Tag Archives: The Heroes of Olympus (series)

The Blood of Olympus Review

the-blood-of-olympus-coverThe Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, Book Five) by Rick Riordan

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

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The House of Hades Review

HoHcoverwebThe House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, Book Four) by Rick Riordan

Disney-Hyperion, 2013. 978-1423146728

Synopsis: After Percy and Annabeth fall into the depths of the Underworld, they must brave the barren and dangerous landscape teeming with monsters that want to destroy them in order to find the Doors of Death. Meanwhile, the remaining crew of the Argo II (Piper, Jason, Frank, Hazel, Leo, and Nico) steers an equally dangerous above ground course toward Athens to find the House of Hades to rescue Annabeth and Percy…that is, if they can make it out of the underworld alive and the Argo II cane reach Athens before Gaia uses the doors to unleash her giants and begin her war with the Olympians.

Why I picked it up: Shamefully, I had forgotten the release date until a friend texted me and reminded me to pick up a copy. Also: MARK OF ATHENA CLIFFHANGER!!!!

Why I finished it: Now that all of the players in the Prophecy of Seven have assembled themselves (only to be broken into two parties), the reader gets a chance to experience the story from each of the seven’s point of view. We follow Annabeth and Percy through the darkness of the underworld, where they meet with some old foes and gain a new ally. Above ground, we learn that Hazel’s role in this portion of the quest is changing and that she must learn some sorcery in order to help keep her friends alive. Frank sort of comes into his own in this book and I like the direction that Riordan takes his character: he’s becoming more comfortable with himself and learning not to second-guess his abilities as a child of Mars (Ares). Along with new threats, some old familiar faces from previous Heroes and Percy Jackson books are reappearing to combat the crew of the Argo II as well. The only thing that kind of bummed me out was that though Riordan includes Nico, he’s still stuck as a secondary character. Granted, he does play a role in helping the chosen seven reach their goal and he prefers to be in the background as a character, but I still don’t know that he’s getting enough credit. The plot starts us out full speed and keeps up the pace throughout, taking the reader on a rollercoaster of action, adventure, and emotion as Riordan sets the stage for the fifth installment that, in my opinion, won’t come soon enough.

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; 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; Ranger’s Apprentice series by John A. Flanagan; Land of Stories books by Chris Colfer;

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The Mark of Athena Review

mark_of_athenaThe Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, Book 3) by Rick Riordan

Disney Hyperion Books, 2012. 978-1-4231-4060-3

Synopsis: Annabeth has finally been reunited with Percy at Camp Jupiter, but their happiness is short-lived. The two must travel with Leo, Piper, Jason, Frank, and Hazel to Greece to stop an impending fight against Gaea’s rising forces. But first, Annabeth has to find something that was stolen from the Greeks and avenge Athena’s name, and she’s going to have to do it alone.

Why I picked it up: I’ve been foaming at the mouth waiting for this to come out ever since I finished Son of Neptune.

Why I finished it: The book definitely lived up to the hype and the anticipation: Riordan has dreamed up new challenges, new puzzles, and new obstacles for the seven chosen heroes to overcome. We’re also delving into more Greek and Roman myths, which for me is part of the appeal of the series. Riordan has also shown our heroes gradually working together as a team, making attempts to overcome decades of anger and hostility among their ancestors that have become part of how they view each other. I was pleasantly surprised at the way each of the heroes explores their own emotions and how they work into the bigger picture of forging an alliance to defeat a foe that from what we have seen so far, spells certain doom and pretty much the end of the world as we know it. In addition, Riordan delves further into the Percy/Annabeth and Jason/Piper relationships, giving the reader a little bit of romance in the middle of the doom and gloom. There were points at which I felt like the third person narration was too disorienting and cinematic, but I appreciate that we are rotating between characters and getting different angles on the same situation in order to be able to tell every side of the story. The change-up in the setting from North America to Europe proves to be a welcome challenge for the heroes, who are used to fighting in their own backyards (in a sense) and gives the story and series a much more epic feel as it progresses into the next books. Admittedly, I am already having withdraws and I’m pretty tempted to do what I did with Harry Potter: having finished the most recent book, I now have to go back and read them all in order….

Other related materials: The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, Book 1) by Rick Riordan; The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, Book 2) by Rick Riordan; Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan; 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 Deities 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; Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling; Brotherband Chronicles books by John Flanagan; The 39 Clues books; The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix; Maximum Ride novels by James Patterson;

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The Son of Neptune review

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 2) by Rick Riordan

Disney/Hyperion Books, 2011. 978-1-42314-059-7

Synopsis: Percy Jackson, Hero of Camp Half-Blood, is suffering from amnesia thanks to the Roman goddess Juno (Greek: Hera) and has no idea who he is or anything about his past. He finds his way to Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Half-Bood and makes friends with camp outcasts Hazel and Frank, who save him from attacking gorgons as he makes his way to camp. The Roman god Mars appears to the campers during a war game and charges Percy, Frank, and Hazel with the task of going north to Alaska to free Death, who is being held captive. The three clearly play a role in the Prophecy of Seven, but their parts have yet to be determined in the quest to help the gods fight a battle that will affect the fate of the world.

Why I picked it up: I ate through the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the first book, The Lost Hero this last summer and have been pretty much obsessed ever since. Also, epic cover is epic.

Why I finished it: Riordan, like in the first book, tells the story in omniscient third person narrative, which each chapter focusing on Percy, Hazel, or Frank. The upside to this is that we are getting more than one account of the story. The downside to this is that I felt too much trying to be stuck into one character’s point of view and this sometimes resulted in any of the three describing events that they might not actually know is happening. I liked the introduction of Hazel and Frank, partially because they are two kids that are doing the best with what they have and trying to figure out who they are, which was a large part of why I enjoyed the Olympians series so much. Percy is still a likable character this time around, but there was still portions of the writing where I felt Riordan was trying to make everything about Percy again, and I’m under the impression that Heroes of Olympus is meant to be telling a story besides Percy’s. But the series isn’t over yet, and since I read through this book so fast, have to figure out a way to stave myself off until the third book comes out this next fall. A crash course in Greek and Roman Mythology might be necessary for brushing up on some of the gods and goddesses, because there is inevitably going to be a Roman counterpart for the Greek. Also, if anyone can figure out all of the relationships the gods/goddesses had (with each other and with mortals) without their head exploding, send me a diagram….

Other related materials: The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1) by Rick Riordan; Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan; The Kane Chronicles books by Rick Riordan; The Inheritance Cycle books by Christopher Paolini; The Ranger’s Apprentice books by John Flanagan; Brotherband Chronicles books by John Flanagan; Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima; Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli and Christina Balit; Oh My Gods!: A Look-It-Up Guide to the Gods of Mythology by Megan E. Bryant; She’s All That!: A Look-It-Up Guide to the Goddesses of Mythology by Megan E. Bryant; What A Beast!: A Look-It-Up Guide to the Monsters and Mutants of Mythology by Sophia Kelly; All in the Family: A Look-It-Up Guide to the In-laws, Outlaws, and Offspring of Mythology by Steven Otfinoski; Mythology for Teens: Classic Myths for Today’s World by Zachary Hamby

 

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