View from the window seat:
Annabeth can’t wait to finally reunite with her boyfriend Percy. But as she flys into Camp Jupiter on the Argo II with her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo, it looks like the Roman camp might not be so welcoming. What if Percy has changed after his time with the Romans? And what is Annabeth going to do about the task her mother has given her along with the dire words to follow the Mark of Athena and avenge her? Will the Romans and Greeks be able to set aside their differences and work together to defeat Gaea? The Mark of Athena takes our heroes across the dangerous Mediterranean Sea to Rome on a journey with unexpected turns.
The best part of this third book in the Heroes of Olympus series is that we finally get Annabeth as a narrator. Annabeth is one of my favorite characters from the Percy Jackson series, and after having her mostly absent from the last two books, I was so happy to see her take on a bigger role. Annabeth’s mother demands that she avenge her, but our group of heroes also has the Prophecy of Seven to deal with. Soon Annabeth discovers that the journey her mother wants her to complete may be more difficult than she could ever imagine. What I love most about Annabeth, though, is that she doesn’t waver. She knows what she has to do, and even though it means facing her greatest fear and also possibly parting from Percy again after they just got back together, she does it anyway.
Annabeth rejoining Percy also highlights how much Percy has grown over the series. His instinct is to protect those he loves; his fatal flaw is personal loyalty. Though he doesn’t want to, he lets Annabeth go on her quest alone because she has to and because it will help them in the coming war.
I also loved seeing our seven heroes working together in different ways. Percy and Jason are both used to being the leader and taking charge, but now they have to work together to defeat their enemies. It was amusing to see them try to one-up each other before finally using their skills in tandem. I was expecting a lot more tension among the group, but they easily became a family.
The Mark of Athena is another entertaining read from Rick Riordan and brings one of my favorite characters back into the spotlight. Beware: there’s another cliffhanger at the end that made me want to pull out my hair in anticipation for the next book.