Book Review: "Percy Jackson, Book Five - The Last Olympian" by Rick Riordan.

So I finished the Percy Jackson series. The last book does well to wrap everything up, though the last book is about equally balanced in good and not-so-good. The Last Olympian sees Kronos making his final assault toward Olympus/New York. Typhon has escaped Mt. St. Helens and is making his way across the US, so the gods of Olympus must try to defeat him before he gets there. And with Poseidon fighting his own war underwater, this leaves Olympus open for assault, as the only guard is the "last Olympian," the most minor of the Olympians, Hestia--goddess of the hearth. Of course, Percy knows Kronos is separating the Olympians away from their home purposefully, but none of them will listen and protect their thrones. So Percy, along with his friends, must make the final stand alone.

This final installment is an interesting one. The first half of the book is filled with mystery and Riordan's signature ambiguity-for-the-sake-of-ambiguity. For instance, at the end of the last book, Nico comes to Percy with an idea to help him defeat Kronos, but for almost the full first half of the book, they talk around what the plan actually is, and you don't know what it's supposed to be until Percy is literally in the action of doing it. It's really kind of annoying.

Now, if Riordan does mystery well somewhere, it's with the "spy" of Camp Half-Blood. This is actually something that nobody knows, so he isn't just having them talk around it. And it's been around since the first book (if I remember correctly). And I have to say, I really didn't see it coming. I might have had a fleeting thought at one point, but I never seriously considered this particular character as the spy. However, at the same time, that's also because there really weren't enough clues... so it really borders on an "out of nowhere" twist, which bugs me.

But there were also a few things introduced in this book that really had no major significance other than Riordan going "oh, it would be cool to include this." For instance, Pandora's "jar" or any of the "fatal flaw" stuff. None of that really ever came to fruition, and neither of those were really built up enough for me to care. In fact, because of something Percy does, his fatal flaw is supposed to be enhanced, but all that's basically ignored for the rest of the book after he's told that. As a side-note, I also found it strange that the book was called "The Last Olympian," because while Hestia was important, she wasn't title-of-the-book important. Unless I'm just completely missing some kind of obvious symbolism here.

Anyway, the whole second half of the book is non-stop action. The battle for Olympus starts halfway in and doesn't let down. I mean, there are a couple breaks here and there, but even those are filled with dreams that lead up to the next battles that are about to be fought. The action is cool, albeit predictable, though the writing did tend to get a bit confusing toward the end. And although I did (easily) predict what was going to happen during the climax with Luke/Kronos, there was still something in the way it was written that just made it feel forced and awkward. Not to mention (SPOILERS) that there's one of those endings that is so perfect and happy, it nearly feels fake; every important character with ties to the bad side gains redemption, all heroes get super rewards from the gods, and everybody lives happily ever after... though the Calypso thing made me happy. (END SPOILERS)

There was also a return of previous characters, such as Apollo, Hermes, Tyson, and Thalia. Of course, Hermes' attitude has completely changed, and he's no longer really likable, though I supposed understandably; Thalia has gone from the super-important "she'll be the best friend I've ever had" of book 3 to just some common, secondary character; Tyson, as well, becomes not much more than a character that's just kinda there; and Apollo... okay, he's still pretty cool. Gotta love Apollo. I also grew to really like Mr. D/Dionysus throughout the series, as well.

Overall, the book was enjoyable. There was an abundance of purposeful ambiguity, which, as I said before, is irritating. The action is fun, and the book moves very fast once the battle stuff starts up halfway in. I like that things were finally wrapped up or explained (I'd hope so, considering it was the last book). And there were even some things explained that I never thought about before, mostly things involving Annabeth, Luke, and Thalia when they were on their own. So I guess it was an adequate ending for the series. Will I ever revisit the series? Possibly. It has some good characters. And I'd like to read it from the start knowing everything I do at the end, to see if I catch some stuff early on. But until then, I'm satisfied enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.