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Let’s just get it out there: Rick Riordan cannot write. It’s true. I’m not denying that he can come up with a great, exciting and ridiculously addicting plot; he just is unable to turn this plot into a good piece of writing. His choppy, cheesy style worked when he wrote in the first person because the reader was able to attribute it to the main character’s personality. When converted into the third person, his novels begin to fall apart.
The book is told from the “perspectives” of all the Greek demigods, switching characters every chapter. However, there is just about no variation whatsoever in writing style or thoughts between characters. In fact, I went through half the book before realizing the point of view was changing.
While Mark of Athena does have a central plot, it gets sidetracked by a multitude of central characters, relationships, battles and adventures. The gist of the story is that seven demigods, Percy, Annabeth, Frank, Hazel, Leo, Jason and Piper, are trying to get to Rome to stop Gaia from awakening. If you’ve read the other two books, the general plot is basically the same here. Now for the problems. There are seven main characters and all of these characters have different relationships with the remaining six. Keeping track of who’s on good terms with whom and who hates whom is confusing and annoying. Also, there are three couples and then poor Leo is cast off to the side. Rick Riordan obviously feels sorry for him and therefore casts him in an annoying love triangle with Hazel and Frank. Another thing Riordan can’t write is romance, and I pray that he will stop trying to put mushy love scenes where they really don’t belong.
There are also way too many battles and adventures crammed into the book. Imagine Harry Potter, except this time Harry gets attacked by Death Eaters every time he exits the Gryffindor common room. The book would go pretty slowly, wouldn’t it? That is essentially Mark of Athena. Every time, and I mean every time, anyone leaves the ship, they are attacked by dead spirits or gods or Gaia or a zombie army. Rick Riordan manages to take a fun and interesting idea and turn it into the longest, worst written, most boring book anyone has ever written.
And then he gives it a horrible ending just to induce to buy the sequel. This time, I don’t think I will.
Maya @ YA Novelties