Rick Riordan – The Blood of Olympus
Length: 528 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Started: 30 November 2014
Finished: 06 December 2014
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? New Rick Riordan! Greek (and Roman) mythology, hooray!
Fighting ancient gods
is what these heroes were born –
and might die – to do
Summary: The time when Gaia finally awakens is drawing near, and she can only be stopped by all of the demigods, both Greek and Roman, working together. Reyna, Nico, and Coach Hedge are working to bring the Athena Parthenos statue back to Camp Half-Blood – the only thing that might stop the Greek and Roman demigods from destroying each other instead of fighting Gaia’s forces. But they’re traveling via Nico’s shadow powers, which are draining him – possibly beyond what he can endure. Meanwhile, the seven demigods aboard the Argo II – Percy, Jason, Annabeth, Leo, Piper, Hazel, and Frank – head towards Athens, where Gaia’s forces are concentrated, but encountering myriad dangers along the way. They are desperate to find some way to stop her… but always mindful of the prophecy that states that in order to save the world, one of them may have to die.
Review: I enjoy the heck out of these books. Riordan’s so good at his characterization, setting up each of his protagonists as interesting, sympathetic, and unique people that you can’t help but root for (and fear for – that damn prophecy!) This book is as action packed and quick-moving as you might expect, but it also contains all these wonderful little character moments that make you laugh (more than once!), or smile, or nod in recognition, or break your heart (mostly Nico. I know he’s not a hugger, but ye gods, I just want to hug the poor kid). Even Piper – who had previously been pretty flat for me – got some dimensionality in this one, and her own chance to save the day. The downside to this is because there are so many protagonists to this story (and since it’s been two and a half years since I was introduced to most of them – longer for Percy and Annabeth), that it’s tough keeping all of their backstories straight at the time, especially since only half of them have POV chapters in this novel. Which, on that note: It seems weird to me that in the last book of a multi-protagonist series, that we don’t get POV chapters from each of the protagonists. Maybe that would have made it feel even more fragmented, but I would have liked to hear from everybody – even briefly – one last time.
I had a similar problem remembering all of the various plot threads as I did with the character’s backstories – I only vaguely remembered past events that wind up being hugely important in this one. But the truth was, it didn’t really hamper my enjoyment of the novel much at all. I still followed what was happening without much difficulty, and I thought that Riordan did a great job tying everything together, and giving us a resolution that was satisfying and complete, but didn’t feel too easy, and still left you wanting to know what happens next in these people’s lives – not because the story arc was unresolved, but just because you care about them. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Starting here would be ridiculous; start with The Lost Hero, or even better, with The Lightning Thief. But the series (both series!) as a whole is a ton of fun if you like fast-paced mid-grade/young adult adventure fantasy, especially if you grew up a Greek mythology nut like me.
Kekrops sounded bitter, like he regretted the decision. “My people were the original Athenians – the gemini.”
“Like your zodiac sign?” Percy asked. “I’m a Leo.”
“No, stupid,” Leo said. “I’m a Leo. You’re a Percy.” –p. 381
First Line: Jason hated being old.
Vocab: (see the whole list)
- p. 323: ““He’s used most of the legion’s treasure to purchase Cyclopes-built onagers.”” – An ancient and medieval stone-propelling siege engine.
- p. 327: “He’d injected Styx water into the samophlange.” – any piece of sensitive technical equipment that may or may not actually exist. (Good job, Urban Dictionary! Here’s a video clip of where it comes from. Also, nicely played, Riordan.)
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