sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 24, 2010

into the stacks: the last olympian
posted by soe 10:23 pm

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

From the jacket: “All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a 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.”

My take: As the end of the Harry Potter series neared, a number of people mourned the fact that they’d never again have that amazing feeling of being able to crack open a new book in the series. I sympathized with the sentiment, even as I stood in line at midnight hoping for a fitting conclusion to a beloved series.

Obviously, though, I took it to heart. Although I was an early fan of The Lightning Thief and read the second book as soon as it came out, I slowed my pace down when I found out the Percy Jackson series would only number five. I didn’t read the third book until several months after it came out and the fifth book was imminent when I read the penultimate novel. But then I stopped. Sure, I’d periodically scan the library shelves to see if Book 5 was available, but I didn’t put in a request or anything like that. I just didn’t want to have the series end.

However, when I went to hear Rick Riordan speak this spring, he mentioned that he was working on a related series of books destined to take place at Camp Half-Blood. Knowing that even if the main story about Percy and Grover and Annabeth came to a conclusion that I didn’t have to leave the world behind made it okay to read the final book. Plus, my friend Shelley’s son, Daschel, told me that it was excellent. If you can’t trust an 11 year-old boy on the matter, who can you trust?

I picked the book up a couple weeks ago when I saw it at the library and have been saving it for a day when I had the time to immerse myself into Riordan’s well-crafted world. I packed it to take to the beach Saturday and finished it up Sunday afternoon before the concert.

It did not disappoint.

Filled with all the familiar characters from earlier in the series, we join Percy as he frets about how to stop Kronos — who’s taken over the body of demi-god Luke — before the Titan (the gods around before the now-familiar Olympic Greek gods took power) is able to return to full strength and destroy Mount Olympus and Manhattan along with it. A prophecy foretelling doom and a mission gone awry suggests the Oracle may just have known what she was talking about. Now Percy must embark on the most dangerous of all his quests — into the realm of Hades — in order to lead a hodgepodge army of demi-gods and woodland spirits attempting to prevent the ultimate destruction of the Olympic gods.

And if that’s not enough, the nearly 16-year old must figure out who he likes more — fellow demi-god Annabeth, daughter of Athena, or mortal Rachel Elizabeth Dare, who can see through the Mist that prevents most humans from seeing the supernatural.

It’s going to be a rough couple of days for Percy. But as Dasch promised, it’s so worth it.

Pages: 400

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