This was an excellent addition to this series. There are five books planned for this series. The fourth book, The House of Hades, is scheduled for an October 2013 release date. This book takes us to the sister camp for Camp Half Blood, Camp Jupiter.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was well done. The narrator does do some kind of over-the-top and silly voices for some of the characters and some of these were a bit annoying. The main characters however have well done voices and the narrator conveys emotion well. So all in all this was a good listen.
The book starts with Percy battling for his life and struggling to get to Camp Jupiter. Percy has lost his memory and really has no idea what is going on. In Camp Jupiter he meets Hazel and Frank. Both of them have complicated pasts and are outcasts at Camp Jupiter. The three of them are given a desperate quest; free the Thanotos (Death) by the Feast of Fortuna or Gaias armies will begin their takeover of the world.
As with the first book, this book is very formulaic. A group of three kids (including Percy this time), must go on a quest facing more and more difficult monsters in order to free Thanatos (Death) and thwart Gaia in her evil plan to take over the world. Like usually they are on a time crunch and only have a very short amount of time to do what needs to be done. If this sounds familiar it is, it is pretty much what happens in every single Rick Riordan book I have ever read. Still it is very well done and entertaining.
The characters are all well done and engaging. Again we have a memoryless Percy, Frank (who has powerful and mysterious origins), and Hazel (who is a cursed daughter of Pluto). They all have major issues, but are easy to relate to and like. Percy of course is struggling with memory lost the whole time, he is also learning more about the Roman version of his dad, Neptune.
Frank still needs to discover who his Godly parent is. In addition to that he is kind of a goof and a klutz who needs to gain some confidence and find out how he can contribute to things. Frank also finds out he has some seriously awesome powers at his beck and call.
Hazel should be dead and has a very mysterious backstory, she originally lived in another time and ended up here through a series of strange coincidences. She is a solid heroine with some serious guilt and baggage.
Another absolutely hilarious and wonderful addition to the story was the Harpy, Ella, who is just crazy and had me laughing my butt off a number of times.
I love the mythology throughout and in this book we hear a lot more about Roman mythology versus Greek. It was interesting to learn about the differences between the Greek Gods and their Roman versions; I didnt realize how differently some of the similar gods are portrayed in the two different mythology sets. There are many wonderful new monsters introduced in this book. We also get to meet the Amazons and some crazy wheat loving minions.
As I said the books are predictable and they all follow the same formula. There is a lot of humor in here (some of it a bit campy) but the stories are engaging and fun. The book will have you laughing out loud for sure. There are excellent action scenes, lots of interesting mythology, and some great characters as well.
Overall this was a fun read and a great addition to the series. The plot is formulaic, but there are a number of new and interesting characters introduced...as well as some excellent new monsters. There is a ton of humor in here and some excellent action scenes. I really enjoyed the contrast between the Greek and Roman mythology and getting to learn more about the differences between the two. If you are a fan of Riordan books you will be pleased with this one. I found it entertaining and easy and fun to read.