Riordan's writing has definitely improved since the PJ books, and I rather like the new characters.
But the thing that's really making me LOL are the various landmarks, especially the trio ending up in Walnut Creek and having to face monsters on Mt. Diablo.
Dude, Walnut Creek is like 20 minutes away from my house. Everything in the area around here is within sight of Mt. Diablo, including my high school (heck, it was almost called Diablo Vista) and the bridge I cross to get to and from work. I've even been to the summit a handful of times.
Mt. Tam being the hub of all evil in the last series was funny enough, but this is hilarious. We're famous!