Marshmallow reviews The Mark of Athena (Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow reviewed the first book of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series: The Lost Hero, as well as the second book, The Son of Neptune. Today she reviews the third book: The Mark of Athena.

Marshmallow reviews The Mark of Athena (Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Mark of Athena (Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked reading some of Rick Riordan’s other books or just like reading about Greek and Roman mythology, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Before you read this blog post, you might want to read my other reviews of this series.

With the Argo II, a flying ship with many cool additions, Annabeth and the three half-bloods who were the main characters in the first book (Jason, Leo, and Piper), together with their protector Coach Gleeson Hedge, set off to find Camp Jupiter, the camp for Roman half-bloods. When they arrive, Annabeth is introduced to some of the main characters from the second book: Frank, Hazel, Reyna, Octavian, and others. Percy Jackson is also there, and Annabeth is glad to see him.

They spend some time in Camp Jupiter, until somebody in the Argo II fires at the camp inhabitants. Octavian convinces the Romans that the Greeks are attacking them. The Romans start to attack the Greeks from the Argo II so the crew has to run.

The Seven half-bloods that will make up the team responding to the Prophecy of Seven have to flee. Here once again is that prophecy:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire, the world must fall,
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death

These are the Greek demigods in the group: Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon; Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena; Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite; and Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus. These are the Roman demigods: Jason Grace, son of Jupiter; Hazel Levesque, daughter of Pluto; and finally, Frank Zhang, son of Mars. And now people at Camp Jupiter think that they are bad guys and follow in pursuit.

Soon the seven half-bloods figure out it was Leo who fired at the Camp, but he cannot explain why he did it. And Annabeth has her own secrets she is hiding from the others: she hasn’t told them about the mark of Athena yet.

Marshmallow is reading The Mark of Athena (Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Mark of Athena (Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that this is a great book that really makes the reader want to keep reading till the end. Once you have read the first chapter you will have to read the whole book. 

The Mark Of Athena is a great book, but it is part of a series, and this one especially will make the reader have to read the fourth book, The House Of Hades. Also before reading this book, you should definitely have read, at least, the first two books in the series: The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune. I also think that you should read all of the previous books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (which is apparently abbreviated as PJO).

Most of the characters in this book have appeared in some of the earlier books, but we definitely learn a lot more about each of them, and we do meet some new characters (like Echo and Narcissus, for example). At the end of the book you are probably going to be so interested in the stories of these characters that you will just have to read the whole series.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Mark of Athena (Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Mark of Athena (Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Marshmallow reviews The Son of Neptune (Book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow reviewed several books by Rick Riordan before. (See her reviews of The Lightning ThiefThe 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.

Marshmallow reviews The Son of Neptune (Book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Son of Neptune (Book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

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? 

M: Yes.

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.

Marshmallow is reading The Son of Neptune (Book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Son of Neptune (Book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

S: So let me see… Who is your favorite character in this book? 

M: Probably Reyna.

S: Why?

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%.

Marshmallow rates The Son of Neptune (Book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Son of Neptune (Book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Marshmallow reviews The Lost Hero (Book 1 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has reviewed several books from Rick Riordan before. in particular she reviewed three books from his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: check out her reviews of The Lightning ThiefThe Sea of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse. But she is now eager to share with you her thoughts about the first book of The Heroes of Olympus series: The Lost Hero.

Marshmallow reviews The Lost Hero (Book 1 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Lost Hero (Book 1 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked some of Rick Riordan’s other books or if you just like reading about Greek mythology, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary: Jason opens his eyes and finds himself in the Wilderness School, a school for delinquents and misfits. His best friend is a boy named Leo Valdez, put in the school because he ran away six times after his mother died. We soon learn that Leo has a talent with tools. His girlfriend, Piper McLean, stole a BMW. Piper says she didn’t, but Jason doesn’t know, because he doesn’t remember anything. All he knows is that they are on an educational field trip to the Grand Canyon with a teacher named Coach Hedge.

Everyone seems to think that Jason is part of the class except Coach Hedge. He seems to know that Jason was not in his class before. But Leo and Piper seem to think that they know him. When they arrive at their destination, one of their classmates turns into a ventus, a storm spirit, which tries to kill them. Piper falls and starts to plummet towards the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Jason jumps and finds out that he can fly by using winds to hold him up. They battle the ventus, but more of them come. Then Coach Hedge comes and saves them, but is kidnapped by the venti that manage to escape.

In the middle of all this, a chariot shows up in the sky and a girl named Annabeth is there to collect them. From Annabeth we (readers who are familiar with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) learn that Percy Jackson is missing. But Jason, Leo, and Piper have no idea who Percy is.

The three friends are taken to a camp called Camp Half-Blood. There they spend some time until they are given a quest. Hera has been captured and they need to rescue her. But remember, Hera is a powerful goddess. And someone that can trick her into stepping into a trap must be very powerful.

Marshmallow is reading The Lost Hero (Book 1 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that The Lost Hero is a great book to start a great series. Rick Riordan tells the story in a way that makes you have to read the next chapter. This book is great and its plot sets the stage for the next book in the series.

I think that if you want to read this book, though, you would have to read the series that Rick Riordan wrote before, Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

The characters are also well written themselves. Each character has a mystery about their past.  By the end of The Lost Hero you feel like you know what the characters would do in a certain situation.

I think that if you are looking for a book that is not part of a series, then this is probably not the book you are looking for. If you read the first book, you will just have to read the rest of the series. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Lost Hero (Book 1 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Lost Hero (Book 1 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Marshmallow reviews When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

This week Marshmallow reviews When You Reach Me, a 2009 novel by Rebecca Stead.

Marshmallow reviews When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
Marshmallow reviews When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like mystery or science fiction, or if you enjoyed reading other books written by Rebecca Stead, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Twelve-year old Miranda, a sixth grader in New York City in the late 1970s, has just started to receive notes that tell her that someone is coming to save her friend’s life and their own. Here is the first note:

“M,
This is hard. Harder than I expected, even with your help. But I have been practicing, and my preparations go well. I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I ask two favors.
First, you must write me a letter.
Second, please remember to mention the location of your house key.
The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you.”

After this first note, Miranda starts to receive more notes. These notes say that she must not share them with anybody and that she must believe the notes. Then the person starts to send proof of what they’re saying is true. For example, the note says “Tesser well” and then her mother’s boyfriend gives her a copy of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle signed by Madeleine L’Engle that says “Tesser well”.

In the middle of this, Miranda is also having school trouble. Her mom is preparing to go on a game show with the hopes of winning a large sum of money. Miranda is also having some problems with her best friend Sal.

There is in short a lot going on in Miranda’s life, and though some of it is normal kid stuff, the secret notes make things all quite mysterious. (And if you want to know more, you have to read the book!)

Marshmallow is reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
Marshmallow is reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book. It has a very interesting but also a very complex plot, and the reader may have a hard time finding who wrote the notes.

I think that this is also a very good book because the author, Rebecca Stead, is great at creating characters. My favorite character is probably Julie or Miranda. Miranda is really realistic, and she does things that make her unique, like tying and untying knots. 

This book might be a little hard to understand for kits (baby bunnies) because of its complex plot, and it is also not a particularly easy book to read. I think therefore that it would probably be best for bunnies aged eight and up. 

I think the best part of this book is that the author is an expert at making the reader want to finish the book soon. The mystery is great because the reader wouldn’t be able to guess who the writer of the notes is because they are concealed by the author wonderfully. I think that this is a great book that is an excellent mix of mystery and science fiction and many other genres.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 100%.
Marshmallow rates When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 100%.