The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Again, I suddenly seem to be able to relate to female characters! Just like in The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, I connect with the main female character, Annabeth. My favorite chapters from The Mark of Athena were from Annabeth's point of view. She tries to look tough, but internally she's screaming from stress. Furthermore, spiders are her greatest enemy. If I were a demigod, I'd probably be a child of Athena as well. :)
The book was narrated by four characters, which made it confusing. I'd get fasacinated by what's happening with one character (usually Annabeth), and then I'd get pulled out of that and into something I didn't like as much. Also, I think having seven demigods on the quest jumbled things up. Throughout the entire book, I was thinking, Who's her boyfriend? or How many girls love him?. Everyone was doing something, and everyone (I think) had a love interest (or two). I couldn't keep track of it all.
Nobody really was "usful", so to speak. Piper's charmspeak seriously never worked. And at the ending (I won't spoil it, don't worry), no. One. Helps. They just happen to be busy with something else, instead of helping their dying/freaked out/terrified friend.
It took me way too long to figure this out, but The Mark of Athena actually makes fun of the Catholic Church. The idiotic leader of a cult "just happens" to wear a hat that reminds Annabeth of the pope and all of the cult leaders hate women for no explained reason.
Now, on to the House of Hades. I hope Annabeth is in a lot of it. ;)
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