Bloody Brilliant

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…

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House of Hades

The Heroes of Olympus: House of Hades

4.5 / 5

                                                                One word: Unputdownablehouse-of-hades-uk-cover1

House of Hades is the 4th instalment in ‘The Heroes of Olympus’ franchise. At the end of the previous book, Percy and Annabeth have dropped into Tartarus and have vowed to the others that they will meet them at the Doors of Death, where they will attempt to prevent monsters from continuing to carry on coming back from the pit by closing the immortal side of the doors. The others are trying to meet them on the mortal side of the doors but they are thwarted by Gaia’s forces at every turn of their journey.

Percy and Annabeth’s punishing passage through Tartarus tests not only their bodies but their sanity as well. They are faced with seemingly impossible obstacles and foes hell-bent on their death and destruction as they make their way closer to the Doors of Death. Thousands of monsters await their arrival consisting of: Giants, Titans, Earthborns, Telekines, Cyclopes, Gods, arai spirits, empousa, gryphons, Laistrygonians and ghosts. But before they reach the heart of Tartarus they have to survive not only the acidic environment and deadly rivers but also the trials that test the very fibre of their being. Percy and Annabeth will have to fight against incredible odds to reach the doors to their escape but despite being in Tartarus they find help in unlikely ways.

The crew of Argo II set sail for Epirus and Nico, Hazel, Frank, Leo, Piper, Jason and Coach Hedge will attempt to reach the House of Hades where they will try and meet Percy and Annabeth at the Doors of Death. They have bad omens aplenty with Hecate offering only crossroads with awful consequences, bad dreams of Clytius and Pasiphae who appear to be the undoing of their task and Piper’s Katoptris knife showing horrible scenes of Camp Half-Blood in ruins. But despite the odds being well and truly against them, they continue to Epirus with Gaia’s forces attempting to prevent them from reaching their intended destination.

Riordan creates an utterly compelling adventure for the heroes which is gripping from beginning to end, he also delves further into each character’s persona. The reader learns more about each hero and we become more attached and sympathetic with each of them as they agonise with themselves over feelings and decisions that go through their head. Each of them proves their worth as a hero through various challenges that the crew of Argo II face, as well as the two battling demigods in Tartarus.

Fans of the Percy Jackson/ Heroes of Olympus series will love this book for its mesmeric, spellbinding and enthralling storyline, especially the wonderfully woven tests that the heroes face. Riordan’s typical electric paced action and cliff-hanger-ending chapters leave the reader breathless and thirsty to find out what happens.  This book feels like it is the beginning of the end. This magnificent adventure is nearing its conclusion and the final showdown with Gaia’s forces is looming large. The end is nigh … August 2014!

The Heroes of Olympus

The Heroes of Olympus

 The Lost Hero 4/5

The Son of Neptune 4.25/5

The Mark of Athena 4.5/5

 The Heroes of Olympus is the continuation of adventures following on from Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. These books focus on the characters, Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Leo, Hazel and Frank as they attempt to complete quests regarding the New Great Prophecy. At the end of the end of The Last Olympian, Rachel, the new Oracle speaks the New Great Prophecy.

 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

The Heroes of Olympus brings together the Greek and Roman aspects of the Gods, which adds a new dimension to the story, as the Gods have sometimes shifted between their Greek and Roman forms. This has led to demi-gods being born to the different versions of the Gods, and they inherit different characteristics and throughout history the Greeks and Romans have been enemies. But the line ‘And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death’ suggests that Greek and Roman demi-gods will have to co-operate in order to defeat Gaia.

The Lost Hero brings a new set of heroes together: Jason, Piper and Leo. Jason has had his memories stolen, Piper’s father has been captured by the giant, Enceladus and Leo is dealing with a guilty conscience as they embark on their first quest together. The Lost Hero is similar to the Lightening Thief to the extent that new friendships are formed between the triumvirate of heroes; Riordan uses first person perspective to extremely good effect as the audience becomes attached, sympathetic and supportive of each character. Piper’s father has been captured by Enceladus and the goddess Hera is also incapacitated with her powers being drained to help the rise of legendary giant, Porphyrion. On their quest to save Hera and Piper’s father, they are met by a series of Gods and monsters, some of which are meant to be dead. The three of them have been brought together as part of an elaborate plan made by Hera/Juno to defeat Gaia. This is an engaging start to this pentalogy and I really enjoyed the first person perspective and the introduction of Gods and monsters from mythology that the three of them meet on their way.

The Son of Neptune sees the return of the main protagonist, Percy Jackson. This time he is accompanied by Hazel and Frank. Percy like Jason has had his memory taken away by Hera and he ends up at Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent to Camp Half-Blood. The only thing that he remembers from his past is his girlfriend, Annabeth. The three of them are assigned a ‘suicidal’ quest to Alaska, the one place where the Gods hold no power, to free the God of Death. Not only do they have to complete this quest, they also have to return by the Feast of Fortuna to help defend Camp Jupiter from Gaia’s army led by the giant, Polybotes. Along the way we learn of Frank’s immense vulnerability and power, Hazel’s second chance at life and how she has a personal experience with the undefeatable giant that waits for them in Alaska. The Son of Neptune is a thrilling and unpredictable ride and the ending is fiery brilliant which sets up the next adventure in this awesome series.

The Mark of Athena sees the seven people chosen for the prophecy on a quest together for the first time. The quest takes them to Rome for three things: to prevent the destruction of Rome, to save Nico D’Angelo and to find the Mark of Athena. This is my favourite book of the series so far because of the sheer scale of their task, the amount of adventures in Rome and on the way and the developing friendships and romances aboard the Argo II. It also sees Percy and Annabeth’s relationship reconvene and there are a plethora of heart-wrenching feelings that are shared whenever Riordan focuses on either of them. The seven of them encounter an abundance of Gods and monsters as they make their way to Rome, while in Rome, each of them play a pivotal role in the outcome of this quest. I felt this book explored each hero’s feelings deeply and concisely creating a close connection between the characters and the reader. Also, I found the tasks that the heroes undertook were more challenging and required greater wisdom and co-operation from the heroes. These aspects grew as the story progressed and this was reciprocated by the friendships formed on the Argo II which will stand them in good stead for their next quest.

When the 8th October arrives I will be rushing into my nearest bookshop to purchase House of Hades not only because I am a massive fan of the series but also because of the truly edge-of-the-seat ending which left me aching to find out what happens next.