Friday, November 7, 2014

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (The few spoilers are marked in red)

Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #5
Pages: 516 
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology
Synopsis: Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

Review: Let me start by saying I didn't want to read the original Percy Jackson series.  All because my brother told me it was good and I should read it.  Well, little eight year old me didn't like to be told what to do, and besides, anything my brother read couldn't possibly be good, right?  Wrong.  I was forced to read the first book in Battle of the Books a year later.  And, yes, my brother was right.  For once.  Because the series was amazing.  I liked The Heroes of Olympus slightly less, but I still loved it.  And I loved this last book.  But there is always a but isn't there?

The writing, as always, was witty and funny and epic.  I actually do think Rick Riordan's writing improved in this series.  And the character development, especially for Jason, Piper, and Leo was spectacular.  I never really liked or disliked Jason, he was responsible and kind and a leader and all, but I had no super strong feelings towards him.  Maybe he was a little too perfect, but I feel like his character was rounded out so much more in this final book.  He really stepped up to the plate. Piper also never really stood out to me before, but in this last book she proved herself as a real demigod, plus she was so down to earth and strong.  

I really, really enjoyed the new point of views from Nico and Reyna.  They are such dark, complex characters, being able to see into their minds more was just plain awesome.  And Nico and Reyna's relationship was so great!  Their personalities match quite well, in my opinion.  You get to see just how powerful Nico is and it was SO COOL.  I especially liked Reyna, she is so brave and intelligent, and a remarkable leader and character.

There was no Hazel or Frank chapters in this book, and I have to admit I didn't mind all that much.  They were always nice characters, and Hazel is pretty cool.  Frank especially, though, I never quite liked as much as the others.  I was more saddened by the fact that we didn't get to see from Percy and Annabeth one last time.  For the majority of us fans, Percy and Annabeth are our favorites, and to see that they got no last goodbye or final chapter made me so heartbroken.  I understand that Rick had to step away and develop the other characters, but I still missed Percy and Annabeth.  They had some scenes, yes, but as side characters.  They were never really present as heroes in this one, and it was frustrating.

Leo.  Like.  He was as ridiculously funny as always, and his whole presence in the book was a huge driving force.  I have always liked Leo, you have to be crazy not to, and this book made me appreciate him more.  SPOILER: (how he destroyed Gaea was bad ass and one of the most courageous things ever.  Props to him for that, and for getting Calypso in the end). SPOILER OVER.

All of the characters were wonderful and I had no issues with them in the end.  But I did with the plot.  The final battle went too fast, ended to soon.  It was over and done way too fast, I believe.  Also, SPOILER: (no one died of the seven.  Leo doesn't count, not really.  It was unrealistic.  It was a war, and hardly a soul died.  While I was happy no I liked died, it wasn't plausible.  Too much of a walking off into the sunset).  SPOILER OVER.  I also felt like not enough happened.  Sure, there were some events that made my heart beat faster, but it was fairly mild adventures for being in the midst of a war.

I have loved this series so much, and I will always have a place for it in my heart.  But for the end to this brilliant series that I grew up with, it just didn't quite meet my expectations.  It hurts my heart to say that, but it is an undeniable truth.  It was an epic quest, and I am sad to see it end.  It was a good ending to an amazing series, by far not the worst last book I have read.  Thanks to Rick Riordan for the adventures with these demigods and for my childhood.  

4 Stars


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