Hmm. I wavered between three and four stars for this... so it's more like three and a half, I guess, as I ended up going by the definitions given here - I "liked it", but I'm not entirely sure I "really liked it". This makes it the first book in the Percy Jackson / The Heroes of Olympus series that I didn't "really like".
That said, it's not like there was anything wrong with the book - and I did enjoy it! Fast, page-turning adventure, plenty of battles and all that; everything one has come to expect from a Percy Jackson book. It was great to see Percy again, too, after the previous book. But ultimately... dunno, I guess I like the Greek demigods more than the Romans, maybe? I didn't really warm properly to the new characters introduced (although I did like Hazel), and the whole book felt too much like warm-up - like it was just going through the motions to set up the stage for the next book(s).
I should also admit that I probably should have re-read The Lost Hero
before reading this, as I'd forgotten far too much of that book's plot & details, and some of those were important here.
I am definitely looking forward to The Mark of Athena
, the next book in the series, though. Perhaps once I've read that, I'll come to appreciate this one a bit more in hindsight.