Thursday, 27 November 2014

Review - The Blood of Olympus - Rick Riordan

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)Title: The Blood of Olympus
Series: Heroes of Olympus #5
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Young-Adult, Middle-Grade, Mythology
Publication: 7th October 2014, Puffin
Pages: 514 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Penguin Books South Africa for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4.5/5 Cupcakes!
Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.
The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.
The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.
It's over. One of my favourite series with some of my favourite characters has ended and that makes me really sad. I won't be seeing Persassy again or Annabeth, Leo, Nico, Reyna, Thalia, Frank, Hazel, Piper, Jason...ANY of the characters (unless, of course, Rick decides to write other spin-offs and incorporate them in) and that makes me sad. And I may have perhaps done a bit of this:


and some of this: 

and a lot of this:

I loved it, I really did. I read it slowly and over a week, trying to restrain myself from finishing it in two days and saving myself from regretting the fact that I'd read the last book featuring my favourite characters in a day or two. I loved hearing from characters' points of view that I hadn't really been able to hear from before and getting to experience this emotional journey with them and when it finally hit home that I'd probably never read a book with all seven (or nine, including Nico and Coach Hedge) where they're all on the Argo II I kind of just wanted to crawl into a ball with a slab of chocolate and the HoO books and flail. And although I absolutely loved the last instalment in this amazing series, there were some things I was disappointed about, hence not giving it a 100% rating, but besides that I really enjoyed it!

The Blood of Olympus is the last instalment in the Heroes of Olympus series. We have the seven demigods who are about to fulfill a prophecy and try to destroy Gaia, the "Earth Mother", from awakening. While the seven have to deal with trying to save the world, they also have to try to prevent the war breaking out between Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter, as if there's peace between the two camps, there's peace between the gods and this would assist the seven in their quests. Trials and tribulations surround the demigods as they prepare to face what could be their final battle.

As I said, for the most part I loved this book. It's funny and it's action packed and I love the characters and the adorable romance but at times, I felt slightly disappointed, but only slightly. I think what disappointed me the most, was that there were no Percy/Annabeth/Frank/Hazel chapters. Percy and Annabeth are my favourite characters and one of my favourite bookish couples ever, so as you can imagine it really disappointed me when we didn't get to see from their viewpoints. Perhaps Rick had mostly Jason/Piper/Leo chapters because that's the characters who this series started with, if so I could then understand his reasoning for doing that, but I wish he had at least one Percy and Annabeth chapter in the book. Another thing I was disappointed about, is that the battle with Gaia was very anti-climatic. She was defeated extraordinarily quickly and she was one of the major, MAJOR gods and yet she was defeated in a shorter time than some of the minor gods or even monsters that have featured in this series. I felt a bit let down by this as I was expecting a major battle that would have my adrenaline spiking and my heart pounding, yet it was over so quickly. This is the last instalment in a Percy Jackson series (that we know of) and it needed a battle to convey how terrible and horrifying Gaia was but it didn't happen and I think it should have. 

*SPOILERS IN THE BELOW PARAGRAPH, DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED BLOOD OF OLYMPUS*

One last thing (not that I didn't like this but which I found odd), was that no one died, except Octavian. This is the biggest battle the demigods have ever had, if they don't win this battle, the ENTIRE WORLD will be completely and utterly obliterated as one of the most powerful gods is awakening from her slumber that lasted for practically ever and no ones dies. Trust me, I'm happy about that, I love these characters and if the author tortures them I want to wrap them in a blanket and keep them safe until the author promises to treat them nicely but it's a highly unrealistic ending. Not even lesser known characters died except for some of the Hunters of Artemis. Leo kind of died, THANK GOODNESS he didn't that would've totally messed me up, but I just found it very odd that everyone was safe and sound, not that I'm complaining, though. It's just that there was so much emphasis throughout the whole series about death and sacrifices and for none of that to happen and for there not to be a major battle, made the book seem a lot different than I expected. 

The ending was also a lot different to what I expected, when I read the first sentence of the Leo chapter I was like:


But then a page later he happened to be alive and I was just like "YES YES YES LEO I LOVE YOU YOU'RE THE BEST I LOVE YOU" (excuse my lack of appropriate grammar). 

BUT I wanted more closure than that ending. He fetches Calypso (yay - I'm so happy about that!) and they ride off to heaven knows where and it ends and I'm just sitting there completely shocked and flicking through the rest of the book hoping that that's not how it ends because why didn't Rick Riordan let him reunite with the other demigods?! The others are sitting around thinking Leo is dead and we don't get to see them be reunited with him or anything and HOW COULD IT END LIKE THAT?! Unless, of course, they feature in the Norse series but really. REALLY?! I needed more closure, they needed more closure. GAH.



*SPOILERS OVER*

Everything else though, I loved. I loved (most) of the plot although I didn't think it was as good as the other books but it was still good. I loved the family/friendship dynamics that featured through and how courageous, brave and confident the characters were.

Like I said, we didn't get to see much of Percy or Annabeth or Frank or Hazel, but we did get to see other characters' viewpoints and I LOVED that. There were a lot of Jason chapters and initially I wasn't a fan of Jason but he really redeemed himself in this book and I quite like and respect him now. He kept Nico's secret, he saved Percy and strongly featured in defeating gods and monsters throughout the series. He was really vulnerable and adorable and I feel like throughout this whole series he's been trying to prove his worth to the Greeks (as the Romans love him) and to us readers. He has a lot of competition with Percy and I feel as if he's finally been accepted and is "allowed" to play a larger role, I really like Jason, he's brave and fair and kind and I hope that we all, now that we've reached the end of the series, have accepted him and will stop comparing him to Percy. One of the quotes in the book, we finally see how he really feels about being in the limelight and always having to be the one who makes decisions:
"Jason felt hundreds of eyes on him. This has been the story of my life, he thought bitterly. Everyone had always watched him, expecting him to lead the way."
I could finally understand that perhaps he didn't always want to be a leader and that the pressure of having to be somewhat of a hero made him slightly agitated sometimes. I'm glad I can say, though, that after reading this book I like Jason a lot more than I did.

I also warmed up to Piper in this book, I was never really a fan of her and Jason but I started liking their characters much more in this book. She's become so powerful with her charm-speaking ability and she's also an extremely caring person and a great friend. 

Leo was absolutely amazing and I acted so noble. I truly admire how he was willing to risk his life to not only save the world, but also to save his friends. I felt really bad for him when he felt like a third wheel and like he didn't belong and I was just think "Just you wait till you're with Calypso, then you won't feel so alone" and I just wanted to hug him and tell him how much people actually love him because you can tell he doesn't think that. And I feel sorry for him because he cracks jokes to lighten the mood and they crew get frustrated with him and I don't think they understand truly know how much he's done for them and I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH! He is so sassy and funny and I just love him so freaking much.

I wish we could've also seen more of Frank and Hazel. Frank has never been one of my favourites but I absolutely adore Hazel and I was sad that they (and Percabeth) were background characters. It was fantastic seeing Frank so self-assured and Hazel being more confident in her abilities. They've all become so much confident and I love that!

Another character whose viewpoint was featured, was Reyna's. I never really connected with Reyna in previous books, but after reading this I adore her! She's so strong, courageous and independent and always puts herself before other people. She carries so much sadness, though, and so much guilt and I felt terrible for her because she never has time to recover from the sadness she's experienced because she has to run a legion. Then there's the conversation she had with Aphrodite about how no demigod will ever love her and Orion rubbed salt into that wound by reminding her how she was rejected by Percy and Jason and I really hope that "if" Rick Riordan writes a cross-over or sequel that it will show Reyna finding love and is able to rid the sadness within her.

Another character whose viewpoint we got to see was Nico's and I LOVED reading from his POV. I've never adored Nico in this past, but after reading Blood of Olympus, I love him. He's so sad and tortured and blames himself for everything and carries so much sorrow and I just wanted to hug him and tell him that everything would be okay. I love how he finally felt like he'd been accepted in this book and how he felt as if he made friends and as if people finally understood him. He finally let people in and I was cheering him along and marvelling at the vast improvement he's made  from who he was in the previous books. Nico is also incredibly powerful - more so than I ever thought. It's like in each book his power increases and he's able to do more things. Some of the things he does is incredible and shows just how powerful he is.

Percy and Annabeth were amazing as ever, even though we didn't see much of their characters. Percy was so funny and sassy and Annabeth was just as wise and kick-butt as ever. We can see in this book that Annabeth is struggling slightly after being in Tartarus. She mentions her and Percy being in there and how she's really afraid that she will lose him. I felt so sorry for her and I hope (if Rick Riordan incorporates them in the other books) that she never has to lose Percy, but he'll probably make that happen because he loves torturing us.

The friendship dynamics in this book were beautiful to read! I loved Piper and Annabeth's friendship and how they were always there for another. I LOVED Reyna and Nico's friendship, they were the two characters who were the most afraid to let people in which led them confiding to each other and becoming strong with the help of each other. I absolutely love how Reyna acted like Nico's big sister and how they began to share secrets from their past that continued to haunt them and how they were always there for each other. The part where Reyna embraces Nico and he gets tears in his eyes made ME get tears in my eyes, it could've been my allergies, but I'm pretty sure it was emotional tears. It's almost as if Reyna is acting like Bianca towards Nico. Their friendship is so beautiful.

"Then she did something so unexpected Nico would later think he dreamed it. She walked up to Nico, who was standing to one side in the shadows, as usual. She grabbed his hand and pulled him gently into the firelight. 'We had one home,' she now. 'Now we have two.' She gave Nico a big hug and the crowd roared with approval. For once, Nico didn't feel like pulling away. He buried his face in Reyna's shoulder and blinked the tears out of his eyes."

Percy and Annabeth's relationship was completely adorable and I love them so freaking much. 
They're so sassy with each other and you can see how much they rely on each other and how they need each other and it's just so utterly heart-warming to read about.



I wish we had chapters from their POV because they're amazing and I love them and I'm rambling so I'm going to end this review shortly. 

Jason and Piper were really cute in this book and you can see they really love each other and care about each other. They're both so strong-willed, caring and determined and I ship them, very much so. They remind me of another version of Percy and Annabeth and I'm so glad they've stayed together.

All the characters have become more confident and I love how there all friends and support each other and that previous rivalries don't really exist anymore. The characters have definitely evolved into better people. It's been incredible embarking on this journey with them and seeing them transform into such strong, wonderful characters and I'm probably going to start tearing up now, so I shall finish off by saying that:

The Blood of Olympus was a spectacular finale in an action-packed and emotionally-charged series. I feel like I've grown with the characters and I feel so absolutely and wholly privileged that I've been able to experience their stories and become their best friends. Thank you, Mr. Riordan, for creating such noble and admirable characters that I aspire to be like. Thank you for showing that just because someone's blonde, doesn't mean they're unable to exercise the ability to have an intelligent notion. Thank you for creating such a beautiful world filled with heroes, humor, kindness, compassion and bravery that I can escape into, as well as creating such amazing characters that have become my best friends, characters who feel so completely real to me. Thank you for your wonderful writing, thank you. 

I give it: 4.5/5 Cupcakes!


*The following quotes are taken from the Goodreads quotes for said book*
“What if we promoted, like, Adidas shoes?’ Percy wondered. ‘Would that make Nike mad enough to show up?" Leo smiled nervously. Maybe he and Percy did share something else – a stupid sense of humour. "Yeah, I bet that would totally be against her sponsorship deal. THOSE ARE NOT THE OFFICIAL SHOES OF THE OLYMPICS! YOU WILL DIE NOW!” 
“The crew gathered for a hurried meeting on the foredeck – mostly because Percy was keeping an eye on a giant red sea serpent swimming off the port side. ‘That thing is really red,’ Percy muttered. ‘I wonder if it’s cherry-flavoured.’ 
‘Why don’t you swim over and find out?’ Annabeth asked. 
‘How about no.” 
“Correct." Kekrops sounded bitter, like he regretted his decision. "My people were the original Athenians--the gemini.""Like your zodiac sign?" Percy asked. "I'm a Leo.""No, stupid," Leo said. "I'm a Leo. You're a Percy.” 
“No one can hate you with more intensity than someone who used to love you.” 

“Catch that last episode of Doctor Who? Oh, right. You were trudging through the Pit of Eternal Damnation!” 
“Atlantis?' Jason asked.'That's a myth,' Percy said.'Uh...don't we deal in myths?''No, I mean it's a MADE-UP myth. Not like, an actual true myth.'
'So this is why Annabeth is the brains of the operation, huh?” 
“The rivalry ends here," Percy said. "I love you, Wise Girl.” 
“Now...well, after what happened in Tartarus, it seemed like Percy had graduated to a totally different level of butt-kickery.” 
“No one can hate you with more intensity than someone who used to love you.” 
“He forced his fists to unclench. "Look, lady, we're not going to go all Hunger Games on each other. Isn't going to happen.” 
And for Rick to prove he's even more awesome, he added a Hunger Games and Doctor Who reference.

5 comments:

  1. I may have done some of the same things when I finished reading and realized it'd be the last book... And I loved it too!

    I unfortunately couldn't restrain myself. I read it in a few hours, then blinked away tears because it was over. I think Rick Riordan tweeted that he didn't give Percy or Annabeth a POV because The House of Hades was theirs. And now the others would have their turn. The House of Hades is probably my favorite one of the series, followed by this one/The Mark of Athena.

    I also thought this book gave me a chance to get to known Jason. Before, he was one of my least favorite characters from the series but in The Blood of Olympus, I felt like I understood him better. I think (besides Percy and Annabeth of course) I found two new favorite characters in this book: Reyna and Nico. Especially Nico... I just want to hug that guy forever!

    I definitely agree with the fact that the characters have really grown up: their strong friendships, the end of rivalries, the increased confidence. YES.

    I kind of feel like this series shaped my life a bit, maybe not as much as Harry Potter has, but still a close second! Just like in Harry Potter, you really learn the values of life by reading these. Friendship, love, loyalty, everything.

    This was probably the longest review I've ever read, yet I read it eagerly! I agree with pretty much everything you've said. I'm sad to see the characters go :(

    PS. I love the quotes. Especially the Adidas one!

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  2. I was also very near tears when I realised that it was actually the last book, I don't think it hit home until only after I'd finished it! I'm currently reading the Percy Jackson series again because I just love the whole world and the characters so much!


    I can understand why he wanted more focus on the other characters but my heart still yearns for more Percabeth! ;)


    I definitely got to know Jason better and I absolutely ADORED Nico and Reyna after reading this book, they're awesome!


    Oh definitely, this book shaped me too. You learn so much about friendship/family/bravery/kindness in these books, it's truly amazing :)


    I think this is actually one of the longest reviews I've ever written haha! Thank you for reading it all! :) x

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  3. I was interested to see your thoughts on it, so obviously I read it all ;)

    I know, there can never be enough Percabeth I think. I really want to reread them now! This combined with our Twitter conversation makes me want to start all over again.

    Nico is just, too precious. And such an interesting character! x

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  4. Fantastic review Kyra! I still need to read the final Percy Jackson book but I am enjoying them so far. Your excitement for these books are contagious, I'll have to get to them soon!

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  5. Thank you so much! I LOVE the Percy Jackson series, currently re-reading the second book, they're so amazing! :')

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