Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

I love retellings of classic stories. The ways fairy tales, myths and historical events are crafted into new stories with fresh perspectives are unique and super interesting to read. One of the most popular retellings are of Greek myths. My all-time favourite heroic fantasy are David Gemmell's "Troy" series, and it actually amazes me how such a classic tale could be woven into something totally new. Rick Riordan's famous "Percy Jackson & the Olympians" series is another retelling of the Greek myths, and luckily it led to a sequel series called "The Heroes of Olympus"! "The Mark of Athena" is its third installment, and was released last week. Don't read the synopsis in the next paragraph if you're new to the series! I don't want to spoil anything for you.

The war against Gaea and her minions is drawing closer. Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Leo, Hazel and Frank are the chosen seven demigods, both Greek and Roman, to embark on a quest to defeat Gaea. No biggie, right? Things get a little more complicated when Annabeth has her own quest to fulfill, on her own: to follow the Mark of Athena and avenge her mother. Both quests ultimately lead to the Doors of Death, but the real question is: will the seven demigods reach the Doors alive, or as the next spirits of the Underworld?

As always, Mr. Riordan's masterful storytelling sucks you in and spits you out smack-dab in the middle of a crazy whirlwind of a quest. I love how each and every book, even though they're part of the series, has its own set of quests and trials, and they never bore you. The plot never dropped enough to make the reader lose interest, and there was always so many 'somethings' happening at the same time even though the present narrator was someone who wasn't there. I know that sounds really complicated, but it's not! And that's the magic of it. Everything is presented simply, so that readers don't get confused with what's going on and who's where and what's happening.

Another vital element that makes the books engaging is the characters. Every one of the demigods has their own quirk and distinct personality. For example, you have the laidback yet strong-willed Percy; the serious and thoughtful Annabeth; the stoic yet gentle Jason... and so on. The ways each demigod, as well as the gods and goddesses themselves, embody marked traits are extremely well thought-out and enhance each character. What I particularly love about Mr. Riordan's wit that's present in his characters--I've snorted and giggled at some of the immature humour. And hey, who doesn't need a good dose of childish laughter once in a while?

Overall, "The Mark of Athena" is not to be missed. It's full of crazy, dangerous quests, funny and wonderful characters--and not to mention a cliffhanger that drops your jaw! If you haven't read any of Mr. Riordan's books, definitely check out "Percy Jackson & the Olympians" so you'll be on board with what's happened so far. A must for adventure-lovers and myth-devourers.

Rating: 5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment