The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle School fantasy / adventure

Reason for Reading: This is the third book in a series that I’ve already started. 

Synopsis: In this third book of the Heroes of Olympus series, 7 heroes – Percy, Hazel, Frank, Jason, Piper, Leo, and Annabeth – set out on a dangerous quest to Rome. The Romans and the Greeks must cooperate if they are to quell the rise of Gaia, but war is brewing between the two camps. Our heroes must try to postpone war while saving Rome from apocalypse-hungry giants and following the Mark of Athena – an ancient clue that only Annabeth can decipher. 



My Thoughts: I’m not a huge fan of Riordan’s writing, though I think this series is a heck of a lot better than the Percy Jackson series. While reading this book, I finally figured out what it is about Riordan’s writing that bothers me – the audience is too childish. All the adults in these books talk as if they were kids. That grates on me. I guess I prefer kids books where adults sound like adults – even if they sound like silly or disinterested adults (which is often the case in middle school books). Despite my dislike of the style, though, I found this book well-researched and interesting. The plot isn’t very complex, but there’s a lot of action and some good humor. I’m not rushing to Barnes and Noble to buy a copy of the next book, but I’m planning on reading it “some day.” (Which probably means I’ll wait until the NEXT book comes out and reminds me that I still haven’t read House of Hades…which is what happened with Mark of Athena.) One thoughtful question about this book – and maybe this will be answered in House of Hades – is why did Riordan only write first person narrative from the Greek heroes’ points of view? Is he hiding something about the Romans?