The Son of Neptune is written by Rick Riordan and is the sequel to The Lost Hero, in the Heroes of Olympus Series. I am once again binge reading series, which from my point of view is lovely, I am sure it gets a little bit ‘samey’ for you. I will try and mix up my reading a bit more in September to try and have a little more variety in my reviews!
This book follows Percy Jackson who has been sent to a Roman camp missing his memory much like Jason in the first book. The book follows a quest to find and release Thantos, the god of death. As we follow the characters through their quest we gradually learn more about Percy’s companions and the challenges they face or have faced in the past.
In a way this book mirrors the first of the series, showing Percy as he slowly regains his memory much like Jason did in the first book of the series. One of the differences between the two camps is the way that either Percy or Jason are embraced as one of their own. Percy is clearly less comfortable in the Roman environment that Jason was in the greke environment, but this maybe to do with the regimented way that Romans are organized in comparison to the greeks more relaxed outlook.
The relationship between the three main characters of Frank, Hazel and Percy is an interesting dynamic and while it is clear that they all respect each other at the beginning of the quest, it is clear that as the quest progresses they come to respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
I like that these books are showing the readers the difference between the Romans and the Greeks, of which there are many, from the way that the prophecies are delivered to the reverence certain gods are held in. However despite this the way that the demi-gods gain the respect of those around them doesn’t change. The main way to gain prestige as a demi-god seems to be through battle and valour.
One of the other things that I like about this book is that there are a number of strong female characters in leadership roles. It is something that is lovely to see as in a lot books, the female characters can be thrust into a leadership position that they do not necessarily want but in this book it is clear that both Reyna and her sister earnt their leadership positions, and are willing to take advice to improve their leadership skills which in other characters couple have been seen as a weakness but in these characters it is a sign of additional strength.
One of the themes of this book is family and the ability to rely on them despite any differences that you may have. Reyna and her sister, Hylla demonstrate this, they both chose very different routes for their lives but when Reyna really needed her sister, she showed up, even if she didn’t like the decision that her sister had made for her life. Another way the importance of family is shown is with Tyson’s dogged determination to find his brother Percy, running across North America to find him. In addition to this, when Percy speaks him Tyson in a dream, Tyson doesn’t question what he is asked to do, he just does it knowing that if his brother is asking him to do something it must be important and the details will be shared with him later if he wants to know. The power of sibling relationships can often be overlooked but even if you have a tumultuous relationship with your sibling, most would do anything for them.
Selflessness is another theme I wanted to highlight. This one is less obvious but still there, putting others first can sometimes be difficult, especially in a world with so many struggles, and challenges for individuals to overcome, but those small acts of kindness that you do with no motivation can impact someone’s lives fundamentally. Showing kindness can be seen throughout the book but as I don’t want to spoil it (if you haven’t read it yet) I won’t put in any examples.
The ending of the book made me feel very hopeful. The characters all exuded hope, or curiosity at the end of this particular book, and the cliffhanger ending certainly makes me want to pick up the next one of the series.
I am going to give this book a good four stars. This was a great book, but I was able to put it down and pick up other things during it.