Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3)
By Rick Riordan
Published: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Hardcover, 608 pages

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 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 need 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. . . . --
1.5 Stars

Let’s just get it out there: Rick Riordan cannot write. It’s true. I’m not denying that he can come up with a great, exciting and ridiculously addicting plot; he just is unable to turn this plot into a good piece of writing. His choppy, cheesy style worked when he wrote in the first person because the reader was able to attribute it to the main character’s personality. When converted into the third person, his novels begin to fall apart.

The book is told from the “perspectives” of all the Greek demigods, switching characters every chapter. However, there is just about no variation whatsoever in writing style or thoughts between characters. In fact, I went through half the book before realizing the point of view was changing.

While Mark of Athena does have a central plot, it gets sidetracked by a multitude of central characters, relationships, battles and adventures. The gist of the story is that seven demigods, Percy, Annabeth, Frank, Hazel, Leo, Jason and Piper, are trying to get to Rome to stop Gaia from awakening. If you’ve read the other two books, the general plot is basically the same here. Now for the problems. There are seven main characters and all of these characters have different relationships with the remaining six. Keeping track of who’s on good terms with whom and who hates whom is confusing and annoying. Also, there are three couples and then poor Leo is cast off to the side. Rick Riordan obviously feels sorry for him and therefore casts him in an annoying love triangle with Hazel and Frank. Another thing Riordan can’t write is romance, and I pray that he will stop trying to put mushy love scenes where they really don’t belong.

There are also way too many battles and adventures crammed into the book. Imagine Harry Potter, except this time Harry gets attacked by Death Eaters every time he exits the Gryffindor common room. The book would go pretty slowly, wouldn’t it? That is essentially Mark of Athena. Every time, and I mean every time, anyone leaves the ship, they are attacked by dead spirits or gods or Gaia or a zombie army. Rick Riordan manages to take a fun and interesting idea and turn it into the longest, worst written, most boring book anyone has ever written.

And then he gives it a horrible ending just to induce to buy the sequel. This time, I don’t think I will.

Purchase this book: Amazon/ Barnes&Nobles/ The Book Depository


  1. I loved PJ and the Olympians series, but I have to admit this Heroes of Olympus series is boring! I can't say whether I agree with your review or not because I stopped reading "The Lost Hero" halfway through about a year or so ago and haven't picked it back up. Doubt I ever will.

    1. Don't. Just don't. You do not want to have to go through the dramatic cliffhangers that Rick Riordan puts to use to lure his unsuspecting readers to need his book ASAP. It's totally not worth it and it's like drugs for one's reading soul.

  2. NOOOOOO!!!!! Don't do this to me *sobs*
    I love his books though so I think I might have a very different opinion than you. The last book wasn't his greatest. The new characters were very passive but I did like The Lost Hero. I loved THOSE new characters.
    I just got the book and I have to read it soon. The reunion though. THE REUNION! It has to be good. Even if the book is like the last book I have to continue on. It's Percy after all.
    She’s Got Books on Her Mind

    1. Definitely the same boat as you. Even though I thought the book was pure blah... I cannot give up on this series! Stupid Rick Riordan is a genius at hooking us to the characters.

      But I just didn't like this series overall. I found the Lost Hero stupid, and only redeemable by Leo. The Son of Neptune was just a complete mess, but Percy did make it better. Then we get to the Mark of Athena, which combines the all of the characters of these two books, which just screws everything up because it's too difficult to give every character enough screen time.

  3. This is a very honest review. I've never read any of Riordan's books, so I don't have an opinion on it, but all I've ever heard was how great this series was. But I did read a sample of the first book in the PJ series a few years ago and wasn't very impressed. I can see how people would want to continue reading just to find out what happens to the charcaters they love, though :)

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

    1. The dude, Rick Riordan, is a genius in plot, but is just mediocre in writing. I just hope that he can improve his writing, however, after more than 10 children's books, I can't really see it happening.

      Still, there's always something out there to look forward to! ;)

      Angie @YA Novelties

  4. Please remember that this is a children's series. If you are an adult and don't enjoy remember you are not the target audience!

    1. We are all teenagers who have read all of Rick Riordan's books, so we have pretty good sense of which his books were the better ones. Part of the problem that we might have been facing is that The Son of Neptune was a return to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, while The Mark of Athena was deviating away from that series. Unfortunately, everything that we were willing to overlook with this series has now become to prominent for us to ignore.

  5. I love this book!! It was brilliant and Rick Riordan has struck gold once again. Book like this is the reason why I love reading.

    Zaira Lynn (Seattle IT Consulting)

  6. This wasn't my favorite book of the series, but it's still a fun read. It's always fun to see how Riordan recasts the classic myths with a modern twist. Be warned--the book ends on one crazy big cliffhanger. I can't wait to see what happens next.

    Marlene Detierro (H1 Accessories)


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