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Review: 'Son of Neptune' is worth the wait

By Kimberly Bennion

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Oct. 14 2011 11:39 a.m. MDT

"SON OF NEPTUNE: Heroes of Olympus Book 2," by Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $19.99, 544 pages (f) (ages 9-12)

After a year-long wait, Rick Riordan has introduced a new book to the Percy Jackson mythos (not counting the Kane Chronicles). Though it is a fast-paced book worthy of its predecessors, "Son of Neptune" still has a few flaws.

As always, Riordan starts off his book with a hook meant to drag readers in and not let them surface until the final page. Fans of the original series, "Percy Jackson and the Olympians," will be pleased to return to Percy's point of view after having spent the last book with a new hero named Jason. Careful readers will even catch a few offhand references to the old series!

An amnesiac Percy starts off the book fighting a couple of gorgon sisters but quickly makes his way to Camp Jupiter, a camp for Roman half-bloods. But he won't be there for long; he soon has to set off to Alaska with two new friends to rescue a god (naming who would be too much of a spoiler).

As you follow along, you'll be taken on an emotional roller coaster, laughing one minute and giving the book a death grip the next. As if the urgency of the current adventure wasn't enough, a harpy who quotes bits of frightening prophecies is thrown into the midst.

Although all three of this book's heroes start out believably flawed, toward the end of the book one of them starts to become a little too powerful for some to find believable. Fortunately, his self-doubt and a strange curse keep him from seeming too much like the so-called "Gary Stu."

Parents should be warned that while there are no true swear words in the book, there is a joke referencing a swear word, and the characters say things like "Oh my gods." There are also a few scenes with a disturbing skeleton warrior and a chapter set in the underworld.

Overall, "Son of Neptune" is sure to please old fans and new alike.

Kimberly Bennion is a senior majoring in English at Brigham Young University. She loves to read and write in her spare time.

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