If you know this blog at all, you'll know that I am a huge fan of Percy Jackson and now Rick Riordan's new series which brings us a whole new generation of half-bloods: The Heroes of Olympus. My favourite character from this new series is Leo. He is so funny and well, you've got to love a sidekick.
I am honoured to dedicate this post to the Olympian God Hephaestus. For those of you who have yet to meet him (I personally have been to Olympus many times as a well trained member of Camp Half Blood) he is the lord of blacksmiths. So assuming you (like me) ride a chariot in your spare time, you'll know how important it is to worship the God of metal and welding and stuff.
If you haven't picked up The Lost Hero yet, then do.
For those of you who are eagerly awaiting The Son of Neptune, I am delighted to share with you a sneaky peek.
So without further sacrifices into the Camp brazier, here it is:
Heroes of Olympus, Book Two
Publishes 4 October 2011
© Copyright Rick Riordan, 2011
The snake‐haired ladies were starting to annoy Percy.
They should’ve died three days ago when he dropped a crate of bowling balls on them at the Napa Bargain Mart. They should’ve died two days ago when he ran over them with a police car in Martinez. They definitely should’ve died this morning when he cut off their heads in Tilden Park.
No matter how many times Percy killed them and watched them crumble to powder, they just kept re‐forming like large evil dust bunnies. He couldn’t even seem to outrun them.
He reached the top of the hill and caught his breath. How long since he’d killed them last? Maybe two hours. They never seemed to stay dead longer than that.
The past few days, he’d hardly slept. He’d eaten whatever he could scrounge – vending machine Gummi Bears, stale bagels, even a Jack in the Crack burrito, which was a new personal low. His clothes were torn, burned and splattered with monster slime.
He’d only survived this long because the two snake‐haired ladies – gorgons, they called themselves –couldn’t seem to kill him either. Their claws didn’t cut his skin. Their teeth broke whenever they tried to bite him. But Percy couldn’t keep going much longer. Soon he’d collapse from exhaustion, and then – as hard as he was to kill – he was pretty sure the gorgons would find a way.
Where to run?
He scanned his surroundings. Under different circumstances, he might’ve enjoyed the view. To his left, golden hills rolled inland, dotted with lakes, woods, and a few herds of cows. To his right, the flatlands of Berkeley and Oakland marched west – a vast checkerboard of neighborhoods with several million people who probably did not want their morning interrupted by two monsters and a filthy demigod.
Farther west, San Francisco Bay glittered under a silvery haze. Past that, a wall of fog had swallowed most of San Francisco, leaving just the tops of skyscrapers and the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.
A vague sadness weighed on Percy’s chest. Something told him he’d been to San Francisco before. The city had some connection to Annabeth – the only person he could remember from his past. His memory of her was frustratingly dim. The wolf had promised he would see her again and regain his memory ‐‐ if he succeeded in his journey.
Should he try to cross the bay?
It was tempting. He could feel the power of the ocean just over the horizon. Water always revived him. Salt water was the best. He’d discovered that two days ago when he strangled a sea monster in the Carquinez Strait. If he could reach the bay, he might be able to make a last stand. Maybe he could even drown the gorgons. But the shore was at least two miles away. He’d have to cross an entire city.
He hesitated for another reason. The wolf Lupa had taught him to sharpen his senses – to trust the instincts that had been guiding him south. His homing radar was tingling like crazy now. The end of his journey was close ‐‐ almost right under his feet. But how could that be? There was nothing on the hilltop.
The wind changed. Percy caught the sour scent of reptile. A hundred yards down the slope, something rustled through the woods – snapping branches, crunching leaves, hissing.
For the millionth time, Percy wished their noses weren’t so good. They always said they could smell him because he was a demigod – the half‐blood son of some old Roman god. Percy had tried rolling in mud, splashing through creeks, even keeping air freshener sticks in his pockets so he’d have that new car smell, but apparently demigod stink was hard to mask.
He scrambled to the west side of the summit. It was too steep to descend. The slope plummeted eighty feet, straight to the roof of an apartment complex built into the side of the hill. Fifty feet below that, a highway emerged from the base of the hill and wound its way toward Berkeley.
Great. No other way off the hill. He’d managed to get himself cornered.
He stared at the stream of cars flowing west toward San Francisco and wished he were in one of them. Then he realized the highway must cut through the hill. There must be a tunnel . . .right under his feet.
His internal radar went nuts. He was in the right place, just too high up. He had to check out that tunnel. He needed a way down to the highway – fast.
He slung off his backpack. He’d managed to grab a lot of supplies at the Napa Bargain Mart: a portable GPS, duct tape, lighter, super glue, water bottle, camping roll, a comfy panda pillow pet (as seen on TV) and a Swiss army knife – pretty much every tool a modern demigod could want. But he had nothing that would serve as a parachute or a sled.
That left him two options: jump eighty feet to his death, or stand and fight. Both options sounded pretty bad.
He cursed and pulled his pen from his pocket.
The pen didn’t look like much, just a regular cheap ballpoint, but when Percy uncapped it, it grew into a glowing bronze sword. The blade balanced perfectly. The leather grip fit his hand like it had been custom designed for him. Etched along the guard was an Ancient Greek word Percy somehow understood: Anaklusmos, Riptide.
He’d woken up with this sword his first night at the Wolf House ‐‐ two months ago? More? He’d lost track. He’d found himself in the courtyard of a burned‐out mansion in the middle of the woods, wearing shorts, an orange T‐ shirt and a leather necklace with a bunch of strange clay beads. Riptide had been in his hand, but he had no idea who he was or how he’d gotten there. He’d been barefoot, freezing, and confused. And then the wolves came . . .
Right next to him, a familiar voice jolted him back to the present: “There you are!”
Extract from THE SON OF NEPTUNE – HEROES OF OLYMPUS, BOOK TWO by Rick Riordan
Published by Puffin Books on October 4th 2011
© Copyright Rick Riordan, 2011
|Photo by Marty Umans|
Now I'm sure you're thinking that you too are a half-blood. That is a very dangerous train of thought indeed. But just say you are, well then, you should (if you're not afraid death and vengeful Gods that is) CLICK on the image below. It will take you to the HUNT for a HALF-BLOOD HERO! You could win Rick streamed live to your assembly. Global technology: I love it.
But on the off chance that clicking doesn't work, I'm suspcious that dark forces might be interfering here is the web address: http://www.percyjackson.co.uk/site/pj_halfblood_hero.php
Son of Neptune is released on 4th October! Not long to go now...
Tomorrow is Day 3 of the Olympian Blog Tour and it's in tribute to none other than Zeus, Lord of the Skies. Rick will be blogging on the Guardian Teachers' Network so be sure to check it out!