Friday, October 14, 2011

BOOK PICK + GIVEAWAY: Some Thoughts on The Son of Neptune

I will try to write the first part of this entry without any spoilers for The Son of Neptune.

When I first read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, I read all five books in one week. It wasn’t because I was so hooked; I just felt I had to catch up with the rest of the world, especially with the release of The Lost Hero, and just recently, The Son of Neptune.

Reading a series that fast doesn’t allow a reader to become a fan right away. Don’t get me wrong, I love the series now, having read until The Son of Neptune. But upon a first reading, I looked at facts and events rather than characters and motives. It was only when I reached The Last Olympian, when the final battle and ultimate conflict was about to be faced, that I actually stopped and thought about Percy having grown up so much since first meeting him, Luke having become so desperate since my first impression of him, and Kronos having built a real physical presence around himself since his haunting shadow in The Lightning Thief. The flashbacks in that book also helped in growing emotionally close to the characters, especially to Luke, Thalia and Annabeth. I’m such a sucker for flashbacks, I really am.

It’s funny; just as in Harry Potter we find a huge chunk of the story is about Dumbledore, here we find that in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, much of the events had transpired because of Luke Castellan.

By the end of the series, I didn’t know whether or not to believe Luke was still a hero inside (though the series does angle it towards his redemption), but I was left wishing I had read a little more slowly and perhaps gotten to know him a little more.

Thankfully, with the Heroes of Olympus series, we don’t have to say good-bye to everyone we grew to love before. And to continue the story with fans of the series, I am giving away:
  1. One hardbound copy of The Son of Neptune 
  2. One hardbound copy of The Son of Neptune with a Rick Riordan signed Percy Jackson and the Olympians book plate
  3. One hardbound copy of The Son of Neptune with a Rick Riordan signed Heroes of Olympus book plate 

Simply e-mail your full name, and contact number to lucyscontests@fullybookedonline.com, with the subject I CAN'T WAIT TO READ SON OF NEPTUNE! You have until 12:00 nn on Monday, October 17, 2011 to e-mail your entries, and the winners will be chosen via Random.org. Only one entry per person will be counted. :-)

This giveaway is open to Metro Manila, Philippines residents only, as all winning books and book plates will be claimed at the Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street branch. Entries with incomplete or wrong information indicated will not be qualified for the contest, and requests for pick up in other branches will not be entertained. Please be patient with me as this is one of my first giveaways in a long time, and I would like to see how it goes before opening more giveaways to other areas there are Fully Booked branches in! Hope you guys understand!!

Now for the real reason for this entry: some thoughts on The Son of Neptune. (Spoilers after this cut, so don't read the rest if you haven't finished the book!)

Overall, I really appreciate how much bigger the world of demigods becomes in The Son of Neptune. We get a glimpse of other ones existing in the world in The Lost Hero, with Jason hinting he may have been part of a different camp. Here, we meet that camp, and not only see how they had been living and surviving in the modern times, but we also realize how different Camp Jupiter is from Camp Half-Blood. Aside from being larger in population, the Roman settlement is far more advanced in their government, in protecting themselves, and in building an entire community that demigods can raise families in rather than just spending a short summer in.

(Aside: I remember having a debate with my friend once, about how he couldn’t grasp the world of Harry Potter because it seemed so small. He felt that of all the wizarding places in the world, how could the end of the secret of magic remain in the hands of one boy in a boarding school in Scotland? I suppose if I had him read this series, he wouldn’t have a problem with how the fate of the world would depend on Percy and his friends. Haha!)

The world also becomes wider with all the belief systems included in the series. With Greek, Roman, ancestral Chinese and even Native American counterparts discussed, Rick Riordan marries different spiritual and supernatural beliefs popularly recognized today. Somehow, he has made all the connections make sense, at least to me, and has made the common threads that tie humanity together even more apparent.

With all these new characters introducing new aspects of mythology, it was also very comforting to find our friend Percy again, after his being so mysteriously absent in The Lost Hero. I remember being a bit sad after reading The Last Olympian because I thought I wouldn’t be with the same characters after that. I was thrilled reading bits of Camp Half-Blood and Annabeth’s quest in the previous book, but I was really happy to find Percy again here. His memory loss had an even bigger impact than Jason’s since we know Percy so well. We know exactly what he’s trying to remember (except perhaps his immediate past). We know who Annabeth is and what their relationship had begun from. We know who tries to communicate with him in his sleep. We know the monsters and creatures he came across before, and we know why he knows how to deal with them now. It’s really amazing how such a simple choice of which character loses his memory pulls heartstrings in readers, especially in me!

Another adventure with another hero concludes, and we audiences are left with the wait for another title. I think I can speak for everyone who has finished The Son of Neptune when I say that just as in The Lost Hero, I was in utter disbelief upon turning the last page, and finding a glossary of gods and goddesses instead of the next chapter. How long do we have to wait for The Mark of Athena, again?! 

What did you guys think of The Son on Neptune? Did you like it? What didn't you like about it? How did it compare to The Lost Hero? What are the other insights you realized from reading it? I would love to hear your thoughts on the series!

14 comments:

  1. I'm rating it a 3.5 out of 5 because even though it was fun in its own right, there were some things that could have been better. And I miss the first person POV :(

    My full review over here:
    http://islandergirl.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/book-review-the-son-of-neptune-by-rick-riordan/

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  2. Hi Trickster!! Oh my, I agree with you on so many points! True, the characters of Hazel and Frank weren't as developed as Jason, Leo and Piper. I felt the characters were more distinct in TLH too. But I'm really curious to see, with all the superpowers the new characters have, where Rick Riordan will take the story and how they will beat (OR LOSE TO???) Gaea and the giants.

    I do like the 3rd person POV better though. And I love Nico DiAngelo too!! :-)

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  3. I'm in halfway through the book and I'm loving it. :"> Good solid review.

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  4. How will the entries be picked through random.org?

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  5. Hi Bradford! Each entry will be given an assigned number based on the order in which I receive it. For example, the first e-mail entry I receive will be number 1, the second entry will be number 2, etc.

    Random.org has a true random number generator that will choose a number for me given a minimum and maximum number. The entry assigned to the random number generator will be the first winner, and so on.

    Hope to get an e-mail entry from you! :-)

    Hi Gellie!! Can't wait for you to finish!! :-)

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  6. Bradford, sorry I meant, "The entry assigned to the random number GENERATED will be the first winner, and so on." :-)

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  7. Hi! When will the winners be announced? :)

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  8. wow!!! Thanks Lucy.. This contest is indeed GREAT!!! I hope all Gods in Olympus will help me win this one.ü I will be very much glad, happy, and overwhelm to win even just that signature of Rick Riordan. I appreciate Greek mythology a lot more because of his books.ü

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  9. Ah, I see. Thanks. :) I sent in an entry. I hope I win!!!

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  10. I love it! You know, the story's fast-pacing and in every chapter will leave you beg for more is incredibly awesome. One thing that I hate the most, it'll take another year for the The Mark of Athena to come out. :L

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  11. Hi Beatrice! Winners will be announced latest Tuesday. :-)

    Hi Kay! It's great that you appreciate Greek mythology more! The books are a fantastic way to learn more about it. :-)

    Hi Bradford! Thanks for your entry! :-)

    Hi Mikko! Tell me about it -- one year is too long! Hahaha!

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  12. Rick Riordan's autograph! Awesome giveaway you have here Lucy. :) Have yet to get a copy of this one, very much looking forward to reading it this coming vacation.

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  13. Would love to know what you think of it, Joan!! :-) Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :-)

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  14. so who won in this contest? :)

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