Monday, May 25, 2015

Read - Percy Jackson / The Last Olympian

The Last Olympian
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Five)
by Rick Riordan
2009
381 pages 

'All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing that the odds of victory are grim.  Kronos's army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan's power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded.  Now it's up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's sixteenth birthday unfolds.  And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.'

*** MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS ***

This is the final book in the series.  I'm sorry now I waited so long to experience the Percy Jackson thrill, but it was kind of nice to read straight through the series without having to wait for each book to come out.  I had finally started reading these out of boredom and lack of other things to read, but I quickly came to enjoy them . . . enough that I've ordered the next two series by this author.

You might remember that I'd been somewhat disappointed with the fourth book of the series because it had gotten too 'busy.'  I was glad to see that this fifth and final book got back on track and streamlined its focus on the big battle.  The one little complaint I have about this book was the dreams and visions and glimpses into Luke's past.  It was supposed to help Percy learn the key to defeating him, or something, but it was just vagueness about his mother going crazy because her own visions.  To me, Percy pieced together the secret to defeating Luke through other things, not from these weird mother bits.

I'm not sure why but I thought the whole scene where Percy visited the River Styx and then had to fight right after was so cool.  I really don't know why, but that was like the strongest and most emotional scene from any of the books for me.  I think because it was the closest to a 'grownup' fantasy adventure, like Lord of the Rings or something, instead of the usual lighter, quicker, kid easy adventure that middle grade books are.

It was humorously frustrating to watch the continued bumbling relationships between Percy and Annabeth, and Percy and Rachel.  Who was he going to end up with?  You kinda always feel like he's going to end up with Annabeth but I don't know, for a while there he seemed to fit pretty well with Rachel.

There is a spy at Camp Half-Blood in this book.  Not much was really made of that storyline though.  I was wrong early on about who it was, but did figure it out before it was revealed.  That was a weak part of the story too, and didn't really make much sense or seem to be needed.  But oh well, at least there wasn't a lot of time sunk into that part of things.

I liked the way the big battle was drawn out over several days instead of some five minute miracle victory like in other stories.  Drawing it out allowed more emotions to be brought out.  A sense of hopelessness really did start to build.  And then even after the battle, it didn't feel like a complete victory with joyous celebrations or and obvious conclusion.  It felt like more of a relief that they'd survived this threat, like they knew they'd get a reprieve for a while but that they knew that threat was still going to regroup and return.... someday.

So yes, I did enjoy this final book, and this entire series overall.

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