The Heroes of Olympus series is best selling author Rick Riordan’s spinoff of the Percy Jackson novels. This is the second in the series, following the introduction of the Roman hero, Jason Grace. As expected, Percy joins up with Roman forces and we are introduced to two new main characters: Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque. As usual in a Riordan tale, the perspective changes from chapter to chapter among the main protagonists.
Riordan is maturing nicely as a writer, and each new book shows an emerging style that is both engaging and descriptive. Fans of previous Riordan books will find familiar elements, such as nods to popular culture. For instance, in Seattle the heroes find that Amazon.com is run by Amazon warriors, who are often found reading their Kindles.
Educational elements are skillfully intertwined in Riordan books, and this one is no exception. Young readers are introduced to Greek and Roman mythology and pick up quite a bit of classical detail despite the fact the story is modernized to a considerable extent. Even though the story is dealing with pagan gods of antiquity, quite a few Christian elements shine through, such as love, friendship, and shared sacrifice.
Character development remains strong, and retains typical Riordan memes such as teen angst and finding ones purpose in life (albeit from a demigod’s perspective). Fans will enjoy most all aspects of learning about and caring for Zhang and Levesque as well as other minor characters.
My biggest beef with the Kindle version of the novel I downloaded was the plethora of typos. Odd paragraph breaks were very common, and words were often smashed together to the point of distraction. For instance, here’s part of a sentence that typifies mistakes in the text: “… no wall she had to worry about …” It should read, “ … now all she had to worry about …” Mistakes like that went on chapter after chapter.
Today, Amazon sent an e-mail indicating the publisher is aware of these many mistakes in the electronic text, and has offered a corrected version. As I have already finished the book, and waded through the errors, it’s no big deal. One of the benefits of electronic books is the ability to quickly fix mistakes, but a simple read through by somebody in charge could have prevented these many errors from appearing in early electronic versions in the first place. That said, I’ll take off a star from an otherwise five star book.
4 out of 5 stars.