Marshmallow reviewed several books by Rick Riordan before. (See her reviews of The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse. You might also like to check out her reviews for Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods and Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes.) Last week she wrote about the first book of his Heroes of Olympus series: The Lost Hero. This week she is on to the second book: The Son of Neptune. Sprinkles, who has just finished the book, is asking questions and taking notes.
Sprinkles: So Marshmallow, what do you want to tell our readers about The Son of Neptune, another 500-pager from Rick Riordan?
Marshmallow: I think if someone liked other books by Rick Riordan, this is not going to be a disappointment. It is a very good book!
S: What is the story about? What happens in the book?
M: It’s about Percy Jackson, who doesn’t remember anything. He gets himself to Camp Jupiter, which is a place for Roman demigods, half-bloods who are children of Roman gods.
S: So you probably need to know who Percy is and so on. You should have read the previous books in both of the series, it seems like. Right?
S: In the first series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, we meet Percy Jackson, a son of Poseidon, who goes to Camp Half-Blood, where there are other demigods, that is, children of Greek gods. In this second series, Heroes of Olympus, we learn that there is also a camp for demigods who are children of Roman gods.
M: Yes, in The Lost Hero, we learned about Camp Jupiter, but there, the main characters were also in Camp Half-Blood. In this book we finally get to go to Camp Jupiter.
S: Yes, I think the author set the stage for that very well in the first book of the series.
S: So let me see… Who is your favorite character in this book?
M: Probably Reyna.
M: Because she is a strong leader. And she is a good fighter. She is not a main character in this book actually, but she will become more important in the later books in the series.
S: Hmm, spoilers spoilers! I haven’t yet read the other books. But I liked Reyna too. She is not squeamish and she is not mean. She is a strong leader, like you say. She holds on to her principles and stands up to bullies.
M: Yes. I agree. But I must repeat that you cannot really get much out of this book if you have not read the first book of the series, but you also probably should have read all five books of the first series. People from the first series do show up or at least are mentioned. So to get the most out of this book, you should probably read things in order.
S: I agree. And the people from those earlier books show up unexpectedly sometimes. I think Riordan does a great job making these connections.
M: The plot is really complicated even when you have read all the other books.
S: So you are not going to tell us what that plot is, it seems like.
M: Well, in the first book we learned that Gaea is evil. And she is angry at the Olympian gods and wants to get rid of them. In this book that thread continues, with a few new plot twists that come with the new characters introduced to the story.
S: Yes, I think that is a good summary without giving away much! But this distinction between Greek and Roman gods, where Percy is the son of Poseidon, but in this book, people think he is the son of Neptune, the Roman version; that part was a bit fuzzy at first, wasn’t it?
M: Yeah, it was kind of confusing how they are the same but not the same, but in this book it is explained a bit more, so I think I understood it better.
S: Yes, I appreciated talking it over with you, and we figured things out together a bit, right?
M: Yes, i suggest that parents might want to read these books, too, so they can discuss them with their little ones.
S: I definitely am enjoying reading them!
M: They are good books! And I am really glad that I read Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes before reading this new series. Some of those characters show up and it is good to know their backstories.
S: I know you are trying to get me to read that book for a while Marshmallow. We’ll see. For now I will continue with this Heroes of Olympus series. So let us wrap up this review. What is your final verdict on The Son of Neptune?
M: I rate it 100%.