Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Rick Riordan is a genius. That's probably more fact than opinion and wow does that guy have a talent for writing clever, funny and compelling stories that are aimed at teens, and yet seem to be loved by adults just as much. For those Who haven't read any books by Mr Riordan I'd start at either Percy Jackson and Lightening Thief or The Red Pyramid as these are the first in both his other series of books and are generally a good place to begin. For those who have read the Percy Jackson series and the first in this one, then read on.
TSoN joins back up with Percy who is being chased by monsters with no memory of why he's there, why he's being chased and wondering why the only thing he knows is that a girl Annabeth is important to him. Soon he ends up at a place called Camp Jupiter where he meets Frank and Hazel, two very troubled Demigods holding secrets and troubles of their own.
Soon they find themselves on a quest to stop something that was put into motion a long time ago, well past the their usual territory and into lands even the gods have no control over, as the prophecy of the seven slowly unfolds.
I loved this. In fact, I loved this more than The Lost Hero.. I think having Percy back (one of my favourite all time literary heroes) made this book extra incredible especially as that nearly everything Percy does seems to come out humorous in one way or another. If I were to be stuck in the worst moment of my life, I would like Percy with me, he'd probably make me laugh about it :)
Having said that the humour element does not detract from the adventurous storyline with it's peril and terrifying Greek/Roman monsters. True, there are some monsters that will have you laughing (like the cereal monsters and the cupcake/muffin throwing goddess) but others will absolutely terrify the crap out of you. FYI I do not want to run into any Titans any time soon!
The plot develops quickly and I found myself turning the pages very fast to find out how it would end and I was on the edge of my seat reading most of it. If a book can make me spend nearly the whole Sunday reading it without moving, then the author has done a fantastic job. Well done Mr Riordan you made a restless woman stay still for hours on end :)
As usual though, it's the characters that steal the show and I loved Hazel, Frank and Percy though I did find it a little disconcerting jumping from point of view to another, at least at first anyway. What I admire most is that each of them had their 'weaknesses' and yet still managed to show incredible strength when placed in the most impossible situations and then come out the other side.
None of the heroes in Rick's novels are perfect and I think that's something both kids and adults can resonate with; the idea that we can achieve anything we want no matter what mistakes we've made and however imperfect we are.
As for the ending? Well it's epic and I'm dying for the next book. I don't want to wait :( I want to read it now! *stamps feet like a child* Anyway, full marks! Like I said, the guys a genius!