Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Review: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (Heroes of Olympus #5)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fast moving plot that grows these great characters even more
Cons: None worth dwelling on
The Bottom Line:
The climax cometh
As demigods face battle
But who will prevail?




Will Gaea Rise Again?

It has all lead up to this.  With The Blood of Olympus, Rick Riordan is giving us the climax to his Heroes of Olympus series.  While I did feel that a book or two were slower than they needed to be, I’ve mostly enjoyed the ride.  And I certainly loved this one.

But first, a word of warning.  If you haven’t been reading the books in this series, you cannot start here.  Well, you could, but I strongly advise against it because you will be lost.  The book recaps enough so those of us who have been reading the series will remember what happened, but if you don’t know who any of the people or situations are, you will never catch up if you try to jump in here.  Besides, who reads the climax of a book before they read the first part of the book?  So really, start from the beginning.  (Whether you make that this series or the first series set in this fantasy world, the Percy Jackson series, is completely up to you.)

It is now 10 days until the forces of Gaea intend to wake her and overthrow the gods.  The resulting battle and Gaea and her minion’s plans for Earth will kill all of humanity.  Jason, Piper, Leo, and the other four demigods are racing around ancient Greece trying to find the last few things they need to potentially defeat her.  Of course, if the Greek and Roman sides of the gods don’t merge, they will have no hope at all.

Which is why Reyna, Nico, and Coach Hedge are trying to get the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood before the deadline.  Octavian is sitting outside the camp ready to attack on August 1st.  With each shadow jump he makes, Nico fades a little bit more, and the trio are being chased by the might hunter Orion.  Will Nico’s strength give out?  Even if they get the statue back to the camp, will they be in time to save the day and heal the rift between the two demigod camps?

See what I mean?  If you don’t already know the characters, what I just said makes no sense to you.  And if you did, you’d probably already guessed that much of the story based on how the final book ended.  Let me just say that Riordan delivers on this set up expertly.  The plot might take one or two unnecessary detours, but they rarely last long.  In fact, because of how we jump back and forth between the two groups of characters, the book feels like it is moving very quickly.  I was devouring pages as quickly as I could the entire way through the book.

The biggest mistake I made with the book was thinking getting to the final 100 pages would be a good place to stop.  It was late at night when I reached there, and that’s when I realized the climax was just starting.  I didn’t want to put it down, but managed to do so, only to race through it as soon as I could the next day.  So if at all possible, plan on reading the final 150 pages in one sitting.

The character development we’ve seen in this series continues here.  All 9 of the major demigods in this story continue to grow and change.  It makes the goodbyes at the end all the harder since we won’t get any more stories with these wonderful characters.

The previous book did stir up some controversy when a character we’d known a long time revealed to another character that he is gay.  That character is back in this book, and part of his growth is dealing with who he is.  Ironically, it didn’t seem as in your face as the previous book; in fact, there were passages where you had to know what was going on to understand what was being discussed.  But it is still there.  If that bothers you, don’t read the series.

But those who have been reading this series will love the climax.  Yes it was worth it, even the earlier slow books.  The Blood of Olympus is a wild ride that will leave you happy as we bid goodbye to these great characters.

Here is a listing of both series in the complete Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus sagas in order.

This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.  Click to link to see what else people are reading this week.

14 comments:

  1. I can't wait to start this series! I just have to decide if I want to read this series or the Percy Jackson series first. Great review!

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    1. I really would suggest reading Percy Jackson first. There is some background that will help you understand the characters better in this series. However, it isn't completely necessary and everything you need to know for this series is explained in it.

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    2. I concur - start with the Percy Jackson series

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    3. And they are very enjoyable books, too.

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  2. I've read three of Riordan's series and liked them all, Precy Jackson being my favorite. Looking forward to more. Enjoyed your review.

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    1. I have yet to read his 3 books Egyptian gods series. I have them, but I haven't read it. Hopefully soon, but we shall see.

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  3. I've started the series but I'm a few books away from this one. Good to know it ends well. I'll reach this by spring hopefully. Thanks for the heads-up and for the reading tip.

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    1. I can't think of a better ending to the series, so you have some great reading ahead of you. Enjoy.

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  4. I may have to wait until the summer to read my library copy of this, because the reserve line is horrendous! Looking forward to it, though!

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    1. Library reserve lists can get crazy long, can't they? But the price is certainly right. It will be worth the wait when it does come in for you.

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  5. My grandson turned me on to this series. He read through them like a hot knife through butter. I have only read the first three, but hope to get to the rest one day. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. I can see how he could get through them that quickly. They are highly addicting. Don't put them off too long because you'll forget the build up to the climax.

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  6. I love Riordan's myth-based series. great mid-winter reading or summer reading - when you've got time to just sit and enjoy them!

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    1. Just sit and enjoy. I wish I had time for that these days. But I sure did sail through this one.

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