The Mark of Athena is the third instalment in Rick Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympus series. After fighting a battle in the previous book, The Son of Neptune, the Greek and Roman demigods try to strike up an alliance at Camp Jupiter that ends disastrously. Percy, Annabeth, Leo, Hazel, Piper, Frank, Jason and Coach Hedge embark on their own to cross the ocean to find the Mark of Athena in Rome.
Of course, they face many trials trying to get to Rome, including Leo, Jason and Percy being possessed by Eidolin, which are kind of like evil ghosts, and attacked by sea monsters. In Rome, Annabeth has to face her own trials alone basically because she’s the child of Athena and that’s set her up to have to go down her own path.
True to most YA novels, all the characters live to fight another day and they defeat some bad guys. The important thing to note is that Gaea, who the more-ancient Goddess of the Earth and she’s starting to wake up; most of the people the demigods are fighting against are hr minions because she’s just conscious enough to gather forces. She’s still kicking around and I expect that bad things will continue to mount higher in the 4th book in order to prepare readers for the 5th book, which, in all likelihood, will involve a big battle.
I’m super happy that there were no cases of amnesia on the behalf of major characters in The Mark of Athena because that got old pretty quick in the first two books of the series, especially with Percy because he’s a character that readers were already familiar. Although, I do say that with a grain of salt because one of the characters, Leo, is possessed by the Eidolin and can’t remember what he did during that time but it was pretty obvious what was up (possession) and the demigods just needed to find proof.
One of the things I would like to see developed further in the next books is the characters relationships. Annabeth’s and Percy’s relationships are more developed because they come from the original series but Piper’s and Jason’s relationship is newer, same with Frank and Hazel’s, and it almost felt expected that Leo ended up feeling like he was the seventh wheel. This is the first time that Rick Riordan had to juggle this many “private” relationships and I’m curious about how he’ll develop them.
The next book in the series is The House of Hades, so that’s something to look forward too. I’m hoping I’ll see more of Nico Di Angelo, the son of Hades, as a POV character because he’s a character that’s been on the sideline for a long time. With the Underworld now being super central to the plot, I think it would be a good time to bring him further into the centre of the plot.
If you’d like to read Rick Riordan’s books, I’d suggest beginning with Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. If you prefer to start with this series, the book to start with is The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero.
Title: The Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena (book 3)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy, Greek and Roman mythology, Young adult novel
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Publication date: October 2, 2012
Page count: 586