by Rick Riordan
Published: October 2, 2012
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.
And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?
Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare....
Just imagine, after eight books of demigod prophecies, quests, and battles, I never quite got the nerves to say that they made me bored or disappointed. He really knows how to catch attention and hold it in place. And I can say The Mark of Athena especially got me. There was never. a single. dull. moment. for 586 pages. That’s including the glossary! And just when you thought you were closely following the story and had gotten ahold in your head of what might come next—bam! Unexpected twists surprise you in the most shocked-and-confused, check-if-you-skipped-a-page way possible. What’s even better? It may not go the way you expect to, but the proceeding turn of events gets even more interesting, and you just catch yourself in a complicated salad mix of thoughts where you manage to stay afloat and say: I wouldn’t have this any other way.
I also liked the varying perspectives of the different demigods—each of them really stood out as a character and they truly lived each chapter. Leo Valdez especially made me literally laugh out loud from several pages in his chapter. Not only him, but also because of many other funny passages and freakingly hilarious metaphors and descriptions. A word of warning, for you may encounter about several ridiculous plots and characters, especially the villains, who are courageously fought and outwitted by our smart, brave, ADHD heroes and heroines with their equally ridiculous plots and ideas.
Well, I guess this excludes Annabeth, who totally rocked in her quest of finding the Mark of Athena with her amazing (as always) plans and strategies. Also watch out for the typical teenage conflicts, which still managed to exist between these seven demigods—who are supposedly destined to save the world from evil forces—in the midst of their quest to find the Doors of Death!
And about the cover—ah, the cover! Holy Hephaestus’ Hammer! As stunning as Arachne’s weaved tapestries! It’s just so beautiful I can’t possibly put it into words. Well, I can, but we wouldn’t want this to continue into eternity, would we? It’d be like describing Aphrodite in detail. (Now you get the idea). Meanwhile, my Roman side wants to express her own views of the book: “It’s too exciting I can’t put it down to study for my calculus quiz!!!” And no, these are not a bunch of comments and adjectives put together in a page (or a site) to make up for a review. These are a legit part of my brain saying they needed to be voiced out (or typed out).
So there, these are all I can manage to fit in here, much more than Argo II can fit ¾ of Athena’s statue in. I would write this in parchment and ink or a scroll, as Achelous would prefer and send it to the author with thanks, but I’m afraid Hermes (or Mercury) is hard to come by these days. Anyways, you wouldn’t understand this blabber lest you read the book, so I suggest you better go forth and read now! Happy reading! And please send me an Irish-message of your opinion about this review. Thanks!
"The fort is crawling with Romans," Percy warned. "You'll have to fight your way through, find our friends - assuming they're okay - find this map, and get everybody back alive. All on your own?"
Annabeth: "Just an average day."
"Don't underestimate Camp Half-blood."
*video by DisneyHyperion