Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Heroes of Olympus #2
Publication: October 4th 2011 by Disney-Hyperion Book
Genre: Fantasy (Mythology), Romance
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for and evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.
Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
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This sequel to The Lost Hero has the same concept only this time, it was Percy, Hazel and Frank battling several giants and gods to free the god of Death Thanatos who has been chained by giant Alcyoneus in Alaska. He has to be freed in order to close the Door of Death so monsters and others who went back from the dead would not regenerate and die permanently. Percy's so as Jason's memories were wiped clean and they were switched from their respective camps to unite Roman and Greek demi/gods to stop Gaea from awaking and destroying the world.
I liked how strong the flow of consistency of this book from its previous book. I really think this could stand on its own. Though the story focused on Roman (book one Greek), I have never felt lost along the pages because the author made sure that every little detail is well explained. There has been an additional lift from some of the character's sense of humor that prevented me from getting bored plus how the characters managed to find their own strength with just a little help from their parents which are gods. Percy as we all know has always been strategic with battles, his memory loss didn't stop him from being loyal to his new found friends and his longings made him stronger everyday. The way Hazel accepted her fate after several years of being trapped with guilt made her character emotionally tough and mature. But my favorite character was Frank. Seeing him grow one chapter at a time made the whole story packed with excitement and awe. He's shown pessimism though inside he has low self-esteem. At first I thought he was another whiny character but when he allowed himself to grasp the prophecy, him being centurion and the fact that his life lies on a piece of firewood made me look at him as one of the best characters ever made. His love for his family, respect and trust for his friends and his humility made him stronger. He took his time to learn his family's power and was even willing to sacrifice his life to free Thanatos.
I also appreciated that there's a map in this book. It made me visualize Camp Jupiter easily and I wish there would be one for Rome/Greece added in the upcoming books. There's just one single flaw I noticed during the trio's travel to Alcyoneus's lair in the mountains. Despite the time pressure they're under, the trio still had the luxury to sit, dine and take a bath which I think could've have been improved. But the rest was phenomenal.
This October, Mark of Athena will be released and I am honestly happy that this series would be around five books. I badly want to see how Hazel, Leo and Frank would turn out!
"Life is only precious because it ends, kid."