SUMMARY -When Jason wakes up on a bus headed toward the Grand Canyon, he has no memory. What he does have is a beautiful girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They are a part of a school for troubled children; everyone knows who Jason is and has memories about him - except their coach. Then things get even worse - the school hottie turns into a monster, and storm spirits attack them on the Grand Canyon. Jason knows he has training for this, but from where? They barely defeat the storm spirits when a chariot pulled by flying horses appears on the scene to take them to Camp Half-Blood, where demigods reside. The girl, Annabeth, needs Jason's help. A very special Hero has disappeared, and Jason is the one to lead the Quest to find him.
MY THOUGHTS -Oh, Rick Riordan, you have quite tortured me with this book. First you steal away my first and an only true demigod love and put him in possible danger - again! And then you create a new demigod who comes to a close second and make me love him! Oh, it is just too much!
What drew me in from the first was that my dearest Percy Jackson was missing, and I must go on a quest to save him! But I learned - this book is more than that. Riordan has created a new series, yes, but it is a continuation of the story of the Olympians, and I believe big plans are in store. (If you haven't read Percy Jackson and the Olympians, you don't need to in order to read this book. But honestly, I'd start there. If I hadn't had the knowledge I did, or loved the characters I loved, it would have come across as less amazing, in my personal opinion.)
It was very interesting to read Riordan in third person, as well as from three new perspectives (Piper, Leo, and Jason). But he nailed it. Really nailed it. I'm incredibly impressed.
CHARACTER NOTES -Let's start with Jason. He was wonderful. Kind of hardened by a past he doesn't remember, by his frustration, but he still made an effort to be a friend and help the camp. And when I found out whose son he was, I about died of excitement. Over the course of the book, I found myself more and more drawn to him. By the end, I was hooked. I want more Jason! I also want romance between him and Piper. It's mandatory.
Speaking of Piper... Dang, I love that girl. She's a heroine who is drop-dead gorgeous and kicks butt. I don't want to compare or anything but I liked her better than Annabeth. Of course, Annabeth is the perfect other half for Percy (who is my one true love), so for that I love her, but I was able to relate to Piper more as far as personality and real-life-outside-of-camp go. (Definitely not the drop-dead gorgeous/kick-butt stuff...haha!) She made my laugh, she was strong, and she loves unconditionally, even when she has to make hard choices between friends.
Leo definitely amazed me. He possesses great skill, is sensitive to those around him, and has a past he wants to bury. He was a crack-up and had the funniest one-liners of the group. He made the team on the quest complete!
The other characters were all up to par, especially the hilarious Gleeson Hedge, wise Thalia, and adorable Mellie. I want more of all these fantastic characters!
STORY NOTES -This is a crazy story, in all the best ways. Nonstop action, intense physical and emotional struggles, and a lovely new budding romance. Then there's the mystery of the new villains, and how to defeat them. Who's behind it all?! I also really like how the POV changes added to the atmosphere, giving a different perspective to everything and everyone.
There are quite a bit more visions, dreams, and prophecies in this book, which I really enjoyed. new gods are introduced, some good, some funny, some evil. I loved the Roman aspect of the story (brings up a lot of questions); Roman/Gladiator training = definitely amazing. It's a great way to learn mythology, even the lesser known stories. Let's just say - I love Heroes. Wanna know who my favorite is? Duh! Percy! :D
SUMMING IT UP -Lightning. It's fast, bright, and awe-inspiring. (And let me give you a sneak peak at my review for #2, Son of Neptune: it was even better than this one!!) I'm already impatiently awaiting book three, The Mark of Athena, due out this fall. You really can't go wrong with Rick Riordan!!