FEATURE: THE SON OF NEPTUNE
The Book that will change you.
Her life, past, and future.
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Prologue Percy Jackson, a demigod wanders into Camp Jupiter not knowing his past. Camp Jupiter, a training camp for demigods, is full of demigods such as Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque. Demigods are the children of the gods who have one parentw as a mortal and the other a god. Camp Jupiter fears that Percy is dangerous, but they still decide to let him stay. Percy befriends Frank and Hazel not knowing that both of them also have secret pasts. Hazel, has a secret, she isn’t from this time. Her father, Pluto cursed Hazel leading to an unsettling life. In 1941, Gaea, the foul earth goddess, controlled Hazel’s mom Marie into a malicious plot to resurrect her eldest son. Near the end of the plot, Hazel changed her mind to help Gaea, and prevented Gaea’s son from rising. Unfortunately Hazel and her mother perished in the process. Because of the doors of
death opening in the underworld, Nico, Hazel’s brother, was able to bring Hazel back to life. No one knows except Frank, Nico, and Percy. Frank unlike Hazel doesn’t know his families past. No one will tell him the secrets kept from him. Although he knows that his life is fragile. When he was a baby, his family had a fire going, little did they know that that fire would represent Frank’s life. Before the last kindling was to be burned, Frank’s grandmother quickly snatched it from the fire. Now Frank holds that stick in his pocket always with him, for if it burns out so will he. As a result of Frank being claimed by the war god, Mars, Frank must now lead an unbearable quest accompanied by Hazel and Percy in order to save the camp from Gaea. The fate of Camp Jupiter is in their hands.
“If you take the hard path, thats how you reap the sweet rewards” 2 QUEST • JANUARY 2012
Contents Interview with Hazel Levesque 4 Learn about her unique and complex life as QUEST interviews her to the core.
The Music 6
Top song for the Son of Neptune. Hereâ€™s what our journalists have to say about it.
Who am I?8
This phenomenal book is summarized in deep poetry that will open up your eyes.
What do we think? 9
A hard hitting review on the Son of Neptune showing the details and downfalls of this book.
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E C N A H C D N O C THE SE OF A LIFETIME
A CHANCE FOR A HERO TO GET BACK ON HER FEET.
Hazel Levesque grew up in New Orleans with her mother Marie. During this time, Hazel, 13 had some family issues involving her father Pluto. After Hazel ruined Gaea, the earth goddessâ€™ plot to anew her son, Hazel and her mom had died in the process but now, with the doors of death opening, Hazel came back from the Underworld to train at camp Jupiter. At this moment in time, she anticipates a difficult path ahead of her, joining Frank Zhang and Percy Jackson they must travel to Alaska, the land beyond the gods for an unbearable quest to defeat Gaea for once and for all. We sit down with her to learn more about her perplexing and daunting life.
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Q: What made you betray Gaea, knowing that you and your mother would die? A: I knew that it was for the best. In order to make my wrongful decisions right, I needed to subjugate Gaea that way her plans would foil. I would have rather two people sacrifice themselves then the world ending. It was a hard decision, but in the end I would never regret it. Q: When you came back from the underworld did you feel like yourself as a person had a chance to anew? A: I thought that I could prove to people that I was worth something. That my curse wouldn’t weigh me down from presenting my strengths to the world. I realize though now keeping my curse and past a secret could jeopardize the quest. I’m just hoping that now, with Frank and Percy knowing my secrets, it won’t damage my relationship with the both of them. Q: Recently Percy, Frank and you have been appointed to a unthinkable quest to defeat Gaea. How do you feel approaching this upcoming quest? A: I feel that as long as we have a strong relationship we can fulfill this task and defeat Gaea. I think with all of our skills combined together we will have an abundance of strength. I’m just hoping that my past won’t interfere. I can’t afford to blackout during battle. Q: Do you feel comfortable around Percy not knowing where he came from or his past?
A: I think having Percy around fortifies our group during this quest. In my gut, I feel that Percy’s past is filled with experience in things like this. I believe he is a important factor in our quest and saving the camp. He seems very genuine inside and so far he has brought no harm. Q: What are your thoughts on Frank? Is he ideal for leading the quest? A: I think Franks needs to build his confidence but I suppose that will come. The fact that Mars is his father shocked him quite a bit. To add on to the fact that Mars appointed him leader for this quest is even worse. Frank hasn’t even be here for a whole year! How in the world is he going to lead a quest that is so important? The whole camp is depending on him and us. I mean who can we blame for our troubles. It must be fate or something. I guess I shouldn’t be thinking in such a negative viewpoint. The camps depending on me too. I just really hope that Frank can pull things through. Q: Other campers believe that the children of Pluto are dangerous. What are your thoughts? A: I disagree. Just because Pluto isn’t a fan choice doesn’t mean we are dangerous. We are demigods just like anyone else. I mean the effects of my curse are dangerous but that is just a problem I have. QUEST, 2012
“Who can we blame for our troubles?”
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BY YOUR SIDE
WE STAND An in depth song anaylis about treasuring the important people in your life.
Black and Gold If the fish swam out of the ocean and grew legs and they started walking and the apes climbed down from the trees and grew tall and they started talking
I looked up into the night sky and see a thousand eyes staring back and all around these golden beacons I see nothing but black
and the stars fell out of the sky and my tears rolled into the ocean now I’m looking for a reason why you even set my world into motion
I feel a way of something beyond them I don’t see what I can feel if vision is the only validation then most of my life isn’t real
‘cause if you’re not really here then the stars don’t even matter now I’m filled to the top with fear that it’s all just a bunch of matter
‘cause if you’re not really here then the stars don’t even matter now I’m filled to the top with fear that it’s all just a bunch of matter
‘cause if you’re not really here then I don’t want to be either I wanna be next to you black and gold black and gold black and gold
‘cause if you’re not really here then I don’t want to be either I wanna be next to you black and gold black and gold
Song: Black and Gold - Artist: Sam Sparro - Album: Sam Sparro - Label: Island UK - Written By: Sam Falson & Jesse Rogg. - Released: April 14, 2008
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Black and Gold represents the complications and emotions in the Son of Neptune with insightful metaphors and meaning. The song describes how challenges in the world are easier to take when you are with someone that you treasure in your life. It explains that there is simply no point of overcoming challenges if that special person in your life isn’t there by saying, “cause if you’re not really here, then I don’t want to be either.” That if that person isn’t there with you it brings fear into your life and nothing in the world matters anymore. The lyric, “Now I’m filled to the top with fear, that it’s all just a bunch of matter” showcases the true meaning of friendship and love. This tells us that life is not the same if you’re not with the person you truly want to spend it with. A song I find is a perfect way to explain some of the social dilemmas in this story. The figurative language brings the message of the song into a broad perspective. You can match the similes and metaphors to the scenarios of the novel. For example in the song the author writes, “and my tears rolled into the ocean,” which shows how Hazels troublesome life finally getting to her emotions and unleashing her sorrow. When death is captured and the doors of death opened I feel that the personification “If the fish swam out of the ocean and grew legs and they started walking” is an
appropriate way to explain the situation because all of the spirits from the underworld are coming back to the real world. The lyric, “Now I’m filled to the top with fear” does a fantastic job in showing the amount of panic that the heroes are facing. I think figurative language plays an important part in connecting the songwriter to the listener. The song, Black and Gold, like the Son of Neptune, highlights the connection between fear and friendship. For instance, in the Son of Neptune, Hazel and Frank create a strong bond, so strong that without each other by their side fear and panic would soon overcome them. The song explains the unnerving challenges approaching and that if anyone were to be alone, fright would eventually overcome them. When Frank gives Hazel his life, literally, he tells her “You’re my best friend. - I trust you more than anybody.” This shows his trust and faith in Hazel. Hazel then fears for her life due to the problems that arise but Percy assures her they would never let her down. “We’re not going to let anything happen to you. You’re too valuable to me, to the camp and especially to Frank.” All these quotes and thoughts from the Son of Neptune show the relevance between this song and book. QUEST, 2012
“-I trust you more than anybody” QUEST • JANUARY 2012 7
WHERE I’M FROM I am from icy, brisk air, From towering ancient glaciers, I am from returning from the depths of death and sorrow I am an outsider, The locals stare right through me, Confused and intimidated. I am from voices, That lock me up, As they steal my freedom. I don’t know who to trust, As I walk my daily footsteps it’s like walking on thin ice. Who knows when the ice will break. I am from the guilt, Guilt that touches me beyond ways you can’t imagine. I’m the past and present, Like night and day. I’m from glistening, golden, treasures, That curse by touch. Death reaps my mind, It won’t let me go. I’m scared it will take me. I am afraid of what people think of my past, But while friends stand close, My heart tells me that trusting souls surround me. Sharing my past may be the only way for me to feel free. As I unleash my past I do find trust, and ambition. I can share my self freely with others. In order to complete my journey I’m from a primeval camp, That sits in the vast, perplexing woods, As it strengthens my thoughts, Concentration, Hope. I am from bonds, I’ve made. The ones I trust, That I won’t ever let go. QUEST 2012
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Line Should The Son of Neptune be a dded to a school cur riculum?
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s the best seller for the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal, The Son of Neptune has been the break out of literary success of the post Potter world. So should we place this novel into the curriculum in hopes of reluctant readers gaining benefits from reading? I believe The Son of Neptune does not consist of enough figurative and constructive language for a student in Grade 8. Therefore it would be more productive for lower grade levels such as Grade 6 and 7 to utilize. Nevertheless, I do still find that The Son of Neptune has all key elements in a novel that are extremely compelling to myself, and I believe many others. Some 10 QUEST â€˘ JANUARY 2012
of the vital elements I found in The Son of Neptune include, aspects such as an original intriguing plot that is filled with complex character development. For this reason, it makes it extremely captivating for any audience. Given the abundance of pages in this novel, I find that as I summarize my findings it is lacking moral and model language. In order for a Grade 8 student to look upon this book and learn from it, it would be difficult because the moral in the book is very sparse. There really is no moral I can find in this book except for the few clichĂŠs of trust and friendship.
If a student were to have to look for a deep and original meaning in this book it would be strenuous to find one. Adding from that, it is also missing exemplary uses of figurative language for a developing writer in Grade 8. For instance after the character Percy, walks out of a cafe the author writes, “The coffee was great.” leaving us with a vague and disappointing explanation of Percy’s thoughts before leaving onto another paragraph. Therefore, the level of writing, in this book such as varying sentences and complex vocabulary might be suitable for lower grades to see as ideal to enhance their learning. Putting aside the sparse exemplars of figurative language, this novel has such a intriguing plot and story that it would be hard for anyone to not find themselves in amusement. Readers will be put through a intrepid journey, through America connecting the new century to the ancient Greek and Roman times, showcasing the gods and myths of that time. It is unlike anything I’ve read before because it is such a unique plot with characters and events that grasp my attention. It is very entertaining to see the gods, such as Iris, in a story like this, where their actions link into modern times. When the book closes, lurking in the shadows, will be the thought of what will happen next due to the brilliant cliffhanger in this book.
The leading lady, Hazel Levesque in this book is a clever example of one of the many riveting characters in this novel. Rick Riordan does a marvelous job of providing deep and mysterious developments into the characters intimate pasts and secrets. Looking at a review by Children’s Literature it states “Although Percy makes a significant appearance in this book, the real growth in character development is seen in Hazel. She must come to terms with actions from the past.” I very well stand behind this honest and accurate statement because this is one of the reasons I enjoy reading. The secrets and stories behind characters bring me into the book wanting more and always asking questions such as, “What will happen next?” So I ask again, why not put this book into at least a lower grade curriculum? It has many crucial elements for a student to see as an amazing example of a plot that will grasp you into adventure. When I love books, I add myself into the story as I read, pretending that I’m there for every event that happens. It may sound foolish, but it takes me away from reality, letting my imagination flow and grow. It’s these stories that we need to let us escape from reality for a duration of time. I ask you to please allow a student to drift away, devour a book, and find themselves in paradise. QUEST, 2012
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