Disney-Hyperion, 2014. 978-148472492-7
Synopsis: Heroes, gods, and monsters clash in this epic finale to Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series. The crew of the Argo II was briefly reunited, only to be split again when Nico volunteers to go with Reyna to deliver the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood. Both heroes are being stretched to their limits: Nico’s power to shadow travel is waning, and Reyna must confront the ghosts of her past in order to move forward. Back on the Argo II, Leo is secretly working on a plan that he hopes will save his friends, Jason ponders how he will be able to prove himself, and Piper contemplates the single word she must use that will aid in the conclusion of a now inevitable conflict.
Why I picked it up: I am a borderline rabid Heroes of Olympus fangirl. Plus, I’ve come this far; it would be a shame to stop now.
Why I finished it: Before I start, here’s a Greek and Roman myth refresher. Riordan has presented the reader with a well-crafted finale that harkens back to the previous books, following Jason, Piper, Leo, Reyna, and Nico as the grand journey comes to an end. We begin by paying homage to the story of Odysseus, a mortal hero whose journey home after the Trojan War is familiar to most students. The reader is also treated to introductions of a handful of minor gods and goddesses that, I will confess, I forgot about right along with most of the rest of the characters. But I digress. Though our heroes are still struggling with the roles they will play in the ultimate showdown with the Earth Mother, it’s clear that no matter what their decision, there will be consequences. I like that Nico and Reyna are a large part of the story this time around, Nico because I feel like he’s a little bit undervalued as a character, and Reyna because she’s definitely a character that I knew I would like once I knew more of her story. I thought it was interesting that Riordan chose to deal with the ghosts of the past more closely in this last installment, but it worked well to help polish the characters and showed how these ghosts made the heroes stronger. Leo, in particular, seems to be making some very key decisions as he maps out a plan to defeat the Earth Mother and make his way back to Calypso like he promised. Each of our characters will have a hard choice to make before the book is over, but it is these difficult decisions that endear us to these heroes. We continue to cheer for them, knowing that they will somehow overcome their struggles to be able to be the people they always hoped they could be, to be able to save the day even when everything seems to be working against them. It’s a bittersweet ending that leaves a lasting impression, and just like with any ending to a series, the reader is now left to wonder what to read next.
Other related materials: The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1) by Rick Riordan; The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 2) by Rick Riordan; The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 3) by Rick Riordan; The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 4) by Rick Riordan; Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan; Olympians series by George O’Connor; Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome by E.M. Berens; 100 Characters from Classical Mythology: Discover the Fascinating Stories of the Greek and Roman Dieties by Malcolm Day; Oh My Gods: A Modern Retelling of Greek and Roman Myths by Philip Freeman; The Everything Classical Mythology Book: Greek and Roman Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Monsters from Ares to Zeus by Lesley Bolton; Greek and Roman Mythology graphic novels by Cirro Oh & C.S. Chun; Underworlds series by Tony Abbott; The Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan