[Regularly scheduled posts to resume after lengthy, emotional rant.]
I am months late to this party. No, seriously, the book came out October 12, 2010 ahhh it's 2011 now, how weird is that?. I finally finished the book on Monday, so I've had a few days to mull it over and solidify my opinion. I held off on my reaction post on purpose so that it wouldn't look like a whole lot of senseless capslocking, flailing, and HULKSMASH. Well. I mean, there's still going to be a lot of that, but it'll be comprehensible, hopefully. But no guarantees.
The Heroes of Olympus!!1!1!!!!11
So yadda yadda yadda, this is not a review, and you should probably LOOK AWAY if you haven't read The Lost Hero and ever intend to in your life. Because everything from here on out is spoilery spoilery. Don't say I didn't warn you.
My feelings about TLH are complicated. I didn't love it, which is saying a lot, because I practically worship the PJO series. I think the first series is delightfully conceived and near-perfectly paced with some of the most engaging and likeable characters to ever appear on a page. TLH is not even close to that caliber of storytelling. No way. What was fresh in the first series is now vaguely formulaic and repetitive and wow, I could drive a truck each and every one of the plot holes. So yeah, there are a lot of issues. But the one thing I think is the single largest problem in TLH is the hardcore lack of Percy Jackson. I don't even think this statement is biased based on the fact that I have an enduring love affair with him. Giving us zero Percy page time was easily the biggest mistake.
You don't just casually mention, OH BTW, Percy has been missing for days, and then build a plot that does not involve looking for him. Oh, there are people looking for him (aka all of the old crew and the people we care about), but unfortunately, we the readers have to follow some other dumbshit plot about rescuing Hera, and GOD, Rsquared, I could really not give a flying fuck about Hera. The plot involving the old characters looking for him, seemed infinitely more interesting than bonding with Jason, Leo, and Piper. I am sitting there, frothing in rage, being like wtf, why are there not BATTLE SQUADRONS of demigods being sent out to find Percy?
Sidenote, I was super irritated that every time anyone brought up Percy's name, some new character would chime in, OH YOU MEAN THAT KID ANNABETH IS LOOKING FOR? I literally wanted to punch the wall. YEAH THAT KID. NO CLUE. I MEAN, I HEARD HE SAVED THE WORLD THREE MONTHS AGO. WHAT A HAS-BEEN.
There are two ways RR could've solved this problem. He could've written a book that was set more into the future so the old characters wouldn't figure into the plot. They'd be safely out of the way, IDK, having lots of sex and babies or whatever, and the readers could then concentrate on what was happening in front of them. Or, he could've incorporated the old characters into the main plot. But no. He took the third way, which was, create an entirely separate subplot for the old characters, have it happen simultaneously to the main plot, but not show us any of it. So the two plots are linked, but we don't get that until the end of the book.
Basically, I did not care for the plot until about 300 pages in, which is pretty bad. There was a lot of infodump going on, but since we readers already went through the whole WELCOME TO CAMP HALF-BLOOD part in The Lightning Thief, it was not particularly interesting.
Can I take a moment, also, to RAEG about Jason and Piper? This pretty much sums up how I feel about them and their relationship:
The number of times Piper talked about how omghawt Jason was bordered on how often Bella talks about how *perfect* Edward is. That is Not Okay. I honestly cannot tell you why Jason and Piper like each other. I could give you 100 reasons why Percy likes Annabeth and vice versa. Because they have personalities outside of their relationships. Because we watched them fall in love, we were not TOLD they were in love. Jason/Piper violates the cardinal principle of show, don't tell. We are constantly being told they have feelings for each other, but we don't see it happen.
I didn't like the 3 POVs (too many) and third person (too distant). I still don't feel like I really connect with the main characters. The slang was super forced. The pop culture references ran rampant. Just very inorganic-sounding.
Okay, so that was all very negative. I did like the plot once it picked up, way too much later than I would've liked. I think the Roman aspect is something RR can run with for five books and come up with lots of interesting twists. Leo came into his own as a character, much more than Piper and Jason did. I loved returning to the world of Camp Half-Blood. The new antagonists were awesome. Medea and Midas? You know my heart, Rick, you do. Loved Annabeth's cameo. Love Thalia. The backstory was cool and I think I kind of love Hephaestus? I always liked him, though. The Roman camp is going to give me the opportunity for endless lulz, because I feel like the Romans perceive themselves as Hot Shits, when really, they just got the Greeks' sloppy seconds during the Titan War.
Son of Neptune (coming October 2011!) is the book I really want to read. I am going to assume, DO NOT BE MISLEADING ME HERE, RSQUARED, that it's about Percy at Roman Camp. No, for srs, RR, if you are jerking with my emotions, I will not be pleased.
So that's me. 3 out of 5 stars, even though I spent a majority of this post bitching.