Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Last Olympian (Book 5)
by Rick Riordan
Well, it feels like forever ago that I read books 1 – 4 of this series! It’s actually just over a year since I read the first books in January 2010. I waited this long to complete the story because I was (im)patiently waiting for the fifth book to come out in paperback. The pb release kept getting pushed back and it was driving me crazy! When we went to the bookstore this week so I could pick up their one copy of Outside In by Maria V. Snyder I happened to see a display of The Last Olympian on my way to the shelf. I grabbed a copy after I picked up the book I came for and headed to the cash. Like heck if I was going to wait longer to finish this series!
Although I had trouble remembering what had happened in the first four books (because I am old and can’t even remember things from yesterday, let alone an entire year ago) I quickly feel into the groove of the story and bit by bit the plot came back to me. I was soon chuckling as I read about Mrs. O’Leary’s antics and at Percy’s sarcastic humour as much as I was in the earlier books.
As my husband pointed out (he finished it the same day I did) this book is just one big battle. It’s not as adventure oriented as the first ones. There is no quest, there is just this war to save the world from Kronos and the Titans. I think for both of us it made the book a little less exciting than the first four. We liked the quests (ok, not so much the Labyrinth because it really turned out to be rather anticlimactic) and we liked the adventure aspect of the series. I understand fully that this last book had to be pretty much BATTLE RAH!!!! but I still missed the quests.
Things that surprised me in this book – I liked Grover for once. He’d annoyed me from book 1 and yet I didn’t think twice about that while I was reading the story. I actually thought he was toned down enough and a different enough character that if he’d started out the way he ends I’d have liked him much more. I used to like Rachel Elizabeth Dare but I didn’t care much for her in this book. The ending. I’m not going to spoil it in case there’s someone out there in the world who is even slower at finishing this series than I am. But I was surprised and I liked what happened.
What I didn’t like about the book – I wish that Luke’s mother had been fixed. I think that once the curse was broken she should have gone back to normal and not be the exceptionally sad, crazy woman that she’d become. The scenes with her made me feel sick and just broke my heart. I really wish that the one aspect of the story that could have resulted in a happy ending could have been her and not anything else. I would have been ok with the death of Percy if she’d just been healed.
And I can now say that I am much more interested in reading the spin-off series – The Lost Hero now that I know there will be many more new demi-gods and houses at Camp Half-Blood. Up until I had read this final book I had no desire to continue in the world of the Olympians, but Percy’s request of the Gods really interested me and now I think I must procure a copy of this first book in the new series! It helps that I really like Rick Riordan’s writing and humour. I truly did enjoy his other new series The Kane Chronicles and that pretty much sold me on how much I like him as an author.
The Percy Jackson series reminded me of how much I loved Greek mythology when I was younger even if I found a lot of it confusing to keep track of. These books are a nice, easy way of introducing people to that mythology and perhaps cultivating an interest that will last for a long time in children (and adults!).
Thanks for taking me on an exceptionally entertaining ride, Mr. Riordan. This was a great series and it just made me so happy!
Percy Jackson & the Olympians series
- The Lightning Thief
- The Sea of Monsters
- The Titan’s Curse
- The Battle of the Labyrinth
- The Last Olympian