Publication Date: October 2, 2012Review: Holy snap. This book was just one huge, exciting ride. Rick Riordan has outdone himself. Thankfully, Annabeth and Percy are finally reunited, letting the fangirl in me finally have peace. However, their adventure is anything but peaceful. Oh, no--this book brims with excitement and trouble. And I loved every minute of it.
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Page Count: 574
Synopsis: 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....
Thank the gods--Percy and Annabeth meet again. Their relationship is much more intense after such a long separation, and seeing the broken cracks in both characters after such a difficult time was surprisingly touching. The other heroes featured in this book are just as fierce as they were when they were introduced in the previous books. Out of Jason, Piper, Frank, Hazel, and Leo--the other protagonists besides Annabeth and Percy--I think Piper and Leo are my favorites. I connect with them better than I do the other three. Percy and Jason are practically equals in their own camps, so naturally, there's a bit of a feud between them at times. They both feel the need to be leader and to be the head of things, so there's some tension between the two boys. However, Annabeth usually eases this tension. Hopefully, Percy and Jason's rockiness won't deter them from their bigger goal in the next books.
But although there are seven heroes, one particularly shines in this novel: Annabeth Chase. Annabeth is the daughter of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, craft, and warfare. This immediately tells the reader that Annabeth is an intelligent girl, but never before have we been exposed to exactly how amazing Annabeth really is. She stands out with her wit and wisdom, and her special attributes are on full display in this installment. Annabeth has always been one of my favorite characters in the original Percy Jackson series, but this book completely blows her previous achievements out of the water.
Oh, the twists and turns in the plot left me breathless! It was impossible to put this book down, because there was always something big going on. The way each hero pulls together their own unique powers to fight for a larger goal is wonderful, and the way they have their own personal dilemmas creates an intricate plot that Riordan does a noteworthy job of crafting.
The ending made me want to cry and pull my hair out, especially because the next book doesn't come out until this fall. The cliffhanger left me hanging on with slippery fingers, and left me in such unrest! The Mark of Athena is probably the best Heroes of Olympus novel so far, reaching a new height of intensity and peril. It's going to be nearly impossible to wait for the release of The House of Hades.