Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.
Yea, I pretty much loved, loved LOVED this book! And that dedication page…let’s not even talk about that page and how much joy I believe it gave Rick while writing it. I imagine him with a Grinch grin on his face while twirling his mustache handlebars and maniacally laughing at our expense. Cool? No. Hysterical? Abso-fricken-lutely!
There was so much action, drama and suspense in this book, as per his usual style of writing, but there was also some down time where the characters really got a chance to learn and grow as people. Those were the moments that I truly enjoyed because this is the first time that we see them become more than what they’ve been, more than the usual style of character that Rick loves to write. We see them as deep and pensive, not just fun and brave.
And yes, the relationship building was amazing! I love Percy and Annabeth’s (Percybeth?) relationship more than anything, and Jason and Piper get some serious growth this time around. Rick’s books have never let me down. I love how they take me to a completely different place each time I pick one up. And let me just say, that this particular place that I went to while reading this book was pretty darn DARK! Rick took this book to a completely different level than any of his others. All the chapters with Annabeth and Percy in The Pit were pretty intense. After all these years of reading about Tartarus and imaging what it would be like, we are finally able to venture down there and get to see firsthand what it’s really like. Well, we get to see a version of what it’s really like since the viewer has a distorted perception. With the help of Annabeth and Percy (and Rick of course!) we get a totally descriptive image of what Tartarus looks like (and smells like, and feels like) It’s amazing that I can honestly that it’s everything and nothing like how I always imagined it. And at some point, after a very dangerous encounter (one of many) Percy is so sounded and weak that he gets a glimpse beneath the veil that is down there and gets a real idea of what Tartarus is like. Let’s just say he’s happy to keep the veil tightly strapped over his mind because seeing the truth of it all is too destructive to his psyche!
Then of course there’s the emotional side of things. Rick completely shocked me this time around when he decided to script a few scenes that left me feeling sorrow and grief for what was lost aka Bob. I won’t say much about Bob, but I will say that he is probably the best friend a person could ask for. And…it totally broke my heart!! So after a glass of wine and a few tears were shed, I was able to pull myself together and made the decision in that exact moment that the below scene was the best scene in the book, if only for the emotion it left me feeling. So here you go folks.
“Monsters are eternal,” she told him, trying to keep herself from sobbing. “We will remember you and Damasen as heroes, as the best Titan and the best Giant. We’ll tell our children. We’ll keep the story alive. Someday, you will regenerate.”
Bob ruffled her hair. Smile lines crinkled around his eyes. “That is good. Until then, my friends, tell the sun and the stars hello for me. And be strong. This may not be the last sacrifice you must make to stop Gaea.”
Seriously?! Did you just read that?! How are you not a ball of mush right now…here, let me pinpoint the exact part the broke me:
“…tell the sun and the stars hello for me”
So, yea. Insert a ball of mush and paste my face on it because I’m done folks. But before I go I’ll leave you with this: go out and read this if you haven’t. Get off your tushy and BUY THIS SERIES STAT!!!
P.S. I'm sorry this review was mostly on the whole Tartarus aspect of the book when there was actually so much more that happened. But alas, this is all my brain could focus on after finishing it. So if I have to be stuck in this head, so do you! Happy Swooning!