At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.
This was definitely a much darker book than the others. And this is definitely not a bad thing! With Annabeth and Percy traveling down to Tartarus (after an emotional ending during the last book), this book was definitely a much darker read than the rest of the series. As they were exploring Tartarus, they came across a number of horrifying and terrifying situations. Riordan does a wonderful job at making these scenes seem quite scary and making me so entranced that I just had to continue reading.
Annabeth and Percy have, without a doubt, become my favourite literary couple. There cannot be anyone that feels differently, right? I mean, Annabeth and Percy are so incredible that I just want more books centred around their beautiful relationship. These two have seriously broken my heart into a million tiny pieces. Despite the fact that they face a number of horrible situations, Annabeth and Percy remain an extremely strong couple throughout this book (and series). Riordan has written and developed them into very strong, three-dimensional characters, and they simply work so well together.
Frank’s transformation was probably my favourite part of the novel. As you may have realised from my other reviews of the previous Heroes of Olympus books, Frank has not been one of my favourite characters. This was because it did not feel like he was developing as well as the other characters, but this book changed everything. Finally, this book showcased Frank’s absolute awesomeness and he has transformed into one of the most amazing characters of the series. The inner strength that was only peaking through finally revealed itself, and I am now finding Frank to be a very interesting and entertaining character.
I also loved Nico’s storyline, and his growing friendship with Jason. Nico really surprised me during this book. I have always been found Nico to be a very intriguing, sometimes frustrating, character. However, this book finally delves deeper into the character and we can start to understand Nico’s motivations throughout this series, and the previous one. But what made me really like his development during this book was Nico’s friendship with Jason. Nico has always struggled to develop friendships with other people and it was so nice to see a friendship between these two characters flourish.
And we got to see Calypso again! I’m not sure whether this is a popular opinion or not, but I absolutely loved Calypso in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. So, it was absolutely amazing to see her again — especially alongside my favourite character, Leo. This was a wonderfully executed subplot, and I think it was a nice addition that Riordan made in order to lighten the mood of the book.