Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Mark of Athena review

The Mark of Athena is the 3rd book in the 'Heroes of Olympus' series and is Rick Riordan's 8th book that chronicles the adventures of demigod teens descended from either Greek or Roman gods. Riordan's projection of mythology into his quirky, amiable characters have been a major characteristic in all his novels.

Like the previous two books in the Heroes of Olympus, the Mark of Athena is written in alternating 3rd person narrative, giving the reader a view of each character's thoughts on different situations.
US cover

Summary: (don't worry, hardly any spoilers)
The prophecy:

Wisdom's daughter walks alone,
The Mark of Athena burns through Rome.
Twins snuff out the angels breath,
Who holds the key to endless death.
Giants bane stands gold and pale,
Won through pain from a woven jail.

Like all Riordan's books, the central plot focuses on the character's trying to fulfill a prophecy to save the world. In this book, seven powerful demigods team up to stop the resurrection of the evil titan, Gaia.

Perhaps for many, Percy and Annabeth's reunion is a major event and subsequently their relationship and feelings towards each other is shown continuously by both characters. When the two camps, the Greek Camp Half-Blood and the Roman Camp Jupiter meet, things don't go according to plan. As was foreshadowed extensively by Riordan's constant reminder that Greeks and Romans do not get along.

Subsequently, the greek-demigods Annabeth, Percy, Leo and Piper team up with the roman demigods, Jason, Frank and Hazel. Percy and Jason have knowledge of both camps as was detailed in the previous two books.

Annabeth is perhaps the most centralised character in this book as it is her path alone to fulfill the task given to her by her mother, Athena, to follow the Mark of Athena and restore Athena's pride.

My Rating: 6.5/10
UK cover
Since I have read all Riordan's previous books and have grown up with his writing, I can notice the apparent similarities present in all his work. It is indeed getting a tad repetitive and I would enjoy a change up in basic plot structure. Riordan should remember that the children that read his first few books have grown up over the years and he should perhaps in turn, write in a more developed manner.

Personally, I got the feeling while reading this books that it has become very commercialised and that publisher might be trying to milk an extremely profitable series. The character's dialogue felt very forced and grossly cliched. Considering how many pages are in the book, I was disappointed that the plot only progressed as far as Rome.

Overall, Riordan's writing is above average, easy to read and enjoyable. This books saving grace is its amiable characters and Riordan's fantastic ability to introduce ancient mythology to a young generation. A definite must read if you've read the Percy Jackson series or you are looking for a light holiday read.

No comments:

Post a Comment