The Sea of Monsters made our jaws drop. We finished the book in awe, with wonderstruck looks spread across our faces. The Lost Hero left us pleading and begging for Percy, and also very angry, yet still afraid for Percy's fate. The Son of Neptune stopped in the middle of the awesome part. WHAT OTHER FAMILY, PERCY?! The book just ends! And The Mark of Athena... Let's not even go there. The Mark of Athena taught us what a cliffhanger REALLY is, and even gave a whole new meaning to the term.
But why does Rick Riordan insist on ending his books like this? There's always that feeling of suspense and anticipation that fills you up after finishing one of his books. Let's go through all of the painful endings he has given us in PJO and HoO:
- The Lightning Thief: Uhm, yeah. Luke's evil and he wants to overthrow Olympus, along with the evil titan Kronos.
- The Sea of Monsters: The daughter of Zeus pops out of a tree. Book ends abruptly and dramatically.
- The Titan's Curse: LUKE FELL OFF OF A FLIPPING CLIFF AND HE'S STILL FLIPPING ALIVE. Oh, and Grover is thisclose to finding Pan, but you gotta wait 'til the next book! Sorry!
- The Battle of the Labyrinth: "Hey Percy! Let's eat blue cake and talk about something that the readers can't know about until halfway through the next book!" :D -Nico di Angelo
- The Last Olympian: Rachel spews out a prophecy that Chiron claims is "for a whole other generation". Liar.
- The Lost Hero: Percy's at another, less welcoming camp. He doesn't know who he is, and he's probably dead. :)
- The Son of Neptune: Ends right before Percy is about to introduce the Romans to his Greek family.
- The Mark of Athena: PERCY AND ANNABETH FALL OFF OF A FLIPPING ACTUAL CLIFF INTO THE FLIPPIN' ETERNAL PIT OF HECK.
Now that you understand the problem with this... why does he do it? I have three ideas, and I've decided to share them with you.
MY THREE THEORIES AS TO WHY RICK RIORDAN LIKES TO LEAVE US HANGING:
- For his own personal, evil enjoyment. He has control over an entire fictional world. Why not take advantage of that? We (this fandom, including myself) let this guy control our every emotion--feels, if you will. He's kinda just living it up.
- His publishers. They want the money and the customers, so they send a sumo-wrestler to his house while he's working. The sumo-wrestler stands over him threateningly, growling, "Wreck their feels," or, "Dangle them by their thumbs over the dark pits of Tartarus with their favorite couple." Metaphorically, of course.
- His mom. Maybe she lives off of the money he makes from the series! Then, when he goes to visit her, she smiles and says, "Hi, Ricky! Come in for some cookies!" Ten minutes into the visit, she whispers in his ear, "Ricky, I need a new house. Richard Russell Riordan, make it good and make it hurt."
**Note: Much of the inspiration for the bulleted portion of this post is drawn from here.