. Although Piper has a main part and I always love hearing from Percy, Annabeth and Leo stole the show. Annabeth has her own quest from her schizophrenic mother Athena/Minerva. She is to avenge her mother and find the Mark of Athena. Her own personal quest (with no help from Percy or the others) really shows how strong and resourceful she is even in the midst of her worst fear. Leo is amazing (I would say just because he is, but I don’t think that’s acceptable in a review.) He’s the seventh man out — the only one without a girlfriend or friends to talk to (yeah, he has Jason and Piper but they’re doing their own thing most of the time.) But the major plot twist that had me tearing up had to do with Hazel.

There was not a single part of this book that lacked pacing or had me bored. Yes, it is predictable but everything happens in the most unexpected way. Riordan knows how to capture the voice of a teen perfectly, keeping older ones like me still intrigued and laughing at the same time. He takes you across the nation (from San Francisco to Atlanta, Georgia) and then journeys across the Atlantic to Rome itself. Don’t get me started on the ending, though. Major cliffhanger alert! The worst one yet in the whole Percy Jackson series! Next fall seems so far away…

Spectacular scenes will make you laugh, smile and stay up late to finish it (at least I did.) Haven’t read the Heroes of Olympus before? Or even the Percy Jackson series? You poor deprived things. Just kidding! Go read the books now and fall in love with the mythological world and the demigods that inhabit it. I know I did.

Notable Scene:

Leo adjusted his goggles and smiled. He flexed is biceps though he didn’t have much to flex, and showed off his HOT STUFF tattoo. He had the nymphs’ attention, if only because they were stunned; but Narcissus was still fixed on his own reflection.

“You know how ugly Narcissus is?” Leo asked the crowd. “He’s so ugly, when he was born his mama thought he was a backward centaur–with a horse butt for a face.”

Some of the nymphs gasped. Narcissus frowned, as though he was vaguely aware of a gnat buzzing around his head.

“You know why his bow has cobwebs?” Leo continued. “He uses it to hunt for dates, but he can’t find one!”

One of the nymphs laughed. The others quickly elbowed her into silence.

Narcissus turned and scowled at Leo. “Who are you?”

“I’m the Super-sized McShizzle, man!” Leo said. “I’m Leo Valdez, bad boy supreme. And the ladies love a bad boy.”

“Love a bad boy!” Echo said, with a convincing squeal.

“Leo took out a pen and autographed the arm of one of the nymphs. “Narcissus is a loser! He’s so weak, he can’t bench-press a Kleenex. He’s so lame, when you look up lame on Wikipedia, it’s got a picture of Narcissus–only the pictures so ugly, no one ever checks it out.”

Narcissus knit his handsome eyebrows. His face was turning from bronze to salmon pink. For a moment, he’d totally forgotten about the pond, and Leo could see the sheet of bronze sinking into the sand.

Heroes of Olympus Series:

1. The Lost Hero

2. The Son of Neptune

3. The Mark of Athena

4. The House of Hades (Fall of 2013)


FTC Advisory: Disney Hyperion provided me with a copy of Mark of Athena. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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