Narrator: Joshua Swanson
Series: Heroes of Olympus #3
Published by Listening Library on October 2, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Length: 15 hours 8 minutes
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after eight 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 for 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 a 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? will he even remember her? 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.
Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .
My Review (2/17/13):
Though I wouldn’t recommend the audio version of this book – the narration took me a while to get past – the book is a lot of fun. Although the Official Synopsis makes it sound like the book centers around Annabeth, her story is really only a very small part of it. The central idea of this story seems, at least to me, to uniting Roman and Greek forces: a seemingly impossible task. The Romans: Leo and Hazel and the Greeks: Annabeth, Piper, and Leo don’t trust each other; it’s only their relationships with Percy and Jason, who’ve both grown close to both the Roman and Greek camps in the first two books of the series that hold the two groups together.
This is also a book about growing up – as so many Young Adult novels are. The characters are growing up and learning about themselves, trying out their abilities, exploring their relationships, and challenging their limits.
At the same time, the stories are getting a bit old. After the Percy Jackson series and the first two books of the Heroes of Olympus, the demigods challenges are all starting to sound familiar. Yes, technically they are facing new evils and getting out of them in new ways – but ultimately there’s a familiar Greek/Roman bad guy does something and they overcome – using their abilities, their parental connections, and friends. The modern twist to ancient myths remains fun, but not as new and inventive as they once seemed.
All said, the adventures of Percy, Annabeth, Leo, Jason, Piper, Frank, and Hazel are doused in Riordian’s typical ridiculousness that leaves you laughing. As usual, he leaves you eager for the next installment – this time with one hell of a cliff hanger.