At some point Tuesday Night/Wednesday Morning I tweeted the following:
The Mark of Athena is turning out to be a giant pissing contest between Percy Jackson and Jason Grace. This is how I wanted it!
I’m not going to lie, not in the slightest. That’s exactly how I wanted it. Since The Lost Hero was released two years ago, I couldn’t wait to see what happened when Percy finally met another hero who matched him in power. Thalia Grace was a close match and Nico DiAngelo probably would have been able to hold his own (if he ever felt like it) but in terms of temperament, drive and sheer fighty-ness, there wasn’t anyone until Jason wandered in to the story with his amnesia, lighting powers and ability to fly that could take on The Son of Poseidon.
Yes, I was looking forward to other things about The Mark of Athena. I couldn’t wait to see Annabeth Chase’s point of view. (She’s always been my favorite character). I wanted to see Leo Valdez get a girlfriend, (still hasn’t happened, but he totally has a crush on Hazel, The Daughter of Pluto) I wanted to see how Percy and Annabeth’s now official relationship affected their questing, (tragically, as they ended up falling in to Tartarus to save each other) and to see what mythic figures popped up, (Narcissus, Hercules and Arachne among others.)
But really, I just wanted to see Jason and Percy throw down. About a week ago, I determined a hard and fast distinction between a fanboy and a fangirl. I’ve always had trouble articulating this very clear difference, and what I came up with was straightforward:
If you put two characters in a room together, a fanboy will ask, “What would happen if these two fought?” Faced with the same situation, a fangirl will ask, “What would happen if these two had sex?”
I usually err more towards the fangirl side, but in this case, I am pure fanboy. I have next to no interest, even in a terrible fanfic kind of way, to see Percy and Jason hook up. I did however want to see (or read about I guess) them fight.
And Rick Riordan (bless his heart) did not disappoint me. While in Kansas, Jason and Percy found themselves possessed by evil spirits, controlled by The Earth Goddess Gaea (The Heroes of Olympus’s Big Bad) to force the boys to fight to the death. Jason flew, Percy summoned water. Percy rode his black Pegasus Blackjack, Jason the storm spirit he tamed in Colorado.
Of course it got broken up by Piper McLean, Jason’s girlfriend and The Daughter of Aphrodite, but still, for about four glorious pages, I got to indulge.