The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune

Cover of first edition
Author Rick Riordan
Cover artist John Rocco
Country United States
Series The Heroes of Olympus (bk 2)
Genre Fantasy, Greek and Roman mythology, young-adult novel
Publisher Disney-Hyperion Books[1]
Publication date
October 4, 2011 (hardcover, audiobook CD, Kindle/Nook eBook)
Media type Print (hardcover), audiobook CD, e-book
Pages 513 pp (first ed.)[1]
ISBN 978-1-4231-4059-7
OCLC 719377188
LC Class PZ7.R4829 Son 2011[1]
Preceded by The Lost Hero
Followed by The Mark of Athena

The Son of Neptune is a 2011 fantasy novel, the second book in The Heroes of Olympus series written by Rick Riordan. The story follows the adventures of amnesiac Percy Jackson, a demigod son of Poseidon, as he meets a camp of Roman demigods and goes to Alaska with his new friends Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang to free the Greek god of death, Thanatos and help save the world from Gaea, the earth goddess.

The book received mostly critical acclaim, won the Goodreads Choice Award in 2011,[2] and appeared on several bestseller lists.[3] The book continues Riordan's use of third person narration, where chapters are from the point of view of one of the main characters, switching between Percy, Frank, and Hazel.

The book was first published in hardcover on October 4, 2011 by Disney-Hyperion with a cover designed by illustrator John Rocco. After an initial hardcover printing of three million copies, the book has since been released in paperback as well as an audiobook and e-book, and has been translated into 37 languages.[4]

Development and promotion

In an interview by Scholastic with Rick Riordan for The Lost Hero, Riordan was questioned about the whereabouts of Percy Jackson. The author hinted that the answer would be revealed as Jason's quest progressed. By the end of the book, he said that readers would have a good idea where the second book is going.[5] On May 26, 2011, Riordan released both the cover art and the first chapter for The Son of Neptune confirming that Percy would play a role in the book.[6]

On August 8, 2011, Rick Riordan released a video giving more information about the book and its characters. The video includes pictures of a black haired boy with a bow and arrow in his hands who is later revealed to be Frank Zhang, a blonde-haired boy holding a teddy bear later revealed as Octavian, a girl with black hair wearing gold armor and a purple cloak sitting on a throne flanked by a gold and a silver canine creature, both with red eyes, who was revealed on Rick Riordan's blog to be Reyna, and another girl riding a horse named Hazel Levesque.[7] Along with this, two chapters were released prior to the book's launch: one was put on Riordan's website and another read out by Riordan on Percy's birthday, August 18.[8]


Several months after Percy Jackson's defense of Mount Olympus during the events of The Last Olympian, Percy finds himself alone and on the run from monsters in southern California without his memories. Under the initial guidance of Lupa, the wolf-goddess and protector of ancient Rome, he makes his way toward Camp Jupiter, the Roman demigod training camp and counterpart to Camp Half-Blood. Upon arriving, he is again attacked by several Gorgons, and successfully defends a disguised goddess Juno as well as the camp with the help of the guards on duty. Because he protected her during the attack, Juno announces his arrival with her approval, identifying that Percy is a son of Neptune. She further tells him privately that he can only regain his memory by learning to be a hero again and successfully survive the challenges he encounters at camp.

Quickly befriending the guards, Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque, he acclimates quickly to Camp Jupiter's new routines and leadership. Though Frank and Hazel are outcasts at Camp Jupiter, relate to Percy's outsider status and consider it their duty to help Percy adjust. However, the three receive a direct prophecy from Mars, the Roman god of war:

Go to Alaska.
Find Thanatos and free him.
Come back by sundown on June twenty-fourth or die.

Before any of them have a chance to gain their footing, they are selected to go on a quest to rescue Death from the giant Alcyoneus who is hiding deep in Alaska. During the trip, the trio learns that the goddess Gaea is awakening from several millennia of slumber with a plan to destroy the gods and the world along with them. She has created seven children, all of whom are giants. Each of these giants is matched to fight a god who is an enemy. Each giant has the skills to oppose one god and they can only be defeated if the gods and the demigods join forces. This is not an easy task. Percy and his friends manage to defeat the Alaskan giant and save Camp Jupiter from destruction. During their journey, Hazel and Frank become true heroes who know how to use their powers and have self-confidence. Percy regains his memory and helps them save the day.

Major characters


The Son of Neptune was given a first printing of three million copies, the largest for Disney-Hyperion to that point.[9] Upon release, the book ranked No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list, USA Today bestseller list, and The Wall Street Journal bestseller list.[3] It was the Amazon Best Book of the Month in October 2011.[10]

Critical reception

The novel was met with mostly positive reviews. Dana Henderson of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer called the addition of new characters "refreshing and captivating" and claimed that it would "make the reader to want to keep reading".[11] Kimberly Bennion in Deseret News cited it as an "emotional roller coaster" and would please both old and new fans. However, she thought the characters had flaws.[12] The Hutchinson Leader's Kay Johnson wrote that the plot was confusing and the first half was not engaging, but thought Riordan should be given credit for introducing Greek and Roman mythology to a new generation.[13] Kirkus Reviews was positive about the book, thinking that Riordan had "regained his traction" after "spinning his wheels" in The Lost Hero.[14]


The Mark of Athena was released on October 2, 2012 and "The House of Hades" was released on October 8, 2013[15] The Blood of Olympus was released on October 7, 2014.[16]


  1. 1 2 3 "The son of Neptune". LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress ( Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  2. "The Son of Neptune wins the GoodReads Choice Award 2011". GoodReads. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  3. 1 2 "The Son of Neptune goes on three bestseller lists". Rick Riordan Official Website. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  4. Lodge, Sally. "First Printing of Three Million for New Percy Jackson Book". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  5. "Rick Riordan talks about The Son of Neptune for the first time". Scholastic. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  6. "The Son of Neptune cover released". Rick Riordan Official Website. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  7. "Official Youtube video giving sneak peek about characters". Disney-Hyperion. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  8. "Riordan reads the first two chapters of The Son of Neptune" (PDF). Rick Riordan Official Website. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  9. Lodge, Sally (August 18, 2011). "First Printing of Three Million for New Percy Jackson Book". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  10. "The Son of Neptune is Amazon's book of the month". Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  11. Henderson, Dana (October 13, 2011). "Book Review: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  12. Bennion, Kimberly (October 14, 2011). "Review: 'Son of Neptune' is worth the wait". Deseret News. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  13. Johnson, Kay. "Book Review: "The Son of Neptune," by Rick Riordan". Hutchinson Leader. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  14. "The Son of Neptune". Kirkus Reviews. November 1, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  15. "The Mark of Athena". Rick Riordan Official Website. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  16. "The Heroes of Olympus,Book Five: The Blood of Olympus - Rick Riordan - Google Books". Https:. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
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