Rick Riordan – The Last Olympian
Length: 485 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Adventure
Started: 26 April 2012
Finished: 28 April 2012
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Did I mention the part about me being hooked on this series like a fish?
A few dozen kids
versus the Titans’ joint force?
Oh, yeah, that seems fair.
Summary: Demigod Percy Jackson has known about the prophecy – that a child of one of the “big three” Greek gods will make a choice on his sixteenth birthday that will either doom or save Mount Olympus – since he was twelve. Now Percy’s a week away from turning sixteen, and the forces of the Titan Kronos are arrayed against the Olympians, and closing in. The demigod campers of Camp Half-Blood have been preparing for this battle all year, but how can a small group of half-mortals hope to stand against the combined forces of the Lord of Time and his allies and monster servants?
Review: I’ve complained in the past about the previous books in this series being too episodic, so you might think that I’d be thrilled that The Last Olympian is much more tightly focused, involving only the battle between the Camp-Half-Blood-ers and the forces of Lord Kronos. And in some ways, I am. But I also felt a little cheated; the book (as is usual) skips over almost a year since the ending of the previous one, but in this case, there was a lot of stuff – preparations and skirmishes, etc. – that happened during that year that would have been interesting to see. Percy also makes a lot of side comments that reference the intervening time without much explanation or elaboration. I can understand why Riordan chose to structure the series as he did, but I do think there’s a way to tell a complete and fast-moving story without slam-cutting readers right to the big blowout at the end.
But as for the big blowout itself, it was pretty great. The books in this series have matured as Percy does, and this is not a battle without some serious, permanent, and not-kiddie-stuff consequences. Riordan doesn’t linger on the deaths, but he makes sure we feel them, and this book made me sniffly more than once — pretty good for a series that started out as silly mid-grade fantasy adventure. Of course, the silliness is not gone completely; there are touches of humor throughout (both subtle and more overtly silly), even at some of the darkest moments. And plot-wise, Riordan manages to wrap up all of the threads of his story in a way that was satisfying, yet that I didn’t see coming – an impressive feat in a genre that is typically plagued by predictability. All in all, I had a blast with this series, and am looking forward to starting the follow-up books. 4 out of 5 stars.
“Your powers drain you too much,” I noticed.
He nodded sleepily. “With great power . . . comes great need to take a nap. Wake me up later.” –Location 2235
Recommendation: Don’t start at the end, but this series as a whole is great, definitely recommended for fans of mythology, and anyone who is looking for a light, fun, funny read that isn’t overly juvenile or completely brainless fluff.
First Line: The end of the world started when a pegasus landed on the hood of my car.
“And I know some of you might be thinking, Aren’t all demigods related on the godly side, and doesn’t that make dating gross? But the thing is, the godly side of your family doesn’t count genetically speaking, since gods don’t have DNA.” –Location 936
So… are all demigods haploid? Or clones of their mortal parents? Where does Percy’s Y chromosome come from? BIOLOGY, PEOPLE! GET IT RIGHT.
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