The Son of Neptune: 08/20/12
I live twenty miles away from Camp Jupiter, the Roman half-blood camp that Percy Jackson finds himself at in The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. While it's not the first time Riordan has set one of his adventures in the Bay Area, it's the closet to home the adventures have ever come. A previous book, The Titan's Curse, is centered on Mount Tamalpais, a prominent feature of the North Bay.
I don't know how accurate or humorous Camp Half Blood's placement somewhere on Long Island is. I've only been there once. The area above and around the Caldecott Tunnel (highway 24 as it runs between Berkeley/Oakland and Orinda/Moraga) strikes me as a hilarious place to hide both Camp Jupiter and the newest rendition of Rome. Currently the tunnel is getting a fourth bore to free up traffic but now I've taken to thinking of it as the secret entrance to the camp. Why not?
Like Jason in The Lost Hero, Percy Jackson remembers his name but not much else. He's driven by unseen forces to the opening of Camp Jupiter, where he meets an old woman and passes the test necessary to gain entrance. There he is befriended by two odd balls — Hazel and Frank. Hazel has a huge secret she's hiding and an equally large chip on her shoulder. Frank is a klutz and so far hasn't been claimed by his father.
As is always the case in Riordan's fantasies, there is a ticking countdown to world disaster if the brave heros can't finish their quest. The quest this time takes Percy, Hazel and Frank northwards. As ever, the adventure is a romp, full of crazy gods and monsters.