The Son of Neptune  - Rick Riordan
Super fun series!

The Son of Neptune is the second book in The Heroes of Olympus series. I'll review the whole series at once when I've finished it, but through book two I'm very impressed! It's a perfect combination of silly fun and adventure fun. I'm anxious for my kids to read them!

SERIES REVIEW

Dang. What a disappointing end to an exceptionally fun series.

Is it really so hard to write a satisfying ending? The Blood of Olympus, the fifth and final book of the Heroes of Olympus series, lost its way--and not even everyone's favorite demigods could save this book from itself. After four years of build up, everything about The Blood of Olympus felt rushed. The ending, which should have been magnificent, was forced and anticlimactic. Somewhere along the way Nico's personal problems replaced saving the world as the main conflict the series needed to resolve, and it's felt from front cover to back cover of The Blood of Olympus. That ending...blah. I was so disappointed.

Which is such a bummer, because up until the last book, Heroes of Olympus was so much fun!

A watch out from parent to parent: In the 4th book, The House of Hades, the character Nico, who is 14, reveals that he feels same-gender attraction to Percy Jackson. He says he has had a "crush" on Percy for a long time. We learn that the reason he stays distant and keeps to himself is because of his heartache and shame. In the 5th book, Nico continues to struggle with feeling shame and guilt. He finds acceptance in the end, and he discovers he really does have a place to belong after all. He tells Percy about his feelings, and in the last few pages forms a potentially romantic friendship with another boy. The issue is treated positively, and I can appreciate that a youth reading about what goes on in Nico's head would give them an important perspective on how someone experiencing same-gender attraction might feel. Certainly the hope is that this will help them respond with an understanding heart when they encounter a similar situation in real life. However, as I expressed in my review on The House of Hades, I feel it was presumptuous of the author to present this sensitive topic in a children's book without giving parents a chance to discuss it with their kids first.

The Heroes of Olympus series is A LOT of fun! The last book was disappointing, but I'll still be recommending the series to my children who are at least 11 or 12. And I'll stay close to them as they move through so that when they get to book 4 and 5 we can have some important discussion.