Book Review: The Son of Neptune

Way back when I was a wee lad in high school, I took me a mythology course. Already having been introduced to the likes of Zeus and Thor thanks to my comic book habit, I was pleasantly surprised by how different the mythological gods where from their comic counterparts. But there’s so much more to mythology than the gods. Heroes like Aeneas and Bellerophone creatures like Cerberus wondrous beings like the Dryads, the stories are replete with marvels. This book is a re-imagining of the marvels that were created millennia ago.

The Son of Netpune is the second book in Riordan’s third saga. The aforementioned son you may have already heard of, since he’s a movie star: Percy Jackson. You needn’t read the original Percy Jackson saga to enjoy this book, though it would give you a better understanding of some of the characters the story shows you. But you should read the first book in this saga, The Lost Hero, before reading this one. You’d be a tad lost without doing so. This story continues the explanation of how Roman gods are Greek gods with personalities changed to compensate for the difference between Roman and Greek cultures. It’s fun to hear one man’s take on that.

As for the plot of this book: Percy has amnesia and stumbles his demigod butt into a Roman camp. ‘Tis a good thing that he doesn’t remember he is a Greek demigod, for the Greek and Romans don’t play well together. Bit since he doesn’t remember who he is, he’s allowed to go on a quest with two downtrodden Roman demigods. What’s the quest you ask? Why to free Thanatos from the clutches of a giant who happens to be the son of Gaea. Oh, and for the uninitiated, Thanatos is the Roman god of death (not to be confused with Pluto the Lord of the underworld) and Gaea is none other than Mother Earth. That’s right, Death is a good guy and Mother Earth is a bad gal. Interesting twist, eh?

All sorts of fantastical things happen along the way and since it is a kids book, it happens quickly. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, fun read, this is a book for you. Don’t underestimate it based on it being a kids book either. It’s got surprising depth to it.

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