Heroes of Olympus: Mark of Athena (Book 3) by Rick Riordan

mark of athena
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mythology
Rating: 4/5
Protagonist(s): Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez
Other Characters: Jason Grace, Hazel Lavesque, Frank Zhang, Coach Hedge
Gods/Goddess Mentioned (Roman/Greek): Bacchus/Dionysus, Heracles/Hercules, Minerva/Athena, Nemesis, Venus/Aphrodite

Synopsis: The third installment of Heroes of Olympus takes us right after the end of Son of Neptune. Here we witness the anxiousness of Annabeth towards her reconciliation with her boyfriend, Percy Jackson, and meeting finally meeting the Roman camp. As unfortunate events occur with canons, eidolons and Leo, the seven demigods, consisting of Romans and Greeks, must now embark on a journey to the ancient lands to unify the two camp and try to save the world from the wrath of Gaea. Unknown to the other six demigods, the daughter of Athena, must travel her own path to avenge her mother, a trial that most Athenean kids have tried to accomplish but failed. If Annabeth is successful, she will not only make her godly mother proud, but also restore peace between the two camps, in hope of defeating Gaea.

Review: As much as I enjoy reading Percy and his adventures, its always been Annabeth that I favored between the two. She’s such a great female character that exudes confidence, intelligence, bravery and wit. Its been such an amazing two-part series watching her grow up from a young uncertain girl, to this confident person. I especially enjoyed this book because we get to see more of her. The first two doesn’t really talk much about her so this book is a great balance. I also didsn’t realize that I missed Piper and Leo’s POV until I started reading it again. I admit, Piper is not exactly my favorite character, but she did start to grow on me and her importance to the groups became clearer. I’m glad Riordan went more in depth with Leo, Hazel and Sammy’s connection, which is a pretty fascinating and interesting back story. I didn’t really mind that Percy Jackson’s POV was only a few chapters since the a bulk of the story had to do with the Mark of Athena.

As much as I loved the character development in this book, the story line is just as amazing. We are taken to two different quests that needs the co-operation of each demigod. Throughout there journey the group also needed to fulfill smaller tasks and I think this is were most of them shined. Since the two major prophecies seems to fall in the hands of Percy Jackson, Jason Grace and Annabeth Chase, including these other obstacles allowed the others to showcase their individual strength and weaknesses, which I feel will be vital during their final battle with Gaea. Although we don’t really get a POV from Jason, Hazel and Frank it doesn’t mean they were altogether eliminated from the story. As Always, Riordan cleverly included the three in the others’ POV and evident enough that all seven have their own parts to play in the prophecy.

Even though I’m really glad to see Annabeth in her role as ‘leader’, I feel that her journey for the Mark of Athena was uneventful. I’m not saying it wasn’t action-filled, I just thought it would be a longer journey, but for three obstacles and for many before her to have failed, it was unbelievable. Riordan claims that the Athenean children are smarter and quick-thinkers, then to have generations of them to fail in the second trial seems unlikely. Now the actual battle, that was intense. It was creepy, it was action packed, and at the same time it shows Annabeth’s strength and smarts. Even if the journey was a let-down, I’m glad that Annabeth was successful.

I’ve been so hesitant to read this series because I enjoyed Percy Jackson and the Olympians a lot. Now that I’m done with the third book, I’m glad that I started this series. No, it didn’t replace the previous series, but I think it’s just as equally good. I can’t wait to see what happens to our heroes in House of Hades.

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

If you do not want the ending to be revealed, please do not read any further.

Ending: Now I’m really not sure how to go about spoiling the book for people since there are so many things that happened in it. So I think a point form version of the important details will be sufficient.

* Leo is actually the great grandson of Sammy. Hazel allowed Leo to view a part of her past about her and Sammy, then by accident they were also able to see a past of Leo’s. They saw Sammy as an old man talking to his new born great-grandson, Leo, regarding Hazel. Tia Callida, who really is Hera, informed Sammy that he will not be able to see Hazel in his lifetime, but Leo will. He then tells baby Leo to take care of Hazel since he won’t be alive to do so. (tear worthy scene, especially when Sammy says “I guess we ran out of time” – MOA Pg. 273 [Hardcover ed.])

* The vision of Percy Jackson drowning with Piper and Jason came true when they were trapped in an underground grotto dedicated to the long forgotten nymphs. Since there has not been any water to cleanse the nymphs they became bitter and evil. Promising a future surrounded by nature and clean water, they were willing to follow Gaea’s instructions to kill Percy Jackson and his friends. Filling up the grotto with dirty, oily water, Percy was unable to control the water or even breath underneath it. With the help of Piper’s cornucopia, and the positive thoughts of the demigods, they were able to release fresh water from the hollowed out horn. The purity of their thoughts and of the water cleansed the nymphs, which allowed them to be free of their prison. Piper’s loving nature saved them from the curse.

* The Mark of Athena has been a journey handed down by Athena herself to avenge her for what the Romans did to her. Athena, a powerful Greek goddess was reduced to a minor goddess in her Roman form. She also believes that the Romans took an important part of her when the Roman Empire was established. Annabeth’s task is to avenge her and find the relic that symbolizes her strength and wisdom. She also believed that in finding this source of power, it will help in defeating Gaea. The actual statue in question is the mysterious Athena Parthenos, that was believed to have been destroyed and its gold re-used to make weapons for the Roman army. In all actuality it was stolen by Arachne, the woman that Athena turned into the first spider, to seek revenge to the woman who turned her into a monster. Annabeth conned Arachne to weave a larger version of a Chinese finger trap, and out-witted her in trapping herself in it.

* The other demigods were left to defeat the twin giants, Otis and Ephialtes, the anti-Dionysus. This was an epic battle between the six demigods and the two giants. In order to defeat them, they needed the help of a god. Previously, Percy sent out an offering to Bacchus in hope that the god will help them in their battle. This did the trick, since Bacchus appeared and helped them defeat the giants, with dramatic effects that included the coliseum. I think most people would agree that Bacchus is a great big A**, but a powerful version of the Greek counterpart.

* If you didn’t realize it, since I didn’t at first. The book cover is actually Jason, on the left and Percy, on the right. Fighting each other. I’ll let you guys read that one on your own.

One thought on “Heroes of Olympus: Mark of Athena (Book 3) by Rick Riordan

  1. Pingback: August Wrap-up and September TBR | Book Sophisticate

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