The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
I think this middle book might have been the weakest of the series for me—it was certainly the least memorable. While Percy falls into a sort of rhythm, Rick Riordan’s plotting starts to get a little paint-by-numbers in a way that makes me wonder if his enormous book output after the Percy Jackson books is being manned by a bookmill of ghostwriters. That said, I was glad to keep inhabiting the Percy universe and learn even more obscure mythology.
Annabeth goes missing while Percy is part of a mission to rescue half-bloods Bianca and Nico from their school. Then they join up with Artemis and her young huntresses in order to return the kids to Camp Half-Blood. Concerned for the disappearance of half-bloods like Annabeth, as well as the capture of Artemis, Chiron sends a team on a quest to rescue Annabeth and Artemis. Of course, Percy forms part of their ranks, as does Artemis’s second-in-command, a mysterious and skulking young woman named Zoe Nightshade. We encounter even more magical creatures and there are wider hints about the prophecy. At the very least, the Oracle has indicated that not everyone will survive the current quest.
This book picks up a major predictability factor which made the book easy to read and a little boring simultaneously. It’s not boring enough to drop the series, but it certainly lacked the easy fun of the first two books in the series. I did, however, very much enjoy the presence of the mythical creatures, as well as the fleshing out of the Atlas story. I’ll be curious to see how Riordan starts to pull the threads together in the last two books.