Archive for book review

Book Review: The House of Hades

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , on November 18, 2013 by otakujade

house-of-hades-us-cover

This book started exactly where the last one (The Mark of Athena) left off – with Percabeth (that’s Percy and Annabeth) falling together down to Tartarus and Percy giving last minute instructions for the others to find the Doors of Death from above ground while he and Anabeth will search for it from within Tartarus and seal them from both sides to prevent the vanquished monsters from returning.  Important Note: If you haven’t read the previous book, you’re not supposed to be here otherwise this might ruin the experience for you.

The mission was simple enough – Find the Doors of Death. However, it’s not that easy to accomplish.

On board the Argo II the others, meaning Jason, Leo, Hazel, Frank, Piper, and Coach Hedge set out on the quest – well several quests really. Aside from searching for the Doors of Death those on the Argo II also had to return the Athena Parthenon to its rightful place in the ancient lands, something the Roman contingents aboard have a lot of misgiving considering that the ancient lands are forbidden to them. Add to the difficulty the impending war between the Romans and the Greeks, with the Roman demigods led by Octavian closing in on Camp half-Blood and as if that wasn’t enough they also have to fight all the monsters Gaea sent out to kill them.

Meanwhile, Percy and Anabeth fell for what seemed like an eternity down to Tartarus, as the reached the end of the tunnel. Upon seeing the ground with a river running through it, Anabeth told Percy to try to control the water to cushion their fall. Percy managed that but was surprised at the amount of effort he had to exert to do it. The river did cushion their fall but it was the river Cocytus, the River of Lamentation, and as soon as they plunged into to it they were over come with sorrow and hopelessness. It was again Anabeth who realized what the river was and urged Percy to fight back. They fought their way towards the shore and collapsed. They were both injured from the fall and from the shards of glass which made up the shore of the River Cocytus. Anabeth remembered that the River of Fire had healing properties and so they set out to find it and drank the scalding water from the river to heal themselves.

There in Tartarus the couple was forced to face off once again many of the monsters and Giants they have previously defeated. They were weakened and near the end of their wits when Bob/Iapetus came to their aid. Having lost his memory when Percy pushed him on the River Lethe, he was still convinced that his name is Bob and Percy is a friend. Honestly, Percy and Anabeth wouldn’t have survived the journey without him, and so he is one of my favorite characters in this book.

There were also plenty of character developments that took place in this new installment of the series. Hazel discovered that she has the power to control the mist and we were also given additional information about her lineage. I’m not exactly a huge fan of Hazel but I am very much interested in her background and I’m looking forward to finding out more about her past and her family line. The book also gave us a premier seat on Frank Zhang’s transition from the clumsy, kind-hearted hero into a powerful warrior. He’s still in with Hazel though 🙂

However, to me the biggest revelation was Nico’s secret, it was completely unexpected but it was also a welcome development. Here we see Rick Riordan’s sensitivity and his effort to make his stories more applicable to the times. I won’t tell you what Nico’s secret is though – you will have to read that for yourself. ;-D

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Heroes of Olympus (Book 2): The Son of Neptune

Posted in Books, People, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 9, 2011 by otakujade

The Son of Neptune is the second in the series of the Heroes of Olympus in which Rick Riordan has graciously given us back the characters we have come to love and feared we will miss after the end of the final book of the Camp Half Blood series – the Last Olympian.

If there was one thing I realized after reading Son of Neptune – its the fact that I am a bonafide Percy Jackson fan! *blush* I have read the five books of the first series and then moved on to read the first book of the Kane Chronicles – the Red Pyramid. Sadly, I found out that I actually refer Greek myths to Egyptian myths, it’s probably because I like the free-spirit and independent Greeks to the stoic and comformist Romans, I’m not sure; and that I like Percy Jackson over and above all the characters Rick Riordan created.  I guess it must be because of all his characters Percy was the one with the most developed personality. He did have 5 books behind him, more than enough time for Rick Riordan to fully develop him into a believable character. Add to that the fact that among all his characters Percy seemed have that solid combination of smarts, a bit of teenage angst and humor.

I read book one of the series, The Lost Hero, but even though I am, as a reader, is reunited with Grover and Annabeth and the book was exciting in its own way but even then you always feel like you want to know where Percy. I mean, I personally, kept expecting a clue to appear as to Percy’s whereabouts. I mean, even if he was not in the book the title still feels like it was referring to him, right? Although, now I realized it might also refer to Jason Grace as he was lost too, but whatever to me it means Percy being lost.

So needless to say that I thoroughly enjoyed book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus series..and I can’t wait for the next installment which unfortunately won’t be coming out until next year. Hmp! It’s like I’m back to waiting for Harry Potter again.  I must admit that as a character Harry Potter was better developed and a lot darker than Percy Jackson but somehow..Percy is filling the void that Harry left behind. I still miss Harry and I really wish there would be more books written about him or relative to the Potter series…BUT that’s a completely different story and blog all together. For now allow me to stick to Percy Jackson.

Book 2 (Son of Neptune) began almost exactly where book 1 left off. Almost because, in the first chapter of the book we were informed of what had happened to Percy in the last 8 months. While Jason Grace was running around with Grover and Annabeth trying to stay alive while the forces of Gaea came after them; Percy was asleep. Yes, he was put to sleep by Hera in her personality as Juno in order to keep him alive and when he woke up he had lost some of his memories (again a work of Juno) in order for him be open enough to the training by Lupa. After training for some time with Lupa, Percy was allowed to leave the wolf’s haven and go out in search of himself. Apparently, the lost of his memory was actually to keep him safe, and the same thing was done to Jason Grace however Jason was not put to sleep. I do not understand yet the reason for the difference in their treatment but what was clear what that it had to be done so that they would be safe from the other camp.

It was all Hera/Juno’s master plan. The exchange of heroes was need to unite the two forces and in turn have them help to save Olympus. Apparently, the Greek camp and the Roman camp hate each other with a vengence and that a member of the opposing camp would most probably be harmed if they happen to come across members of the other camp which was sure to happen considering that Percy was taken to the San Francisco where Camp Jupiter is and Jason Grace was taken to New York where Camp Half Blood is.  It is important to note here that the gods and goddesses seemed to be a lot more mellow and rational and less whimsical in their Roman state than in their Greek persona. Ares actually made a point of talking to Percy and he actually cared about his children as Mars; and  Hera was able to set her hatred aside and determined to help Percy in any way she can in her persona as Juno.  Percy naturally was apprehensive of the changes and continued to be so until the end of the book.

Now as we saw Jason team up with Anabeth and Grover, Percy the amiable guy as ever was able to team up with two exciting (or were they exciting because they were with Percy?) in any case he teamed up with Hazel (daughter of Hades) and Frank Zhang (the son of Mars). Both characters have very interesting and dark backgrounds which only add to the allure of the book. I am be getting ahead of myself here but it just seemed like Riordan seemed to write more exciting scenes when he write with Percy than with his other characters. Honestly, Red Pyramid nearly put me to sleep.

I will go into details of what happened in the book as I would really like whoever is reading this review to go out and read the books for themselves. However, I will say that it was an exciting and beautiful ride. The ending was satisfying enough as all the major issues in the book was resolved but it left some one bigger issues that needed to be resolve in another book. I mean, you feel contented and yet you can’t wait for the next installment. At least that’s how I feel.