25
Jun
09

What I’m Reading: The Last Olympian

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book Five: The Last OlympianLast week, I reviewed books two through four of Rick Riordan‘s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, all of which I enjoyed immensely. Later that same day, I got the fifth and final book in the series, The Last Olympian. I finished it the next morning. It’s been a long time since I read any novel that fast, a long time since I was up until the small hours because I couldn’t put the book down… a long time since any book deserved that kind of devotion from me. But this book, and this series, deserved every minute I devoted to it and more.

Things have gotten really bad at Camp Half-Blood. The evil Titan Kronos has managed to inhabit a corporeal body again, and is recruiting an army of Titans, Demigods, monsters, and even minor gods who have felt spurned by Olympus. Percy’s friend Nico has come up with a plan that may give him an edge against Kronos, but it’s a risky one — one that has led to the downfall of everyone who has ever tried it in the past. But will it be worth the trying if it’s the only way to save the world?

Jackson really nails this last adventure. First of all, he breaks his own formula for this book. The previous books in this series have all followed the same pattern: incident, journey to Camp Half-Blood, Quest. This book starts the same, but the quest is rather a short one. About a quarter of the way into the book we begin a battle sequence that lasts until the climax. It’s a long battle, to be sure, one that takes several days, but the bulk of this book is concerned with a single battle. What’s more, it’s one of the most fantastic battles I’ve ever read in contemporary fantasy. The setting works, the monsters, the warriors, the bloodshed — all of it feels authentic, organic, and real.

The way the series ends, also, is spot-on perfect. Every character is true to himself (or herself) and things come together in a way that’s not entirely expected, but doesn’t surprise because it makes sense. However, the book is a bit open-ended. If this is the last word ever written about the world of Percy Jackson, it’s a good capper. All of the major characters are accounted for and the major plot threads tied up. But, unlike the look into the future that ended the Harry Potter series, we don’t really get a glimpse of the characters’ futures. Each of the main characters who survives is given a role, a purpose, that could easily be extrapolated to a life story, but there’s still room there. In fact, at the very end Riordan gives us a hint of another great adventure that may or may not be told, and the afterward even refers to this as the end of the “first Camp Half-Blood series,” implying that there will be more.

I certainly hope there will. There’s room for more grand adventures, either with Percy or some other Half-Blood entirely, in this wonderful fantasy universe. I’m kind of glad I didn’t start reading this books until the last volume was already released. I got through the whole series in less than a month and had a wonderfully satisfying reading experience without the frustration of waiting a year in-between installments. But if Riordan gives us more, I’ll be in on the ground floor for the next series.


0 Responses to “What I’m Reading: The Last Olympian”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Blog Stats

  • 319,608 hits

Blake's Flickr Photos

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


%d bloggers like this: