The long-awaited final installment of the Heroes of Olympus series was released on October 7th, 2014. I wasted no time in getting it. As soon as I was finished with TIME magazine’s issue on great empires, I grabbed The Blood of Olympus to read and boy was it worth it!
So we’re done with the House of Hades and the Doors of Death. The heroes are plagued by nightmares and monsters, as always, and now they have other worries: getting the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood before Nico disappears into the shadows; avoiding Orion’s arrows; figuring out how to stop Gaea from waking and if/when she does, how to get rid of her; and defeating the giants gathered at the Parthenon. Our heroes have a lot on their plate, not to mention their constant anxiety over their companions’ safety as well as the preservation of their respective camps. We can’t help but wonder whether the heroes will accomplish all their tasks and save the world and whether they will need therapy after the events of this book.
As always with Riordan’s books, The Blood of Olympus is fast-paced; however, it has a more mellow moments throughout that the other books. The characters reflect on their actions and futures more and they are not as obsessed with their significant others. —Well, expect for Annabeth but we’ll excuse her since she went through hell with Percy.— I was glad to see that certain characters stepped up while others took a back seat. The most improved is Piper, who starts to kick some serious ass. She finds her strength, which is in her emotions and instincts, and she trusts in it to whip a giant’s butt while soothing Annabeth, who has an emotional breakdown. I think Piper is strongest in this installment. In the other books she is too focused on her relationship with Jason, which detracts from her strength and sense of purpose. Though she does care for Jason in this one, it does not consume her purpose.
While Piper improves, Percy takes a back seat. He’s there, just not front and center. Percy is my favorite character (and Leo too) but I disliked him in The House of Hades mainly because he seems gossipy, telling everyone Nico’s story and making them distrust Nico at first (probably Riordan’s way of updating the characters quickly but even so—Not cool!). Also, it seems that the major events in the preceding books mostly focuses on Percy rather than spread evenly among the heroes. But in this installment, Percy assists while other characters take the lead. We don’t even read from his perspective. Some readers may be disappointed that Annabeth and Percy are on the periphery for most of this book but I am glad for that. They need a rest and we need a rest from them as well.
Do you know what I found most exciting in this book? Leo. I enjoyed reading his parts though I wish there were more of them. Like Annabeth, he relies more on his intelligence to resolve his problems, and his corny jokes aren’t too bad either. I liked that he tries to stay optimistic despite the grim situations, though his worrying about Calypso and how to locate Ogygia made him a tad depressed this time. But even when in emotional pits Leo’s hands are busy, and his preoccupation causes him to formulate a plan that helps to save his friends, the camp, and the world from Gaea. But heads up: There’s an almost-cliffhanger at the end regarding Leo. You might be pissed for a while if you like this character as much as I do.
As excited as I was to read this book, I was anxious about how Riordan would end it. The Percy Jackson series ended well. It was obvious that there was more to come; but the Kane Chronicles didn’t have a definite ending. I finished the final novel, The Serpent’s Shadow, thinking there would be a following book since there were some unanswered questions; thus I hoped such was not the case with The Blood of Olympus. But I think this is an okay read. The major issues are resolved and the major questions are answered (though I still wonder if Leo paid the price for Nemesis’ fortune cookie). Nico gets over his crush on Percy; Jason faces his past and learns more about himself as a result (and he doesn’t get knocked out in battle); and the heroes succeed in preventing the destruction of the camps (no surprise there) but I like how Reyna’s bad-assery contributes to this success.
As for the ending, I did not like it. I think it is untidy since it raises more questions than it answers. I wish Riordan was genuine regarding the aftermath of the battle and how it affects the heroes because I think they are in need of serious therapy sessions. Instead, we a giving a cheesy ending where “they lived happily ever after” is highly implied. Overall, it is cheesy and indefinite but I’ll accept it since there’s potential for spin-offs.
I must admit, I was getting a little tired of the Heroes of Olympus stories (this being the fifth book), but I am sad to see them go. The series has its ups and downs (I didn’t like The Son of Neptune or The Mark of Athena) but the action and Riordan’s zany imagination kept me reading. Those coupled with my love of myths prevented me from giving up on the series. As such, I look forward to Riordan’s new series based on Norse mythology, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, which is slated for October 2015. I can’t wait! I hope he keeps the cheekiness of Leo (probably in a Loki-inspired character) and that it’s not too similar to the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series. I’ll read it regardless. Stay tuned!