Eunice Kim, staff writer
If readers are looking for a mix of Greek/Roman mythology and the 21st century, “The Heros of Olympus” series, by Rick Riordan who is also author of the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series as well as “Kane Chronicles” trilogy, is what the readers need. Riordan’s books are full of interesting characters and gripping plot. Greek/Roman mythology itself might sound boring, with its old language and plots that often makes readers confused; however, Riordan’s books might change your perspective of Greek/Roman mythology forever.
“The Mark of Athena” is about a group of teenagers with Olympic blood venturing to Rome on a quest to save humanity from the evil Greek earth mother, Gaea. Previous books of “The Heros of Olympus” focused on the new heroes discovering that Gaea is trying to overthrow the Olympians with her children, the giants. Each book focuses on a certain hero or heroes’ quest to stop Gaea from doing her evil deeds.
“The Mark of Athena” looks at Annabeth Chase, the daughter of the goddess Athena, who embarks on a quest t o bring back her mother’s sacred statue, Athena Parthenos, that has been lost for over centuries. The work Chase has to do is no easy task, since all she can depend on are her wits and art craftsmanship. While others search through Rome to find and destroy evil giants, Otis and Ephialtes (or the “Big F”), Chase goes on a solo quest to overcome her greatest fear: spiders. Chase also has to defeat a deformed spider woman who hates children of Athena because of their mother named Arachne to retrieve the statue. However, Chase manages to defeat Arachne with a weapon that was totally unexpected.
Riordan uses Greek/Roman mythology, an important aspect of Western civilization, in an awesome romantic adventure that makes readers die to know what’s going to happen to their heroes next. Riordan tells characters’ experiences as both human and god with his amazing humor and wit. In “Mark of Athena,” Riordan also talks about the struggle Chase goes through in “The Mark of Athena.” The protagonists often show envy toward regular humans for their unawareness of the ‘truth,’ which is the world filled with Greek/Roman monsters and gods. The protagonists struggle to fit in between the world of mortals and the world of gods. Much like what teenagers go through now, the demigods struggle to find their identity between the world of childhood and world of adulthood.
The vocabulary in “The Mark of Athena” is bearable, as the reader can understand most of the plot without the use of the dictionary. It is best to read the book and search through the appendix for Greek/Roman terms that may be unfamiliar. Teenagers who struggle with their self-identity, want to explore modern interpretations of more about Greek/Roman mythology, or want plain fun should take a look at “The Mark of Athena.”