Oh how I wanted to enjoy this as much as I did the first five Percy Jackson novels.
Unfortunately, like with Red Pyramid, I maintain that Riordan has caught Rowling sickness. It’s too long. Granted, I took numerous breaks from this book—half read it, half listened to it—but it just seemed to go on for a really long time. The tension built for little payout, at least to me. I desperately wanted to know what exactly was so different between the Greek and Roman counterparts, and felt a little underwhelmed by the time it’s finally explained. I would’ve liked to have known more about it sooner; I don’t think it would have hurt the end of the book if the reader could have been in the know a hundred pages before we were.
I guess my biggest problem with this novel is the multiple points of view. In the Kane Chronicles, it works because it’s a brother and a sister who bicker as they pass the recorder back and forth. The difference in narrative styles becomes a part of the story. Here it feels like we don’t get to become fully invested, and miss pieces because we were in the wrong person’s head at the time. I don’t particularly like Leo, either. Any time I reached a Leo section, I had to drag my way through it. It got better as the book went on, but I didn’t enjoy him as much as Jason or Piper.
But let’s be honest. The parts of the book I liked the best were the scenes that included Annabeth, Thalia, or Rachel—three of our tie-overs from the other series. I still care more about them, and want to know what they’re doing. If I can’t break that emotional attachment and extend it to the new characters, that’s a problem.
Perhaps because I’m outside of the book’s targeted demographic, the formula is just getting a little wearisome. I found both this one and Red Pyramid harder to finish. It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy either one, but it’s lost some of the charm that Percy had. That said, because I know our next book includes Percy himself, I may have an easier time with it.