The Mark Of Athena Is A Great New Addition To The Percy Jackson Series
By Emma Dorfman
The Mark of Athena is the newest addition to the Percy Jackson spin-off series, The Heroes of Olympus. It came out on October 2, 2012 and New York Times bestselling author, Rick Riordan has created yet another book of adventure and drama along with the fascinating stories of Greek mythology.
Rick Riordan once again takes one of the most interesting parts of history to tell an exciting, modern-day story. The mythology in the book is the basis of the story and leads to all of the plot twists and turns, and there is a never ending stream of new villains, heroes, and legends. To add to the historical factor of the book, The Heroes of Olympus series includes both Roman and Greek demigods. The Mark of Athena, like the other Heroes of Olympus novels, is told from multiple perspectives, and this time the Greeks are the center of the story. Additionally, the never before heard perspective of Annabeth is included. For the first time the voice of one of the most beloved Percy Jackson characters is heard, and it separates The Mark of Athena from the other Percy Jackson books.
The character development is drastically different from Riordan’s other novels and that is partly due to the fact that there are so many relationships, and also due to the theme of Romans vs. Greeks. It is fulfilling to finally see all the demigods together, but the fact that they do not all know each other, and are from different camps adds all lot of tension to the novel. This dynamic brings out private doubts and insecurities from the narrators and an important question is raised in each of their minds. How many people on this quest can I really trust?
While that growth is important to the story there is another that is even more advertized, and quite frankly, more entertaining. From the amount of relationships in this book, and the amount of times they are brought to the surface; it is clear that Riordan is trying to compensate for the fact that the audience that grew up with Percy Jackson, is quite a bit older now. Almost every main character is in a relationship and it accounts for most of the drama in the story. While Piper and Jason are a cute addition to the clan of couples, it is quite obvious that Percy and Annabeth are still the stars of this show. Their continually budding romance is as cute as ever leads to a heart wrenching ending that will leave readers satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time. As for the half-hearted love triangle between Frank, Leo, and Hazel, that part is better left out. But overall the relationships inserts entertaining drama into an otherwise action packed book.
But, like every Greek hero, this book does have some fatal flaws. The writing in the book, while it is not bad, can sometimes seem a bit juvenile or simple to readers who are no longer in the seventh grade. And while the relationships do add drama, the book can sometimes seem a bit relationship happy, to the point of being annoying. For example, sometimes it seems that Piper is too hung up on her relationship and not focused on the task at hand. Additionally, the almost love-triangle situation between Frank, Hazel, and Leo is cheesy and boring. Frank is a dull character to begin with, while, on the other hand, Leo is one of the most interesting characters and part of that is because he is what appears to be the outcast of the group. Giving him a love interest is a detriment to his character and removes focus from the other, more interesting, struggles in his life. And although the novel includes new perspectives, some of the storylines are almost exactly the same as they have been in every other Percy Jackson novel.
Despite some flaws in the novel, The Mark of Athena is a great addition to the series, and longtime Percy Jackson fans will be pleased. It has just the right balance of drama, action, and twisted plots. However, it wouldn’t matter if the first couple hundred pages of the book were blank. As long as the nail-biting, gut-wrenching, cliffhanger of an ending were kept intact, the book would still be worth reading. The ending brings the entire book together and would leave any reader wanting more.