After almost a year of whining and staring longingly at The Lost Hero, the fall of 2011 [writing as if there is actually a fall season in my part of the world] finally came and along with it is the second installment of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of the Olympus series, The Son of Neptune.
The cover looks amazing, as a friend commented. *blush blush, Hi Percy!*
Our favorite hot-headed, impulsive, and loyal demigod was back, albeit with no memories of the past except for the name Annabeth [Really, Riordan, could you get any more cheesier? If yes, with all due respect, Sir, go ahead.] and in a camp that was a tiny bit scared and suspicious toward him. He reeks of Greek and why is it that all I could think of is lamb chops, which I have not tried…yet.
Let’s not talk about food, shall we? Let’s talk about something as appetizing, hurr. DID I JUST SAY THAT.
I was excited in seeing Percy Jackson back in action. His name was all over the first book, The Lost Hero, and I missed reading from his perspective. I got used to seeing things from his point of view, and his rather short sentences. I bet it was a rather brilliant move by Riordan to introduce Jason in the first book in the series, judging that avid readers, ehem, were looking for Percy that moment the book was release. The anticipation to see Percy and hear his thoughts again was cruel, but bearable. The Lost Hero was fun, yes, and I did enjoy Jason’s perspective and least liked Leo’s, but I was rooting for Percy, okay?
And of course, we finally met the two new addition to the series. Hello, Hazel and Frank. The prophecy tells us that there seven demigods who will, yet again, save the world from the impending doom by Gaea. I was happy to meet another child by Hades. You see, he’s one of my favorite gods, and Nico de Angelo was my The Demigod. Percy was fine, but someone who can summon dead people? You’d be crazy to turn than one down.
I find it pretty amusing that Riordan played on the other mystic power of Hades/Pluto in his other kid. While Nico’s abilities was mentioned already, this girl can summon wealth from the pits of the earth, only, with a curse that is not so much of a curse if you’re evil, but you know, Hades is not evil, only terrible. Thus, the sad life Hazel lived, and after being resurrected, continued living. I would have wanted to pat Hazel and tell her, “Suck it up, kiddo. Tough times.”
If I were to divulge on this particular theme in Riordan’s novel for children, it is pretty timely. More than the Disney telling that, hells yeah, everything comes with a price–that with every piece of gold you dig, there is the price that you pay. Maybe a life or the cascading of another’s good fortune. Equality, eh? Kind of creepy, but you know, I maybe overreading. After all, this is a novel for kids, but I guess, it is never too early to tell kids, “No hoarding.” [I could have picked up a thing or two from here. Look at my books and shoes and make-up and clothes. Gah.]
Also, it seems fun to dig around my backyard to see if I have more than earthworms and dirt hidden there. My lost boots, perhaps?
As I went on in The Heroes of the Olympus Series I am leaning toward the popular opinion that this is better than the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series. Riordan has not lost his touch with the proper pacing of events. No matter how many monsters our demigods have to face, they always come in good, evenly distributed events during the course of the story.
I remember doing a readathon on this book, ranting to my usual reading date [Yihee, I called you a date, Shushurr.] that I was too tired of chasing these demigods all the way to Alaska, but I could just not put the book down and have them freezed in my mind with a monster with them. I had to see them safely back to their camp!
Also, I was rather amazed at how Mars was played here. Since I am a self-proclaimed fan of Percy, it was expected that I was with him on hating Mars, but then, we met his other persona with, huh, more emotions that I initially thought do not befit a War God. We know Ares is all tough outside, but who would have thought that there is actually a gooey part in him, which actually turns sad with every battle lost? Like a marshmallow, hihi.
The old woman only stuck around this long out of a sense of duty, Your mom was the same way. That’s why I loved her. She always put her duty first, ahead of everything. Even her life.
The God of War is capable of emotions, and contrary to the angst-ridden, I-hate-everyone Ares, Mars actually has a thing or two to say about life and war. No wonder Frank is temperamental compared to Charisse.
Life is only precious because it ends, kid, Take it from a god. The mortals don’t know how lucky you are.
You do the easy thing, the appealing thing, the peaceful thing, mostly it turns out sour in the end. But if you take the hard path–ah, that’s how you reap the sweet rewards. Duty. Sacrifice. They mean something.
And then, good gods, there was Thanatos, the God of Death. It’s a rather creepy thing that he actually looks “beautiful–timeless, perfect, remote,” as Hazel described it. It made me want to embrace Death. And the fun part of it was Riordan romanticizing death.
I am frequently mistaken for the god of love. Death has more in common with Love than you might imagine. But I am Death. I assure you.
–which is a pretty profound thing to say and had me in a fit of giggles especially that I have friends who have a hobby of philosophizing death and its friends, of which Love is of the upper percentile of important buddies. But the similarities of Love and Death is another story.
As I wait another year for the full coming of the seven demigods, I think I shall have to live by the Amazons’ way of living. And maybe, you should, too. Just don’t take the last two words too seriously.
We Amazons, we would prefer to live life to the fullest. We live, we fight, we die.