Some spoilers may be included.
I have been a Percy Jackson fan for a few years now and always look forward to the new releases. It always seems like a long time between books but when you get them the wait is so worth while and they are always big. This book is a hefty 572 pages, but that's over 500 pages of sheer awesomeness!!!
It did take me a little while to get back into the story and remember what had happened in the previous books but once I was there, i was right back into the book.
I'm not even sure where to start with this, this book just had so much to it that I'm finding it hard to sum it up.
I suppose characters are a big thing, after all - no characters, no story!
So Annabeth is kind of a main player in this book and she has grown a lot since that little twelve year old we first met. She is smart, feisty, passionate, logical, head-strong and vulnerable. She has moments of pure awesomeness, a really butt-kicker, but where Percy is involved she can be weak at the knees, that is when she isn't fighting to be with him, or protect him. I loved their connection and relationship. Their reunion just makes my heart melt!
And her whole solo quest thing, wow, that girl has some serious pressure on her and steps straight into the face of danger and the unknown. You got to admire the girl's courage.
Percy, ah Percy! Man I love that boy. He's cheeky and arrogant and boastful, yet insecure and sometimes shy. He's a fighter and true hero, but with a heart, one heck of a heart and a fierce love for Annabeth and the urge to do the right thing. He also has some great one liners.
Jason - I've been pretty indifferent to Jason up until now, I wasn't really bothered about what he did, or whether he was around, but throughout this book I found myself looking forward to his scenes, and his relationship with Piper was sweet, although there were moments when I was shouting at him to just 'kiss her already', he's a bit slow with the whole relationship stuff, but it's kind of endearing. And Piper herself kicks butt.
Leo is BACK!!! Leo has to be one of my all time favourite characters, he is so funny and immature, yet he always means well and tries his best and really you can tell he just wants to fit in. My heart goes out to Leo, seriously I love this boy, and he makes me laugh out loud more than any other character.
There are other characters to get to know better too, Hazel and Frank (who I just want to hug by the way) for a start.
Having the book told from different POV's also allow us an extra insight into their lives and personality and make you feel like you are connecting better to them.
The plot of this book is quite fast paced and there is always something going on. You tend to get 3/4 chapters with each character before it switches to another POV, this ensures that you are hooked in and pulled along, then moved along before you get bored. Although this did take me slightly longer to read than I thought it would, A few bits were slightly predictable, but overall it didn't lower my enjoyment of the book, I was still very impressed with it.
There are some truly laugh out loud moments, some 'Nooooooo' moments, some 'awwww' moments and some 'OMG EPIC!!!' moments, really a bit of everything.
Rick Riordan really is a master storyteller and I am truly looking forward to the next part 'The House of Hades', but why do we have to wait another year for it?