My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ahh, now, that’s more like it.
After The Sea of Monsters, which was a relatively lame read, the pacing and action of The Titan’s Curse was a welcome breath of fresh air.
To recap: in the last book, Percy & Co. cured Thalia’s Tree, a magical tree that protects Camp Half-Blood, the summer camp where demigods (or half-bloods) go to train. An unexpected side effect of the cure was that Thalia herself was resurrected.
In this book, Thalia has joined Percy & Co. to find and recruit some half-bloods that are rumored to be living in New York City. Percy’s a little threatened by Thalia, and doesn’t know whether to bow to her or assert himself.
Complicating matters is a prophecy that one of the children of the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades) will either establish the gods forever or destroy them forever on their sixteenth birthday. Since Thalia and Percy are the only existing children of the Big Three, and both are rapidly nearing their sixteenth birthdays, one of them could be the child of the prophecy.
As they attempt to help twins Bianca and Nico di Angelo, the half-bloods they find in New York, Percy & Co. have a run-in with the Hunters of Artemis and some monsters. They’re able to protect the di Angelos, but Annabeth goes missing during the fracas. The Hunters of Artemis then reveal that Artemis, goddess of the hunt, is also missing, and they’re looking for her. During this brief encounter, the Hunters offer Bianca di Angelo the opportunity to become a Hunter herself and she agrees. In return, she will stay the age she is forever and will have supernatural strength and healing, but she will have to be separated from her brother until she decides to leave the Hunters.
Her brother’s rather upset by this.
Everyone then comes together to find Annabeth and Artemis.
Seriously, that intro is already so much better than the entire Sea of Monsters. And the rest of the book follows through on its beginning’s promise of adventure.
Riordan throws in a a few twists and turns, too. Not so many that it gums up the machinery of the story, but enough to keep things interesting and hold your attention.
My minor, minor, tiny nitpick with this installment in the series is the depiction of Thalia. Riordan portrays her as a take-charge girl (she is Zeus’ daughter, after all) who dresses like a punk rocker. She’s supposed to be a rebel, but the effort to make Thalia seem “cool” and “edgy” falls a little flat, as most adult authors’ descriptions of “cool kids” do.
Please, people. If you’re going to make your characters cool, don’t overexplain how they’re dressed. Cool kids don’t get that way by trying too hard, and if you try too hard for them, it has the same effect (see also: Kishi, Claudia. Seriously, people. Ann M. Martin must be Lady Gaga’s pen name).
I know, it’s not a big deal, but it annoys me to no end.
In short, this is an excellent addition to the Percy Jackson series, and a great recovery from The Sea of Monsters.