WOW. It is the end of 2014. The last Sunday of the year!
First, I’d like to thank all of you lovely people reading this (you’re out there, right!?) for starting out on this journey with me. I am super excited to really get into 2015 and start this project again.
For my final review, I’m going to look at another Rick Riordan book – one that was one of my favorites to read throughout this year. I’ve talked about Rick Riordan a bunch already on this blog, and I hope you guys are prepared to read some more about him over the next year; I think he’s a pretty genius writer, and he’s wickedly entertaining (that’s funny because he lives in Boston). I just hope you all can learn to love him as I do! Anywho, onto the review:
REVIEW: Blood of Olympus, Rick Riordan
Most Memorable Line(s): “‘Like your zodiac sign?’ Percy said. ‘I’m a Leo.’
‘No, stupid,’ Leo said. ‘You’re a Percy, I’M a Leo.'”
Chose this because I laughed my butt off reading it. Childish? Perhaps. But it very much captures the spirit of these characters, and who doesn’t love some silly humor?
SO, Blood of Olympus is special to me for a few reasons. It’s the final book in the Heroes of Olympus (HoO) series, which is a companion/follow up series to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (PJO). All in all, it’s a 10-book saga that I have loved for the past four years.
So Blood of Olympus had a lot to live up to! To be the final book in a series is a massively important undertaking, and Riordan certainly had a lot to accomplish and answer. In this book, the seven main demi-gods (one human parent, one godly parent – like Poseidon, etc.) in the story have made it to Greece to stop the wakening of Gaea, the Earth mother. She’s not exaaaaaaaaaaaactly the nicest mom out there, what with wanting to destroy the world and all. And naturally, as it happens, it’s up to seven teenagers to save the day. No big deal! One of the strengths of Riordan is his ability to create a voice for each of his characters. In PJO, they were all written in Percy’s first person point of view. In HoO, each book is written in third person limited – each character has a voice, and certain chapters focus on certain characters.
To save the world, Jason, Percy, Annabeth, Piper, Hazel, Frank, and Leo need to reconcile all of their struggles, hardships, and fears and work together to unite the Greek and Roman sides of their parents, and prevent a civil war among their peers. Only problem? The civil war is about to happen on Long Island, while they’re all in Greece. So that’s where Reyna and Nico come in – it’s their task to deliver the one thing that can unite the two sides: the Athena Parthenon, a statue long believed by the Greeks to have been stolen by the Romans. For Reyna, a Roman, to return it to the Greek camp, well, that could save everything!
Yeesh! It seems like a long and convoluted story when I lay it all out like that. But that’s where Riordan’s mastery comes in. He created an extremely intricate, complex story over the first four (or eight, really) books. And then he unraveled the mess of yarn and wrapped it into a neat ball, all the while dealing with real life issues and humor of teens. His snark and humor is on POINT in this novel. I enjoy reading these because they’re always so funny. I think it’s Riordan’s humor that breathes the life and realism into these novels. He has made it possible for me to believe that Athena, Poseidon, Zeus, and Ares truly exist and have kids in the modern world. Without the humor, it might seem far-fetched. But with the humor, it’s easy to believe, because it’s life just unbelievable, really? Almost everything that happens to all of us is absurd in some way. So why can’t this be the case?
I mentioned Riordan’s strength in creating character voices. Along with his humor, this is the book’s major strength. Unlike the previous books, defeating Gaea by uniting the Greeks and Romans was the ONLY objective. Comparatively, it’s an incredibly similar storyline. Without the depth of his seven demi-gods (Plus Reyna and Nico), I really believe the book would have fallen short. Luckily, Riordan DOES have this strength. I truly felt every pain-, struggle-, and hope-filled moment these characters faced. For example: Jason, the son of Roman Jupiter (Greek Zeus), must deal with his mother’s ghost early on in the novel. Jason’s mother had abandoned him at 2, and died shortly after, so this meeting is understandably traumatic for a 16-year-old. The way Riordan imbues vulnerability and confusion into Jason’s normally strong demeanor was truly impressive, and highlights Riordan’s incredible understanding of teens.
All in all, this book closed all of the holes, answered all the questions, and brought more out of these characters than I ever could have expected. My only disappointment? Not getting a Percy or Annabeth POV this time around. But I’ve had the two of them for ten books, so I guess I can’t really complain.