The final instalment of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, was released last October. Having followed this series for years, I went out to get a copy of The Blood of Olympus as soon as I could, but only got around to writing a review two months later. Sorry for the wait.
[Editor’s note: And Samuel only got around to posting it two months after THAT. Blame him for forgetting about the blog over the Christmas period.]
The Blood of Olympus tells of the final, epic battle converging on the Acropolis of Athens, the birth place of the Greek Gods, but also much closer to home at Camp Half-Blood. With the fate of the world riding on the crew of the Argo II and their impossible plan to stop Gaia, every minute counts. But the reunion of the seven demigods is bittersweet, as the prophecy looms over them promising death and destruction.
Once again, Riordan has delivered an exciting, humourous, plot-driven instalment in the series. There was more of a focus on the minor characters from previous novels, Reyna and Nico, which offered a new perspective, but became frustrating at times when the focus was diverted from the main action. The histories of these characters provided a much more complex background to the story, and revealed important events and individuals who had shaped these characters and influenced every decision they made.
As the story drew to an end, I was desperate to get inside particular characters’ heads, but was instead stuck with characters who I felt had already finished their stories and had provided the reader with enough closure. Don’t get me wrong, the narrative, almost written in third person at times, was effective in showing the extent of everything that had happened and concluding other stories from afar, but I would have liked a more intimate account from each character. I wasn’t as emotional as I was reading the final Percy Jackson novel, or even the rest of the Heroes of Olympus series. I felt oddly removed from the characters. I did enjoy the novel – I was just expecting an epic finale to the series that I had loved for so long. And in reality, Riordan did deliver this. It just didn’t feel as powerful or resonating as it could have been.
Among other things, this really delayed a sense of closure until the very end of the novel; it was hard to believe that it was really over until the last page. And even so, I feel as though there is still enough material to write another five books – but that might be pushing it.
Nonetheless, all fans of this series will be compelled to turn each page, and wait nervously for the end. This series has grown with its readers, coming a long way since Percy Jackson’s first adventures. It feels almost like the end of an era as you reach the back cover of this novel, but Riordan promises plenty more modern mythology to come.