The Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan AHHHHHHHH!

Okay, so I totally adore Rick Riordan. One of my favourite authors and the release of Mark of Athena on my kindle just about killed me. It popped up a full day before I expected it and, OMG, I just squealed and died and came back to life just so I could fangirl for hours.
Then I devoured Mark of Athena in a day. And trust me, that was slow. I have very little self-restraint, I'm lucky I actually went to sleep last night and cleaned the house this morning like I was supposed to.

Anyway, as always, it was amazing. Maybe in a way I'm so attached to the characters that I didn't care if it wasn't as good, I just needed my Percabeth. But, I don't think so. It was a surprise, that was for sure. Right from the beginning Rick had me thinking the book was going to go a specific way, and then it didn't...

Obviously, no spoilers, but characters who I thought we'd have heaps of connection with got a brief cameo and then they were gone. We were stuck with our seven heroes (and Coach Hedge). Trust me, I wasn't complaining.

Percy and Annabeth were sweet and Rick did their relationship perfectly. They were very much attached to each other but they hadn't changed at all. Of course, there were never anything steamy because it's a kids book but it wouldn't feel right if we started getting explicit. So their little kisses were so cute and innocent. Though Rick does manage to get them into trouble for spending the night together - just sleeping! And not in beds - so, bonus cuteness!

Many of the other characters had to step out of the limelight despite having a lot written about them. Only Percy, Annabeth, Leo and Piper got chapters from their POV's. That was fine because I got my Percabeth fix and all the relevant information was there.

Also, despite not really like Leo in The Lost Hero, I grew to find him more interesting and less annoying. The whole Hazel/Leo situation was explained, though it wasn't magical really. Quite obvious. It was a good twist though, because even if nothing really happened this book, there's definitely a Frank/Hazel/Leo love triangle coming up. And I don't even know who I'm rooting for!

Piper and Jason were fine. They've always been the boring characters to me. Piper did seem less annoying which is FANTASTIC. And her and Jason's relationship was there but not really talked about a couple of time.

The plot was stretched thin, with lots of action, blowing up, and general demigod shenanigans but it all made sense and the last sort of battle was a little less intense than the last two books but still nail-bite worthy. And yes, this is another cast where the cover totally misleads you. I bet the cover artist is going, 'Hah! Let's see the theories come of that one, and they'll ALL BE WRONG! MWAHAHAHAHA
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But Rick Riordan has given us another cracker of a spoiler. Even better than the last, but in a different way. I finished the book and just sort of wailed for a while, keening, 'Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!' I'm SOOOO EXCITED TO THE NEXT BOOK. I cannot wait. I just... I will die. I really will.
I need to know if everyone's okay. EVERYONE HAS TO BE OKAY. Mostly Percabeth.

Oh dear.

So yes, it was absolutely fabulous and amazing and funny and wonderful. I'm just not going to be able to last a year.