Engaging Story: 5/5
Overall Writing Quality: 3/5
Character Development: 4/5
The Mark of Athena is like Orson Scott Card’s Ruins in a couple ways. It follows a group of teenagers who are talented beyond the ordinary. The setting is in a world that is similar to ours, but different in some key ways, the main one being that all Greek and Roman myths and legends are true. In The Mark of Athena, Percy Jackson works with his team of Greco-Roman demigods to stop the rise of the ancient Earth goddess, Gaea. Gaea wants to overthrow the Greek gods and claim the world for herself. She works to separate the Greek and Roman demigod camps and sow the seeds of war between them. This causes the Greco-Roman gods to have split personality disorder; they become torn between their Greek and Roman sides. Percy Jackson’s group must stop her from seizing the world by force.
As you can tell from the summary, this book has a very engaging and fast paced story. The Greek myths incorporated into the story make it even more entertaining, at least for those of us who remember elementary school fondly. Riordan ties in the ancient stories with his own agenda for the plot near-flawlessly. Even the most minor myths get a role to play. Rick Riordan is a decent writer. He uses some imagery and descriptive language, but focuses mostly on the story. To make it fast paced, he has to make some sacrifices where description is involved. I do like his humor, though. Things like leotard-wearing giants and “Cower before the almighty Diet Coke” tend to lighten the mood. I’d give the writing quality above average. That said, “above average” would be a blasphemous understatement regarding Riordan’s characters. He spends time working on their group relationships and feelings towards each other. The seven main characters, at least, appear to be fairly well rounded and real. The characters keep the book interesting. Riordan grabbed my attention with the gigantic flying boat with a dubstep soundboard and kept it with the superb development of his characters.
I recommend this book to most, if not all, teen readers. It is a fast paced, action-packed novel that is meant mainly for teenage eyes. Overall, it was a very good book that was exciting to read.
- Carl, 15