Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Last Olympian

Riordan, Rick. The Last Olympian. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. 5. New York: Disney/Hyperion Books, 2009.
[Book cover credit:]

Percy's a playa!
Rachel kissed me before I could even react. "Now get going, half-blood. Go kill some monsters for me."
"So," Beckendorf said, "I'm guessing you don't want me to mention that little scene to Annabeth."
"Oh, gods," I muttered. "Don't even think about it."

But why shouldn't Percy keep his options open? He's about to turn sixteen. And when he does, he gets to decide the fate of the world.

A lot of people die in this one. It is all about the war between the Titons and the Gods so it is to be expected, but a lot of people die. And not just monsters who can reform later; demigods die. And not just people we expect to die (like Luke), but normal demigods who have been present at Camp Half-Blood since book 1. I knew that people I liked would die in this one, but I guess I wasn't expecting so many to die. Not that it felt gratuitous or anything; every death meant something and was for a reason. It was just sad.

That said, this book rocked. It is jam-packed with action. In between all the monster fighting, we learn a lot of back story about Luke, Thalia and Annabeth, we learn the rest of The Prophecy, we learn why the Oracle is a tie-dye wearing mummy, and we learn why all of these things are connected and, oddly enough, what they have to do with Rachel. A lot of things came together in this book from various points of the story thus far in the previous 4 books, and it wasn't all about Percy like I worried it would be! Everyone who was ever important in the previous books has an impact on the outcome in this one. Percy is still a very big hinge-pin, but he is not the be all and end all of Olympus, Camp Half-Blood, or the mortal world. It's a nice difference from the other series about a special/chosen magic young boy you may have read...

This was a very well thought out end to the series. I wish the series were longer as I enjoyed reading it so much, but nothing about this ending left me unsatisfied. I know how things ended and I have a pretty good guess at how they will proceed. Besides, Riordan hints in his acknowledgments that there may be other series about the campers of Camp Half-Blood in the future.(!)

But let's be honest. What I'm really happy about is that evil no longer hangs out in San Francisco. Evil congregates in Jersey. Awesome. :)

Book 1: The Lightning Thief
Book 2: The Sea of Monsters
Book 3: The Titan's Curse
Book 4: The Battle of the Labyrinth
Book Source: Philly Free Library

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