The Blood of Olympus by Rick RiordanThe Blood of Olympus is the grand finale of The Heroes of Olympus series. The stakes have been rising steadily higher, the giants have been defeated, only to make a comeback - maybe Riordan should have called this series 'The Heroes of Olympus Battle Giants Over and Over and Over Again'?! Nah, that's not as catchy as The Heroes of Olympus I suppose. In any case, this is the end of the line for Percy, Annabeth, Leo, Jason, Hazel, Frank and Piper. And let's not forget Nico, Reyna and Coach Hedge! After marathoning the entire series, the feels were strong as I began my journey to the end...
The Heroes of Olympus #5
Published October 7th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
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.
The Blood of Olympus is once again told from alternating POV's, this time being Leo, Piper, Jason, Nico and Reyna. The addition of Nico and Reyna almost made up for the complete lack of Percy and Annabeth. But not quite. It was a real joy to get to know both Nico and Reyna, with Nico being an early favorite and Reyna fast becoming a new favorite. Obviously I love both of them even more now! I was also happy that we finally got to know Jason better. After being introduced to him sans his memories in The Lost Hero, the poor guy has largely been given the shaft. It always seemed like a waste to me so his growth and character arc here was quite satisfying. Leo, another early favorite was a big plus too, and I have to say that it's a really good thing that we got that last chapter there at the end...otherwise, I would not have been a happy camper. I was less enthused with Piper's POV though. I never minded her really, but I never loved her either and I'm not sure why Riordan decided to make her into such a priority...but anyways.
The thing is: true heroes like Percy and Annabeth ended up taking a back seat to the likes of Piper, which seemed not only unfair but a disservice to the lead characters - not to mention all of their fans. It felt like getting a sequel Harry Potter series, only to have Harry take a back seat to a bunch of younger noobs. Uhm yeah, how about NOPE! Not cool. Never gonna happen. When you establish your main hero, you can't just then have him sit it out while others take over. Needless to say, after how heroic Percy and Annabeth were in The House of Hades, it was a huge letdown to have their presence whittled down to virtually nothing here. Percy had temper tantrums, took idiotic risks and largely sat out the important quests while all the new characters stepped up. Annabeth was rendered completely hopeless while Piper saves the day single-handedly. Whaaa?! Yeah, I wasn't a fan of how my favorite characters were handled at.all. It was more than them not having their own POV; it was the fact that they didn't actively take part of the action like they should have.
Plot-wise, everything moved steadily, up to the climax. That whole section left me unimpressed. The action lacked a certain momentum at that point and when the big battle came around, it seemed like it was over before it even began. It was very anti-climactic. In the original Percy Jackson Series, I thought the strongest installment was book 4 and the same holds true here. If anything, The Last Olympian is a stronger series ender than The Blood of Olympus ended up being. The Last Olympian was an adrenaline rush, start to finish. Here, the story lost a lot of steam at the end, especially considering how intense the previous installment, The House of Hades ended up being.
My issues with the conclusion aside, I had a lot of fun marathoning The Heroes of Olympus books. I can't remember the last time I read a series straight through like that and it's something I have to start doing more of again. I've grown to love all of these demigods and I already miss adventuring with them!
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars