Monday, October 27, 2014

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan is the conclusion of the Heroes of Olympus series.

The seven demigods of prophecy have come a long way over the course of the past four books. Now, as they travel through Greece to the final conflict, they fight battles both internal and external as they contemplate what certain lines of the prophecy may mean. Meanwhile, Nico, Reyna, and Coach Hedge struggle to transport the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood in time to avert a deadly conflict between the Greek and Roman demigods. If they don't make it back in time, the consequences could be devastating. As the final battle looms, the fates of all of the characters in the story are far from certain.

This book, like its predecessors, is satisfyingly fast-paced and action-filled. All of the major plot points are wrapped up, though Riordan does leave a few tantalizing threads dangling, offering hope for perhaps a few more short stories featuring certain intriguing characters. I have just a minor criticism of this book, and since it constitutes a spoiler, readers who have not yet finished the book may want to stop reading here.

This may seem like a strange criticism, but nobody important died in the big final battle (unless you count Octavian, who had been set up as a minor villain since the first book). Despite two major conflicts raging, all seven (or nine, or ten if you want to count Nico, Reyna, and Coach Hedge) major characters lived. Which is great, but I honestly expected that at least one of the Seven would die in the last battle. In fact, though this series looks and feels more young adult (as opposed to juvenile) than the original Percy Jackson series, Riordan killed off more named characters in that series than in this one, by my count. It just feels a little cheap, especially in comparison with other major series for children and young adults. Everybody lives, everybody gets a love interest, nobody has to deal with consequences for an adventure of the scope of the one they've just had. Am I being a curmudgeon? If so, remember that I said this was a minor criticism -- I still enjoyed the series, and will probably enjoy more than one reread of it in the future.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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