The number one complaint I had about this audiobook was PRONUNCIATION! It always bothers me when the reader gets a word wrong and everyone else involved in the production of that audiobook misses it. (One of my *favorites* was when the narrator for Twilight book said soul-der for the word “solder” — which is actually pronounced sod-der.) Now, I studied Greek Mythology in elementary school, high school, and college, and all of those teachers managed to use the same pronunciations. So, when I was listening to this book, I was jolted out of the story every single time the narrator pronounced “Hera” as hee-rah [instead of hair-uh] and “Gaia” as gee-uh [instead of guy-uh]… I know that the pronunciations of Greek Gods’ names can vary, but it didn’t exactly set my expectations very high for correct pronunciations when he said brassiere for “brazier” in the beginning of the book. [OK. My pronunciation rant is over!]
Believe it or not, though, despite the first paragraph of my review, I really loved this story! I thought it was a great creative twist on the whole Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and an awesome way to get kids to compare and contrast the Greek and Roman gods. People who haven’t read the other series, which began with The Lightning Thief, can probably even just start with this spin-off series because Riordan did a great job including snippets of back-story about important people and events to catch people up (or to refresh the memories of people who did read them).
In this story, Jason wakes up on a school bus with no memory of his past or knowledge of the people he’s with. The girl who’s holding his hand? She says she’s his girlfriend, but he doesn’t remember anything about her. He is also purportedly best friends with a guy named Leo but doesn’t remember him either. Jason has no idea where they are or where they are going. All he knows is that his name is Jason, he is apparently a student at Wilderness School (a school for juvenile delinquents), and something is not quite right about the teacher who is supervising their field trip. As readers quickly surmise, Jason is a half-blood like Percy Jackson. But, unlike Percy Jackson, Jason has a natural tendency to refer to the gods by their Roman names…