Percy Jackson fans, this one is for you. With a Roman twist.
Claudia has just arrived at Camp Jupiter, the training ground for those with godly blood. Her great grandfather is Mercury, god of messengers and tricks. Claudia is a chip off the old block – her skill at making booby traps is what has helped her survive the initial training at Lupa’s wolf camp before turning up at the camp.
But almost as soon as Claudia arrives, she finds weird things are starting to happen. Campers are served oatmeal instead of pancakes for breakfast, dead rats turn up in the baths, and the crossbows that are supposed to protect the camp start shooting the inhabitants. Claudia starts receiving strange messages, messages that lead her to a ghost, a satyr… and a mystery. Desperate to prove that she is not the problem – despite her arriving coinciding with all the goings-on – and determined to save the camp, Claudia enlists the help of her new friends Blaise and Janice to do some digging.
Camp Jupiter: Classified accompanies the ‘Trials of Apollo’ series. Fans of Rick Riordan’s worlds will gobble up Claudia’s adventures at Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Percy Jackson’s Camp Half-Blood. It could be enjoyed on its own without having read the series, although it will be much easier to follow if you’re already familiar with the other books. It is, after all, a companion book, which means that it is shorter than Riordan’s usual adventures. It is also written as a journal, so all the action is brought to us through Claudia’s eyes with her own sparky commentary. Despite the slimness of this volume, the story and its characters were not lacking in depth. An amazing amount of detail – including minor gods, forgotten legends, smelly toilets and aqueducts – are squeezed into relatively few pages.
Claudia learns more about the camp, what it means to be Roman and even her own past. While Camp Jupiter: Classified doesn’t have the capturing sparkle and the wow factor of the longer books, it is punchy, funny, and the best part is Claudia herself – a sassy, strong girl with bucket loads of determination.
Reviewer: Susannah Whaley
Published by Puffin