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Here Comes the Son

Mandy W. meets more demigod BFFs in The Son of Neptune, Book 2 of The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

Here Comes the Son

BOOK REPORT for The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus Book 2) by Rick Riordan

Cover Story: Epic on Ice
BFF Charm: Platinum, Yay, and Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Straight Up Alternating Omniscient
Bonus Factor: Romans, Special Powers, Diversity
Relationship Status: Still Going Strong

Cover Story: Epic on Ice

In the words of the poet Eminem: GUESS WHO'S BACK! Not only do I love how illustrator John Rocco beautifully captures scenes from the books, but the temples forged from ice in the background puts a finishing touch on an already spectacular cover.

The Deal:

Herein lies minor-but-still-pretty-major spoilers for the first book. But by virtue of seeing the title and cover of this book, you've already gotten huge hints about the premise of this series.

Percy has no idea who he is. And if any of the Roman demigods at Camp Jupiter knows, they aren't telling. But there are bigger problems at hand: monsters and mortals aren't exactly staying dead. (Like, at all.) It's up to Percy and his newfound friends, Hazel and Frank, to restore order to life and death.

BFF Charm: Platinum, Yay, and Yay

Even without our shared history together, Percy still gets to keep my platinum BFF charm. He doesn't buy into the loser rep that Hazel and Frank have, and his loyalty is as unwavering as ever. His bravery and sense of humour always make him the perfect company for a quest.

And seeing Percy from other people's eyes also reveals the quiet sadness that looms over him. The guy's had the (sometimes literal) weight of the world on his shoulders for the past five years -- with the greatest challenge still ahead. It's incredible that he manages to keep his shizz together, without curling up into the fetal position at the thought of so much responsibility. Not that I would know anything about that.

Hazel... has been through hell and back. And the poor girl puts a lot of undeserved blame on herself. But she's also selfless and a bit of a nonconformist, so she def. gets my BFF charm.

Aww, Frank! He doesn't exactly have the most confidence in himself. Even though it takes him a while to realize his own awesomeness, I never felt the urge to stage a Stuart Smalley intervention. Frank is kindhearted and has a strong sense of duty. Plus, his grandma is a crotchety delight.

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Sure, Percy has found himself in another trio, but this time, HE'S the third wheel (romantically anyway, since they're all best buds).

Hazel and Frank have total crushes on each other. However -- and I realize this may be just my personal bias -- there's a three-year age difference between them. Which is NBD for grownups, but I feel that's HUGE for YAs. I certainly wouldn't have been dating sixteen year olds when I was thirteen. (Not that such an option was available for me, but still.) That having said, Hazel and Frank are all kinds of adorbs, so I could easily set aside my cranky old lady reservations.

And Percy himself provides a source of swoon, too! One of the very few things he remembers about his old life is Annabeth. She's his constant, you guys! (Er, if time travel was amnesia, I mean.)

Talky Talk: Straight Up Alternating Omniscient

Add two more to Rick Riordan's growing repertoire of character perspectives! It's an impressive feat indeed, to differentiate and juggle these three (and overall, six -- and counting... ) viewpoints, but Riordan makes it look easy.

Along with having the trademark Riordan action and humour, this book introduces a new wrinkle to the pre-existing demigod universe. Camp Jupiter's history is interwoven with that of Camp Half-Blood's: the two factions have been battling common enemies separately but simultaneously. It's a clever use of continuity that gives an extra layer of context to all the previous books.

Bonus Factor: Romans

GAME.CHANGER. The mythology of these books doubles in size with the inclusion of Romans! Riordan deftly bridges the gap between Greek and Roman gods, in a way that perfectly fits within the framework that he's already constructed.

Camp Jupiter is also much more than Bizarro Camp Half-Blood. While there may be aspects that the Greeks do better, New Rome has its own advantages, such as providing a safe haven for entire families and communities of demigods. Each camp has its own strengths, but neither is a clear winner over the other; they're just different, that's all.

Bonus Factor: Special Powers

All three of our heroes have badassed special abilities. Percy's water-related powers have been well documented, but Hazel's and (especially) Frank's aren't too shabby, either.

Bonus Factor: Diversity

Hazel grew up in, let's just say, a particularly racially-charged environment. Frank is Chinese Canadian (HOLLA!), and his ancestry plays an important role to his story.

Casting Call:

Logan Lerman will never not be Percy, so I just have to cast the Camp Jupiter demigods.

Amandla Stenberg as Hazel

Rue is growing up, y'all! (Well, not Rue Rue, since we all know what happened to her.) She can def. handle Hazel's maturity and stealthy kickass-ery.

Russell from Up as Frank

Hollywood being Hollywood, a teenage version of this character comes closest to my idea of Frank. And this photo is too cute not to use.

Shay Mitchell as Reyna

She certainly looks like she could be related to an Amazon. And she'd probably welcome the break from whatever the mess is going on in Rosewood these days.

Relationship Status: Still Going Strong

This series showed me a different side of itself, and I still love it more than ever. Whatever danger or uncertainty the future has in store for us, there's also a lot of hope. And I know have a feeling we'll be needing plenty of that the next time we get together.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from my own moneys. But I've already banged up the cover corners, which endlessly pains me. I received neither money nor froyo for writing this review (dammit!). The Son of Neptune is available now.

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.