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Comments for The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena: 06/17/14

cover art

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan is the third of the Heroes of Olympus series. Annabeth is finally reunited with Percy at Camp Jupiter but their reunion is enough to bring the camp to the brink of war.

I guess straight up quests, even ones based on previous Greek or Roman classics, are getting a little dull. This quest has trouble getting going because the characters keep being possessed and made to act way out of character. Instead of the other members wising up to this problem, they always seem completely surprised by it.

Doing away with the spin the bottle approach to possession, the quest is the standard stuff we've come to expect from Percy and company. There's a ticking deadline before Gaea will awake. The Scooby Gang has to get to the actual Mount Olympus, not the Manhattan stand-in and save the world from well, the world.

As part of this journey, Annabeth must deal with her personal demons as she tries to solve the riddle of the Mark of Athena. It's a big, honking, long hidden clue that they now desperately need. So she ends up going on a side quest that stretches her character to the breaking point and made me wish she could tag team with Hermione Granger. Along the way, though, I did learn a thing or two about some ancient Roman customs that ended up being very useful for when I was reading I am John, I am Paul by Mark Tedesco.

I understand the need to break from formula. It gets boring for writer and reader. But the breaks didn't work for me in The Mark of Athena.

Three stars

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