The characters are decently developed. In his writing, you can tell he's a good writer... for elementary school students. I can feel him dumbing it down. Not the content, but the quality. It's not a good matchup. When you have stuff that borders on teen content and little kid writing, it tends to get sloppy. I couldn't get myself into this because of that. A friend of mine who's also reading it, agrees wholeheartedly. Going back a few sentences, I really don't like dumbing down. I know I'm not dumb and I want the writing to not treat me like I am. I have two quotes from a post Ally Carter made a few years ago that I think fits perfectly. "It has been my experience that you should have different expectations of teen readers than adult readers: you should expect your teen readers to be smarter." It very much fits, since Rick Riordan has written adult and child/teenish books. Another quote by Ally Carter "Teens are used to being challenged and tested and forced to think about things analytically, so do NOT write down to teens. Not if you want a career in YA literature." I think these both fit the whole, dumbing down theme.
I wish I could be kind, but in this case, I just have to go with blunt. The plot is weak. It sags in the middle. It has too much unneeded detail. I feel the need to use another Ally Carter quote. "... until you're not writing something with twelve words that could just as easily be said with seven." I love you Rick Riordan, and I'm sorry. But I give this book a two.
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy-after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera-it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can't blame the Roman demigods from thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.
And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find-and close-the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her.
Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
Title: The Mark of Athena
Author: Rick Riordan
Release: October 2, 2012
Series: Heroes of Olympus
Publisher: Disney Hyperion