I really like this extended series by Rick Riordan. The characters are not perfect. They are average teens with extraordinary powers (like many of the readers wish they could be.) It is literary, makes lots of references to mythology and events that are fairly advanced for the intended readers.
But the first two books in this series have felt like prequels. The Percy Jackson series (the first five books) had an overall arc. They introduced Percy, Percy and friends went on quests, they solved the problems of the Gods being overthrown.
This second series (Heroes of Olympus) spent the first book introducing new characters, then the second book introducing the Roman side of the mythology and why the Roman and Greek demi-gods have been separated.
It isn’t until this third book that the action of the series actually seems to be starting. At the beginning of this book all 7 heroes get together and start their trek to Rome to save Nico and stop Rome from being destroyed.
As with the other books in the series, each chapters is narrated by a particular character. So it isn’t directly about a single main character in the same way the Percy Jackson books were about Percy Jackson. In spite of this group focus, each of the books in the series have prioritized one character in the story telling. It was Jason in the first, Percy in the second, and Annabeth in the Mark of Athena.
In most young adult books I have at least a couple of points where I question why I am reading so much young adult literature. And I did here. But I also usually have several points where I appreciate the clear storytelling, the overt good vs. evil and that small brain cell drain.
The series continues to be a good one and there is a very clear cliff hanger at the end that will lead into the next book. On the whole, I really am enjoying the series.