Needing a break from all my 2013 rereads, I decided to revisit the world of Percy Jackson and start Riordan's second series about the demigods that live among us. This series, set in the same world, introduces us to a whole other set of demigods - those sired from the gods while in their Roman incarnation. Therefore we meet Jason who is the son of Jupiter rather than Zeus. Riordan does a good job of explaining how the gods are all the same but were given different names to suit different aspects of themselves and how the gods can exist in multiple forms at once.
Jason has no memory of his childhood and becomes conscious on a bus heading toward the Grand Canyon. He's a teenager. His two close friends, Piper and Leo, know who he is and have memories of him, but Jason is clueless. He's given about an hour to ponder all he's forgotten before the whole busload of children are attacked by monsters. It's a rough introduction for Jason, Leo, and Piper, who all turn out to be demigods, into the world of mythology. They end up at Camp Halfblood and meet Annabeth. She's pretty absent from this book since she's on her own mission to find Percy who's strangely gone missing.
A new prophecy is revealed foretelling the end of world and how seven demigods will be chosen to work together to prevent it. With three assembled already, Jason, Leo, and Piper set off on a quest to rescue Hera, who has been kidnapped by giants. The whole plot of the series unfolds as they quest to find Hera who of course is in California, the seat of all evil for Riordan (not really sure why,) things are looking pretty interesting for the rest of the books. What's different about this series already is the human connection. In Percy's series, you felt that everyone was connected through a common cause automatically, but for Jason's story line, it's not that easy. Not only are the demigods and gods going to have to work together (and the gods hate that,) but two groups of kids who didn't even know each other existed will have to figure out how to team up successfully, overcoming centuries of inherent animosity. It sounds like it's going to be interesting.
Conflicting with the interesting plot though are the new characters. I'm not sure I like them all. There's almost too much insecurity between them which I assume will improve, but for now. Jason is insecure because of his lack of memory, Piper just a teenage girl who second-guesses a little too much, and Leo has issues in his past keeping him doubt of his abilities. I know they'll grow because that's what Riordan characters do, but it's almost like they started at more of a deficit than I expected.
I'm not dying to get into the second book in this series the way I was with Percy's books, but I will eventually read it These books are a fun break from heavier reads and I really do like the world Riordan has created for them. It's fun YA fiction that features an ensemble cast rather than a single strong female battling her way through dystopia, and that's a nice change too.