The Blood of Olympus
4 / 5
A heroic conclusion to the battle versus Mother Earth.
The concluding chapter of the Heroes of Olympus series and an end to the world of Greek Mythology that has spanned 10 books, The Blood of Olympus proves to be all that we hoped for in this thrilling finale. The seven prophesised demigods aboard the Argo II continue their quest to thwart the rising of Gaia and to stop her from destroying the Earth as they know it. Nico, Reyna and Coach Hedge attempt to shadow-travel the Athena Parthenos from Rome to Camp Half-Blood, to prevent a war between the Greek and Roman demigods. They have until the 1st August to complete both quests…
Journeying around the Peloponnese to their final destination, Acropolis, the demigods inevitably encounter trouble as they seek to find ingredients for a Physician’s cure and information or help in their quest to defeat Gaia. They find themselves pitted up against Gods, Goddesses, Giants, Monsters and all manner of nasty things, as they gradually make their way closer to the scene that awaits the spilling of the blood of Olympus.
The responsibility of transporting the 40-foot statue of Athena takes its toll on Nico. He exhausts himself through his shadow-travel ability, and he becomes more and more vulnerable to becoming a shadow himself if he continues. Reyna, through this quest and shared experiences develops a good friendship with Nico, and she uses her trait of giving strength to Nico to ease his burden and to help make the shadow jumps to the next location. However, at every location they run into trouble, especially as they are being hunted down by Orion.
With all this excitement happening , it is also mixed with dread and foreboding at Half-Blood Hill, where Octavian has amassed a huge army of Romans, mercenaries, monsters and to top it off onagers that are primed to fire on Camp Half-Blood, which would destroy it in one fell swoop, and perhaps the Romans once the Greeks have been conquered.
Riordan has brought all the lines of the prophecy to within his grasp, leaving two lines left to be fulfilled in this quest to defeat Mother Earth and her minions. “To storm or fire the world must fall. An oath to keep with a final breath,” With each passing chapter and page, we get closer to the conclusion of the story and to what these lines mean and who they apply to.
* Spoilers From This Point On *
In my honest opinion, I felt that this book just missed some unpredictability or a sense that Gaia and her forces were truly going to wreak havoc. This moment has been building for five books, and I felt that the conclusion was dealt with too quickly and swiftly, and the outcome of everybody’s lives decided so suddenly. And in comparison to the finale of The Last Olympian, there was no real sense of impending doom or colossal battle; the Giants and Gaia were swept aside far too easily for my liking considering the thousands of pages of build up to her wakening.
Another issue I disliked was the distribution of the POV’s, the book reminded me a lot of The Lost Hero, due to the fact that there was a lot of focus on Jason, Piper and Leo’s characters, while Percy, Annabeth, Frank and Hazel didn’t get a chance to tell the story aboard the Argo II. Fans of the series may have felt some regret that Percy didn’t feature much in the exciting finale, especially as most readers have followed his story since The Lightning Thief. Granted, this is the Heroes of Olympus series, and he was a main character in House of Hades, but I felt he needed to be more involved, particularly as it says on the front cover “Percy Jackson’s Final Battle Begins”. And even when he was involved he wasn’t the brilliant fighter or leader that he has grown up to be. He was throughout this book, being saved, either by Jason, Leo, Hazel or Poseidon. Also, I was hoping for a more heartbreaking finale for Percy and Annabeth (with a happy ending of course), but instead, they battled; they survived, happy ever after. Even the blood ceremony involving the pair was short and anticlimactic. Again, I thought their story was concluded all too quickly, and the pair were all too frequently on the periphery in this book in comparison to House of Hades, which I felt was a better and more exciting novel.
Anyway, moving on …
Leo. The cunning little devil of the Argo II. Riordan left plenty of hints of his intentions of how Leo would fulfil the prophecy, destroy Gaia and for everyone to live happily ever after. From his incessant tinkering within his ship, the crystal, pocketing the Physician’s cure, Asclepius’s reaction as well as the looks shared by those he had told of his intentions. I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for anyone, but I think anyone who is a fan of the books has a pretty good idea of where this is going.
Despite some issues I have with finale, (I’m sure everyone had envisaged how they wished the story to end); I thoroughly enjoyed The Blood of Olympus and the Heroes of Olympus series in its entirety. The thrilling quests that they have undertaken to battle Monsters, Gods and Giants, as well as the quest to become the person they were meant to be was something I have loved reading, and will continue to read as Riordan’s books have earned a special place on my shelf and in my heart.