Book: The Blood Of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus 5)
Author: Rick Riordan
This is the last book in The Heroes of Olympus series (and the Percy Jackson series in total) and it follows seven demigods (half mortal, half god) as they fight to stop Gaea (Mother Earth) from waking and destroying the whole world. It also follows two other demigods, as they make their way back across the world, in order to return the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood and stop the Greeks and Romans fighting in order to stop the Greek and Roman aspects of the gods fighting against each other.
If you’re not familiar with these books already, basically the idea is that there are two rival camps of demigods (Roman and Greek, the Romans are children of the gods born to them in their Roman aspect, the Greeks are children of the gods born to them in their Greek aspect) and seven demigods (made up of demigods from both camps) have joined together and travelled to Greece in order to defeat the giants (children of Gaia) and ultimately Gaea herself. The seven demigods are Percy Jackson (son of Poseidon), Annabeth Chase (daughter of Athena, and Percy’s girlfriend), Jason Grace (son of Jupiter), Piper McLean (daughter of Aphrodite, and Jason’s girlfriend), Frank Zhang (son of Mars), Hazel Levesque (daughter of Pluto, and Frank’s girlfriend) and Leo Valdez (son of Hephaestus). They all have different powers depending on who their godly parent is. They are the demigods of the Prophecy Of The Seven, which goes like this:
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire, the world must fall,
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death
Two lines of the prophecy have already been completed by The Blood of Olympus, as the seven half-bloods have been gathered and the doors of death were closed by Percy, Annabeth, the Titan Bob and the giant Damasen, a group that should usually be enemies (as two are demigods and the other two are a Titan and a giant respectively). The other two lines are explained in this book. The two other demigods (ie the ones not in the Prophecy of The Seven) are Reyna Ramirez-Arellano (daughter of Bellona) and Nico DiAngelo (son of Hades) who are the ones taking the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood.
I enjoyed this book, but some parts of it more than others. I loved the addition of Reyna and Nico’s POV’s, those were my favourite parts of the book, and even whilst reading the other demigods POV’s I was excited to get back to Reyna and Nico and see what was happening to them. I loved that we got to see more of Reyna and her past was explained, it made me understand her more. After this book, she ended up being one of my favourite characters because she’s such a strong female character but she also has empathy with people and that’s just the type of female character I love. I liked that we got to explore her relationship with her sister Hylla more as well, especially since they make such a badass team. I especially loved her scene where she fought Orion, that was just amazing. As for Nico, it was great that he was finally really developed as a character and we got to see the full extent of his powers (he is definitely at least level with Percy in terms of how powerful he is, if not more because he can control his powers whereas Percy, though he’s got so much better at it, can’t always) which was great. I loved the scene between Nico and Hades, where Hades told him that all he wanted was for him to be happy. It was a nice fatherly moment for Hades which I liked a lot. I also loved the friendship that was developed between him and Reyna because Nico’s never really had a true friendship before and it was nice to see him have that. I liked that in the end he finally seemed to be on his way to being happy, having decided to stay at Camp Half-Blood and having made a new friend/possible new relationship with Will Solace. I loved those two together, they had such cute banter and Nico was so awkward, it was adorable. I liked that it was left open with them though, that it wasn’t specifically stated they were in a relationship but there was a definite hint of a possibility for a future one. It works so perfectly as well, Nico being the son of Hades and Will being the son of Apollo because they’re like the opposite sides of each other, Nico being darkness and Will being light. It was maybe a little forced, that Nico got over his crush on Percy and started to like Will so quickly but to me it seemed like it was just the start of their relationship and that it had the potential to develop in the future. I loved Percy’s reaction to Nico telling him about his crush at the end, it was such a typically dense Percy response (“I’m not your type?”) and the way Annabeth high fived him afterwards, I thought that was really cute.
I didn’t like the fact that Percy and Annabeth weren’t in this very much, especially Percy, they didn’t even get POV’s which I just thought was wrong because I knew this is the Heroes of Olympus series but they’ve been there since the very start and they really should be involved at the end, more than they were in this book. I also didn’t like how Annabeth and Percy were made to seem weaker to make Jason and Piper look better, it seemed like Riordan was trying to make us like Jason and Piper more, especially Piper by showing how strong and brave they were and whilst that’s fine, I wish it hadn’t come at the detriment of amazing characters like Percy and Annabeth. The fact that Jason was the one who saved Percy underwater was unforgivable, under the sea is Percy’s territory and it just felt wrong that Jason was the one doing all the fighting and Percy was incapacitated in a place where he should be the most powerful. There was a great Percabeth moment before they went to fight the giants when Percy finally told Annabeth that he loved her (took him long enough!) but I just wish there had been more of these two period.
I also felt that Frank and Hazel were kind of ignored in this book too. Frank was basically just there to either provide a distraction or as transport (he can transform into different animals) and for such a powerful demigod, I felt he could have been used more effectively and I would have liked to have seen more of him because I love Frank. Hazel didn’t really seem to appear much either, only to manipulate the mist when needed and I would have liked to have seen more of her although Reyna’s total awesomeness kind of made up for lack of Hazel. I would have liked to have seen more of Frank and Hazel’s relationship too. As for Frank, I don’t get why nothing happened with his firewood. Rick Riordan made such a big deal about the firewood and it being Frank’s lifeline that I really thought his firewood was going to burn up in this book, not that I wanted him to die but I don’t see why Rick Riordan added this to the book if he wasn’t going to use it.
Also he’s made such a big deal of Percy’s fatal flaw for so long and in the end his big decision was kind of glossed over, he had to let Piper, Jason and Leo fight Gaea alone and couldn’t go up and fight with them and I felt like he wouldn’t have let it go as easily as he did, he would have argued more. The decision didn’t seem to really be that difficult for him, he argued a little but then he just shrugged and walked away and I think considering how long we’ve been told Percy will have to face his fatal flaw for, he should have had to properly face it rather than what we were given.
I did like that we got to see more of Piper and Annabeth’s friendship and I liked the whole logical/emotional sides working together idea, I thought that was really good although as with Percy and Jason I wish it hadn’t come at the expense of Annabeth looking like a wimp because she’s such a badass female character and I feel in the final book that should have been shown more. Still I did like that Piper was actually seen doing stuff in this book rather than just moping about Jason the whole time, it made me like her character a little better, although she still doesn’t have a patch on Annabeth, Reyna or Hazel. I also liked that her charm speak powers had got a lot stronger in this book.
I’m also still not very keen on Jason, yes he was better in this book than he has been previously but he still feels like a less good, copycat of Percy even right down to the fact that he finishes the book intending for all the minor gods who were ignored after the end of the last great prophecy to be recognised-that is basically just doing what Percy did first! I’d rather read about Percy than his inferior copy. It was good to learn a little bit more about Jason’s life and his relationship with his mother though and I wish we’d gone into it a little more. I hated when Jason commented that “it started with us so it’s going to end with us’ about him, Leo and Piper because this whole series really started with Percy, Annabeth and Grover not them.
There was a lot of action in this book and I was kept on the edge of my seat pretty much throughout, I did not want to put it down. Having said that I think the action could have been better paced , yes it’s exciting but the fight with the giants is over in a couple of chapters, as is the fight with Gaea. I was a little disappointed that the fight with Gaia was so short, all it took was Piper charming her to sleep and then Leo blasting her into oblivion. She had been built up as an enemy worse than the titans yet it took far less time to get rid of her than to get rid of Kronos. As a villian, Gaea just wasn’t as good as Kronos was.
The humour in this book was as ever perfect, Rick Riordan has such a distinctive style of humour and he places it so well, the humour is always in such well selected places so that it breaks up the slightly darker parts of the book and it was especially needed here as some parts of the book were particularly dark. My favourite scene is the scene where they fight Nike, the humour there is just perfect and it’s also a great battle scene where we actually get to see Percy fight well! But they do seem to defeat her rather easily considering she’s the goddess of victory as they seem to defeat most of their enemies easily too, I wish they had been shown struggling to defeat their enemies more.
I would have liked to have seen more of the effects of Percy and Annabeth’s trip to Tartarus too, all we hear of it is their separate discussions with Piper and Jason respectively and that it basically makes them weak for the entire book which I think was out of character because I reckon that Percy and Annabeth going through Tartarus would actually make them stronger, having faced the worst thing they’ve ever faced in their lives. It would have been cool to see them talking about it together or maybe seeing nightmares they have or just something more than just them talking to other people about it.
Leo was just awesome in this book, whilst I do love seeing Percy be the hero, I’m glad he finally got his moment to prove himself as a great hero and throughout the books it’s been hinted that he was the one who was going to destroy Gaea (I know Piper and Jason helped but I see this as Leo’s moment, Leo’s victory). Whilst I would have liked his moment to be a little longer, I thought it was great. I also liked the way Octavian came into play in Gaea’s death, it was really great and so very….Octavian, and I didn’t really like him that much anyway so I wasn’t too sad about what happened to him, he kind of deserved it after making the Greek and Roman camps almost kill each other and this way he got to have a hero’s death (kind of). I wish Leo had come back to Camp Half-Blood after he came back to life so he could have let Piper and Jason see that he was okay, I feel he owes them that much at least. I was glad that in the end, he got his happy ending with Calypso.
I loved seeing Camp Half-Blood again, I hadn’t realised how much I missed reading about it until they were back there. I liked seeing all the characters from the PJO series back even if it was only in little moments and it seemed fitting that the final battle against Gaea would take place there as the books started off with Camp Half-Blood, it only felt right they should end there too. I wished that when they were back at Camp Half-Blood there would have been a Percy/Grover reunion since they are best friends and we did spend five books with them together, I felt like just a small scene with them reuniting would have been appropriate. Another reunion I thought would have been appropriate is Percy and his mom, I mean he’s been away for how long and we don’t get the chance to see him going back home and seeing his mom again? It just doesn’t seem like Percy that he wouldn’t do that, I mean obviously he wouldn’t during the war but afterwards it would have been nice to see that. I also would have liked to see more of Percy with Poseidon, we only really get a short glimpse of the two of them fighting together and I love their relationship so I wish we could have seen some of that as well. I would also have liked to see some Percy/Tyson as they are brothers and I felt that was missing here. I loved the fact that Clarisse was Coach Hedge’s son’s godmother, that was great.
I think considering this was the last book and there was a huge battle, more people should have died. I mean I know Leo did but he came back to life and Octavian doesn’t really count as he’s not one of the seven and there are a couple of hunters but you don’t really hear much about that. I thought the sacrifice to Gaea meant that two demigods would have to die (I was hoping Jason and Piper, no offence to those who like them, I just don’t) and their blood would have to be spilled in order for Gaia to rise. Instead it was just a couple of drops of blood from Percy and Annabeth (don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they didn’t die but it just seemed kind of pathetic). Having said that, I thought the fact that the blood from Percy came from an unintentional nosebleed was hilarious and so very Percy. Still I think not having many people die was a bit of a cop out considering how much death there was in The Last Olympian.
I thought it was quite cool how the Amazons and the Hunters were shown together, since they both have similar outlooks on men, it was great to see them fighting together. Speaking of the Hunters, I wish we’d seen more of Thalia, she kind of seemed to just pop in and out and there weren’t any long scenes with her. It might have been nice to see her with Jason again since we haven’t seen them together since The Lost Hero or to see her with Percy and Annabeth again as we haven’t seen them together in even longer. It also seemed a bit strange that the gods didn’t reward the seven for defeating Gaea like they rewarded Percy, Annabeth, Grover and Tyson in The Last Olympian for defeating Kronos.
I loved Coach Hedge in this, he was still the funny, loveable goofball we’ve come to know but he actually felt like he was a real asset to Nico and Reyna especially when he healed Nico who was nearly dead, rather than just being used as a device for more jokes. I’m so glad he got back safely and got his happy ending with his wife and newborn son. On a side note which is kind of related I love the table Buford with it’s mini coach hedge hologram that shouted funny things, that was hilarious.
I liked that Leo and Percy talked about Calypso, it felt like something that was much needed after the last book. I wish they’d had more scenes together though as the scenes they did have together were golden. In fact I wish Percy and Leo had become real friends, I mean they like each other well enough at the end of the book but I’d rather have had Leo and Percy as good friends than Jason and Percy. There is just too much comedy gold to be had in a Leo and Percy friendship and I wish Riordan had explored it more as they are my two favourite characters.
The ending was okay but I just don’t really like open endings, they leave me with so many unanswered questions that make me long for another book which sucks when this is the last book in the series. I would have maybe liked an epilogue to see how everything turned out for everyone, just so I could have some closure on this series and I didn’t feel like I got that which was annoying.
I liked that Jason finally met Zeus but I hate Zeus as a god, he’s so mean and he was awful to Apollo (another one of my questions that I want answered-what was Apollo’s punishment, if he got one at all?) but I guess it was nice that Jason got to have a moment with his father even if it was only brief. When are the gods going to be frickin’ grateful for everything the demigods do for them? It’s a cycle, demigods save the world, gods barely seem to give a damn, demigods feel resentful. I was kind of hoping that cycle would be broken with this final book but it doesn’t seem to have. Also I’d rather have seen Athena and Annabeth or Percy and Poseidon or even Leo and Hephaestus than Jason and Zeus even though I did like that Jason finally met his Dad, I like the other gods and other characters better. I enjoyed the sections with the gods in them and actually wish that had been extended because I love almost all the gods (aside from Zeus) or had sections with major gods rather than new minor gods that were introduced and not really needed.
Overall I felt this book was okay but I have to say, after House of Hades it was kind of a letdown. I loved House of Hades so much and I was expecting this one to be just as awesome but it just wasn’t and I put that down to lack of Percy and Annabeth. I felt that it was kind of rushed and I would rather have had a longer book or have him extend it into two books which might have worked better as there are so many questions left unanswered. As a series, I have enjoyed Heroes of Olympus, mainly due to the introduction of Leo but I preferred PJO, maybe because I was younger when I read those books but I just thought they were better written, more enjoyable and had a more satisfying conclusion. I’m not saying you shouldn’t read this book, as a book on it’s own it’s perfectly fine but as a series finale of books that I’ve been reading for years, it was not as satisfactory as it should have been.
My rating: 3/5 (it kills me to give a Percy Jackson book any less than 4 but I don’t feel that this book was good enough to warrant that rating).
The next book I will be reviewing is the final book of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, The Dying of The Light by Derek Landy. I hope this book has a more satisfactory conclusion than Blood of Olympus.