Disney-Hyperion, 2008. 978-1423101482
Synopsis: When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped. And now it’s up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess? They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared-a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever. – from Amazon.com
Why I picked it up: I’ve read it a couple times before because I can’t get enough of this series, but this time around, it was because I just finished The House of Hades and I wanted to go back and refresh my memory about when Percy met Nico di Angelo.
Why I finished it: This is the calm before the storm, so to speak, and it’s a lead up to the next book which is the turning point before we get to the grand finale in Last Olympian. The reader is more properly introduced to Thalia, daughter of Zeus, who was awakened from her state as a pine tree at the conclusion of Sea of Monsters. I love the dynamic between Thalia and Percy, who waver right on the edge of being friends and enemies, but the two seem to overcome the fact that they could potentially throttle each other by the time we finish the story. Plus, we learn that the hero prophecy could potentially apply to Thalia now that she has been awakened. The reader is also introduced to the Hunters, a group of clandestine females who have sworn loyalty to Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt. They’re a group that (perhaps wisely) avoids getting too heavily involved with half-bloods and the rest of the Olympian population in general, but it is their gifts and their loyalty to each other that contributes to the quest to find Artemis. There are also the di Angelo kids, whose parentage and history is rather mysterious in and of itself, but an astute reader can perhaps pick up on some of the clues Riordan gives as to who they are and where they came from. The plot to overthrow Olympus becomes a little clearer (beyond the overarching Kronos is coming back to overthrow his sons who overthrew him bit), yet the mystery behind Luke’s allegiance to the Titan is still a little unclear. We’re introduced to even more baddies that will play a role in later books, but given no clue as to how the story will finally end. Will things end in disaster or will the half-bloods be able to find a way to stop Kronos?
Other related materials: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan; The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2) by Rick Riordan; The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4), by Rick Riordan; The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5) by Rick Riordan; The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan; The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan and Robert Venditti, illustrated by Attila Futaki and Jose Villarrubia; The Sea of Monsters graphic novel by Rick Riordan and Robert Venditti, illustrated by Attila Futaki and Tamas Gaspar; The Titan’s Curse graphic novel by Rick Riordan and Robert Venditti, illustrated by Attila Futaki and Gregory Guilhaumond; The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diareis by Rick Riordan; The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis; Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer; Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling; The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster; Ranger’s Apprentice books by John A. Flanagan