Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
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.
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You know when you pick up a series and you know you’re going to love it even before turning the first page? And when you do get into it, it takes you a little over ten months to read five books? That was my situation with the Heroes of Olympus series. I went into this expecting to love it as much as I loved the Percy Jackson & the Olympian Series, which remains – to this day – one of my favorite childhood series of all time. I went into this expecting to be blown away, and it sucks that that didn’t really happen.
Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with this series, per se. It had all the things that I loved about PJO: the adventure, the hilarity, the sassy and well-developed characters, the wonderfully addictive writing. So what was the problem? Why was this series just “eh” for me? I think it has something to do with my age. I read Rick Riordan’s PJO when I was in seventh or eighth grade, and to me, that’s the perfect time to read it. It’s full of adventure and growing up. It’s fast-paced and entertaining, and you don’t get bogged down with too much information. But now I’m a sophomore in university and my taste in books has changed exponentially. Where adventure books were my life line in middle school, high fantasy is what I reach out for now. While vampires and werewolves were my favorite things back then, I’d rather read about evil warlocks or anti-heroes now. So it’s less about the content in Heroes of Olympus– it’s more about my age and my taste.
Let me begin by reviewing the final installment. The Blood of Olympus got mixed reviews when it first came out; some people thought it was the perfect ending, while others thought things could have been wrapped up in another way. I don’t really have an opinion about this. Much like the other books in the series, this final installment was fast-paced, entertaining and full of action. The characters we have grown to know and love are each given the perfect amount of time and attention. Despite the gravity of the situation our characters find themselves in, this book is just as sassy and hilarious as the others in the series. However, I did think that the major war that the series led up to was, in the end, a little anticlimactic. Everything was wrapped up too quickly, so much so that I was wondering if something else was going to happen- but it didn’t. I felt the fate of one of our characters was left off too loosely for it to be an end, and even though I usually enjoy ambiguity, I was left feeling “meh” about the end.
It was surprising how attached I grew to the characters by the end of the series. Riordan is known for writing fast-paced adventure- it’s what he’s best at. But the strength in his novels lies in how brilliantly constructed his characters are. Each of them has distinct, realistic personalities. They are flawed human beings (er, I mean demigods) who have a huge variety of qualities and a realistic set of vices. Going into this, I thought my main attachment would be with Percy and Annabeth, but I found myself loving Leo and Nico more than I had initially expected. The last book offered a lot of development for Nico’s character, which I really enjoyed. He is, by far, the most complex character out of the huge cast Riordan has put into the books, and I loved how he got a lot more attention in this one. I could read an entire series revolving around Nico; he’s that great.
This is a perfectly enjoyable series. If I had read it a few years earlier, I would have absolutely loved it. Like I said, it has everything that Rick Riordan is known for. So even though I try to be objective in my reviews- for this one, the rating is strictly subjective. If I want to rate it objectively, I’d give it a four star rating. But since I feel like I didn’t enjoy it as much as I probably could have, three stars it is.
And in case you’re wondering, the House of Hades was my favorite book in the series!