Friday, 30 November 2012

Mark of Athena

Book Review by Elvenarya abd Obsidian Fury
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....
Epicness unleashed... not without its share of awesomeness courtesy of my favourite characters in the world Rick Riordan has crafted.

Percy - just as cool as a son of Poseidon could get.
Nico - stays for a far lesser time than I would've liked, but I'm not complaining.
A new surprise entry into my Favourite list - Leo Valdez... I'll just say he's some hot stuff, not a bad boy yet but too good for himself. ;)

The rest... 

Hazel and Frank tie up somewhere in the middle tier of the Seven Demigod List...
Someone, unsurprisingly, has taken the official bottom list.

So Mark of Athena: full of expected and yet unexpected surprises, new gods... new maniacal, obsessive gods... or not. 

Overall, though I was really tempted to give it FIVE stars, I had to remind myself the reason as to why I can't, and it did the trick. Some fans are in for a boring surprise.
 This time, the Percy 1st-person POV, I sorely missed. 

I guess pretty much large part of this amazing book is quotable - more or less revolving around Leo Valdez - Hot stuff...
Oh, and these demigods have added, yet again, a ship/tank/Argo II/'colossal-worth of adventures and run-ins with enemies... and some friends. And where there aren't much enemies... they make 'em. =D

It's action-packed. 
It's thrilling.
It's a tornado-whirling, sea-crashing, fire-breathing, transforming ride.
With a crazy goat bent on singing Old Mc Donald 
(with weapons in place of animals. Naturally!)  things will never be the same after this trip's over.

The infectious humour and the sweet, sweet absurdity, a much-loved of this awesome teen writer's writes, left me rolling my eyes and grinning like Coach Hedge when he's allowed to fire 'em ballistae. 

And the narrations... Oh WOW! Of course, the narrations belonging to two of my Favourite characters only of course. Read to find out.
 The mini plots were amazing as always with the encounter with Echo and Narcissus and the fight in the hypogeum leaving me laughing and fearing for the heroes’ life simultaneously (the later not so much in the former's case).
Brilliant setting, snappy dialogues and the depth of emotion in the characters won my heart enough to make me ignore the few dragging flat parts in the book(something I never came across in the Percy Jackson Series). This series is definitely darker than its predecessor, the threat more real and the team's fears and challenges dogging their footsteps all the way. Its hard to see all have them making their way through unscathed. That, coupled 
with the cliff-hanger ending- makes me await The House of Hades with great anticipation.

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