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The Gang’s All Here

Mandy W. discovers that it's never too early for TEABS, thanks to The Mark of Athena, Book 3 of The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

The Gang’s All Here

BOOK REPORT for The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus Book 3) by Rick Riordan

Cover Story: Epic Clash of the Titans Demigods
BFF Charm: Make It Rain
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: Straight Up Rick Riordan
Bonus Factors: Group Dynamics, Travel
Relationship Status: Don't Leave Me This Way

Cover Story: Epic Clash of the Titans Demigods

The only thing as consistent as my love for Rick Riordan's books is my fangirling of John Rocco's covers. Although embarrassing confession: I actually didn't notice anything but the owl when I first read this. But only because omg new Heroes book, must read immediately!

The Deal:

This is Book 3 of a series, so spoilers aplenty for Book 1 and Book 2.

Annabeth and the Camp Half-Blood contingent have arrived at Camp Jupiter. Now if only they can convince the Romans that they've come in peace. And what if Percy has changed during his time at Camp Jupiter? Has Annabeth found him, just to lose him all over again?

But that's not all she has to worry about. The last time Annabeth saw her mother, she was given a helluva cryptic message: "Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me." Not to mention the Great Prophecy to end all prophecies, that calls for seven demigods to close the Doors of Death. Where's the god of multitasking when you need 'em?

BFF Charm: Make It Rain

Everyone gets to hang onto their BFF charms, but the real story is me FINALLY being able to give one to Annabeth! Long overdue, but like there was ever any doubt! Girlfriend is kickass -- literally and figuratively. The other six demigods may have flashier and more overt abilities, but she's quite the powerhouse herself. If you don't think intelligence could be a superpower, then you clearly haven't met Annabeth. Even if I didn't want her to be my BFF, I def. wouldn't want to get on her bad side.

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Percy and Annabeth! Percy and Annabeth! Oh yes -- they're reunited and it feels so good! Well, not that good; this is still a younger-skewing series, so hanky-panky is nonexistent. Different (and even more chaste) stages of relationships are also represented by Piper and Leo, and by Hazel and Frank. There's also kiiiiind of a potential love triangle-y situation brewing between Hazel, Frank, and Leo. But I'm reserving judgement, since, for once, it actually IS complicated. 

Talky Talk: Straight Up Rick Riordan

Yeah, shizz just got real. Rick Riordan officially needs his own Talky Talk category. The narration cycles through following Annabeth, Leo, Piper, and Percy, but the full roster of demigods are rarely all together in a tidy group (more on that later). As if coordinating multiple storylines wasn't difficult enough, but the plot also had to be laid out with the narration order in mind. Just thinking about it is enough to make my head hurt.

And of course, the Riordan staples of adventure and humour are ever present. There's also a wonderful cameo that marries pop culture and mythology (hint: it takes place in Rome). But it's not all fun and games, with, y'know, imminent danger greeting the demigods at every turn. And each of them are susceptible to their own insecurities and limitations, with hamartia becoming a recurring theme -- just like any Greek tragedy. With the greatest tragedy of all being having to wait a whole year in between books and gahhh why do books have to enddddd?!

Bonus Factor: Group Dynamics

What I love most about the seven demigods finally assembling are all the possible interactions between the characters. That results in twenty-one interpersonal relationships (thanks, math!), most of which -- if not all, since I'm only relying on my fuzzy memory -- get addressed in some way. It's like all the characters are fully realized characters and have their own relationships with everyone else! (Crazy concept, I know.) And because smaller groups attract less monster-ly attention, the demigods often divide and conquer. The composition of these teams vary each time, unlike that of your schoolyard or P.E. teams. 

Bonus Factor: Travel

This could be applicable for any of the Camp Half-Blood books, since the quests often take our heroes all over North America. But this particular installment has them going to another continent! And aboard a flying Greek trireme!

Casting Call:

The main players have already been cast; see here, there, and everywhere. But I couldn't resist with this addition.

Jack Gleeson as Octavian

Relationship Status: Don't Leave Me This Way

My love for this series only deepens with each book. But HOT DAMN does it ever give me a raging case of TEABS. Which is preferrable to raging cases of other things I could be given, but still. Is there such a thing as pre-TEABS? Because the immense dread of putting our relationship on pause hits me long before I run out of pages. Heck, I'm already pre-TEABSing for the unreleased Book 4 and even the unwritten Book 5 and OMG IS IT OCTOBER 8TH YET?!

FTC Full Disclosure: I bought my own review copy because obviously this series occupies prime real estate on my bookshelf. I received neither money nor froyo for writing this review (dammit!). The Mark of Athena is available now.

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