“Wow,” Thalia muttered. “Apollo is hot.”
“He’s the sun god,” I said.
“That’s not what I meant.”
“Little sister!” Apollo called. If his teeth were any whiter he could’ve blinded us without the sun car. “What’s up? You never call. You never write. I was getting worried!”
Artemis sighed. “I’m fine, Apollo. And I am not your little sister.”
“Hey, I was born first.”
“We’re twins! How many millenia do we have to argue—”
“So what’s up?” he interrupted. “Got the girls with you, I see. You all need some tips on archery?”
Author: Rick Riordan
Synopsis: When a fight with a manticore ends in the disappearance of Annabeth, Percy will do anything to find her—even travel with quarrelsome Thalia and the more quarrelsome Hunters of Artemis. Even elude a dozen unkillable skeletons, endure Aphrodite’s soap-opera fawning and giggling, take a turn bearing an unbelievable burden, and stand trial before the gods.
Even if Annabeth still seems to hold out hope of saving Luke.
I laughed more through this book than I can remember doing since the early pages of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The chapter titles had me snickering almost every time. Granted, Riordan played the dam joke so long that by the end only a junior high boy could appreciate it, but since that was his audience, and I’d gotten such hilarity out of the first part of it, I grinned and put up with the replay.
Part of me wishes I’d known my Greek mythology really, really well before reading the books; I’m curious how much I’d have been able to predict the storylines if I had. Perhaps not much, though. I actually am familiar with the villain of this piece, but I didn’t see the details coming. Of course, with this series it almost matters more who the various deities are related to than what they did.
As with the first book, I found some of Riordan’s characterizations over the top—the goofy Pegasus’ street lingo, notably—but mostly, they just amused me. As with the second book, I couldn’t put this one down. I believe I read it in a single Sunday afternoon.
Thalia and the Hunters made for interesting new characters, and I lost some sympathy for Luke in this one. I hope the son of Hermes straightens out, for his dad’s sake at least. But if he'd retained any right to Annabeth's heart thus far, I'd say he's lost it now.
The usual advisory applies: Riordan’s basically clean schoolboy voice neither glamourizes nor condemns the gods’ creation of numerous illegitimate children by mortals and other beings. A watchful parent can certainly aid a child’s moral discernment, should there be concern. And as always, there’s no one like Percy—or Rick Riordan—for making the characters memorable.
Recommendation: Hilarious, relaxing Sunday afternoon reading, and good for the Greek holes in your classical education.