The Date Approaches . . .

My editor at Disney-Hyperion just sent the image above, which will soon be printed on boxes for shipment. Can you guess what will be in those boxes?

Yep. Copies of The Son of Neptune. The publisher puts this warning on every box when they send them to booksellers to remind them that the book cannot be displayed or sold until its official release date, Oct. 4. This is so no single bookseller gets an unfair advantage by offering the book early, sort of like making sure every runner leaves the starting line at the same time in a race.

Don’t get too excited — the books aren’t even printed yet. I don’t even have a copy! But when they are shipped, right before the publication date, that fierce-looking warrior will be emblazoned on all the boxes. What would happen if a bookseller tried to sell the book early? Ah, Hades has a special place in the Fields of Punishment for such behavior, and Zeus has his lightning bolts ready. So nope, no chance the book will come out early — sorry! — but I’m anxious to share the story with you on October 4.

In the meantime, pop over to Disney-Hyperion’s PJO website and download an event kit to help celebrate Percy’s birthday this Thursday, Aug. 18! How old is Percy? He’s still sixteen. That’s the advantage of being a fictional character. You don’t have to age in real time.

You can always check my website’s FAQ page for more info, and stayed tuned — more Son of Neptune news will be coming soon!

Rick Riordan