First off, I just want to quickly apologize for my unplanned 4-month hiatus. I'm really sorry about that. I don't even want to start making excuses, because that was just unforgivable of me. I really am very sorry.
I just finished The Blood of Olympus (a few days ago). I was really impressed with it overall, but at the same time I don't think that I liked it as much as I liked some of the other Heroes books. This whole going to be really crazy and out of order, so forgive me, but I'm REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS BOOK, BUT I ALSO FEEL REALLY CONFLICTED. I don't want to be too overly-peppy about this, and I also don't want to be really negative, so I'm just going to alternate between things I liked and things I didn't.
- Good thing: JASON GRACE.
For some odd reason, I loved him in this book a lot more than I did in the other books. Maybe it's because I did a full re-read of the other books before I started, and he was pretty flipping awesome throughout all of those too. People seem to forget about his awesomeness between book releases for some reason, and it's usually just him. Jason deserves some love, and not just from Piper. He's so great to everyone: the Greeks, the Romans, his friends, even his enemies like Kym. He's a really cool guy and I love him to pieces. Consider this a Jason Grace appreciation paragraph. I just want to hug him. New favorite character.
- Bad thing: PAGE COUNT.
WHY SO LOW? This book is around 500 pages, and the other books were at least 550. And this was the last book! Final books are supposed to be longer than the rest, aren't they?
- Good thing: NICO AND REYNA.
I've got to admit, I think I enjoyed the Nico and Reyna chapters in this book the most. Their perspectives were new and fresh, and I didn't realize before how tortured they were ("tortured" sounds a bit extreme, but you get the point, right?). Reyna's own inner battle about killing her father (but not really) just broke my heart. Nico was much more powerful than I originally thought he was, which was both interesting and scary at the same time. And the brother/sister bond that they formed with each other? That made my heart melt.
- Bad thing: THE LACK OF SALLY. AND BOB. AND DAMASEN.
I seriously needed Sally Jackson. I understand that Percy is growing up and he doesn't need his mom around as much, but he had been gone for over half of a year. Yes, I know he left her a message and sent her letters, but I very badly wanted to see them reunited, and it didn't happen!
A little bit of closure about how things worked out for Bob and Damasen would have been nice. Yes, Annabeth and Percy mentioned them, but did anyone think to maybe ask one of the super-powerful gods what might have happened to them? No?
- Good thing: MICHAEL VARUS.
Okay, well maybe his presence wasn't great for Jason, but it's not him in particular that I'm happy about. It's the fact that when Rick Riordan mentions a thing, he USES THE THING LATER. He mentioned Michael Varus in previous books a few times, kind of as what I originally though was just a throwaway backstory for the Roman camp, but OH MY GOSH, he actually showed up. I adore that kind of consistency. I did not realize that he'd actually show up! :o
- Bad thing: BATTLES.
What happened to the epic final battles that I could always count on from Rick Riordan?
What happened to the fact that almost the entirety of The Last Olympian was the battle against Kronos?
What happened to Annabeth's killer battle strategies?
The fact that the giants were defeated in less than three pages is unacceptable. That's not allowed. THE BATTLE OF MANHATTAN TOOK UP LIKE HALF A BOOK, BUT THE BATTLE IN ATHENS TAKES UP LESS THAN A CHAPTER? eiwoh;taaiwetohgawtoyh The fact that Annabeth had pretty much nothing to do with defeating Gaea in that final battle is unacceptable. Yes, I realize that Leo had a plan, but gods dam it Leo Valdez, if you make a plan then flipping include Annabeth because her mom is the flipping goddess of flipping battle strategy! Leo in general in this book just made me angry, but I don't even want to start on that... Teamwork, Valdez! Teamwork!
- Good thing: WILL SOLACE AND NICO (and Nico's character development).
Halfway through the book, I got really scared and I honestly thought that Riordan was going to either (1) let Nico be passive-aggressive and moody for the rest of his life, or (2) kill him off, because it seriously looked that way from the way he was using that Underworld magic. BUT NEITHER OF THOSE HAPPENED SO I'M REALLY HAPPY NOW BECAUSE WILL SOLACE MADE ANOTHER APPEARANCE AND IT WAS EPIC AND NICO MAY HAVE JUST FOUND SOMEBODY! AND EVEN IF HE HASN'T, HE HAS A FRIEND NOW! Nico developed so much in this book alone. He let Reyna hug him, he confessed his former crush to Percy, he decided to join the Greek camp, and he's actually making friends now. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT MAKES ME EXCITED.
- Bad thing: THE POVs.
Jason, Piper, Leo, Reyna, and Nico.
Let me clear this up: I love them all. As I previously stated, Jason is my current favorite character. Piper has grown on me since the beginning, Leo and Reyna have always been some of my favorites, and Nico's character development in this book makes me giddy. But these POVs weren't well-chosen in my opinion. The ideal POVs would have been...
1. Jason, because he was the guy who basically started it all on the Greek side.
2. Percy, because he was the guy who started everything on the Roman side.
3. Frank or Hazel or Annabeth, because they were underrepresented in POVs in previous books (they each only had two, as opposed to Piper and Leo's three, without including BoO).
4. Reyna or Nico, because getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half Blood was NOT the main storyline. I really love them and I loved their quest, but it really diverted my attention from the main plot. I found myself wanting a Nico or a Reyna chapter in the middle of say, a Leo chapter.
Also, it would have been nice if each of them had a POV at the end, just to wrap things up and "say goodbye." That way, it could have included Annabeth having a talk with Athena (I mean, come on, isn't Athena going to praise and/or thank Annabeth for rescuing the statue? No?), maybe a bittersweet phonecall from Piper to her dad, a cute Frazel moment, etc. I was waiting for all of this... and then nothing.
- Good thing: THE GODS ACTUALLY SHOWED UP.
Do you have any idea how afraid I was that the gods would just decide to not show up to fight the giants? I could see Zeus just chillin' up in Olympus like, "Eh, these kids've got it. They'll do fine with just Nike trapped in their ship." But fortunately, such wasn't the case. I found it kind of funny that Zeus decided to start playing the blame game when Gaea was just about ready to destroy the world, but then Artemis, Athena, and Jason talked some sense into him and everything was cool. Phew.
- Bad thing: I FREAKED OUT BECAUSE PERCY ALMOST DIED.
I ALSO THOUGHT THAT THALIA WAS DEAD FOR A COUPLE PARAGRAPHS. WHY DO YOU DO THESE THINGS TO ME??????
Good thing: NO ONE DIED PERMANENTLY.
And by "no one," I mean nobody in the main cast of "good guys." I was expecting to hear some familiar Camp Half-Blood names mentioned when it mentioned Nico helping with the burial procedures, but I guess not. *shrug* But... I didn't have to go through any pain. Octavian? He brought it on himself, although I did feel a tad bit sorry for him. Phoebe and Kinzie? Eh... Not really close to them...
- Bad thing: NO ONE DIED PERMANENTLY (and other matters of suspense build-up followed by lack of closure).
I have to admit, I'm a bit mad. This is the kind of suspenseful schist they were posting in the weeks leading up to the release........
NOT COOL! You can't just do that! You can't just make us freak out like that and NOT HAVE ANYONE DIE!!!! The PR people seriously spent so much time and energy building up the "two people must be sacrificed to Gaea" thing, but then she was awakened by Percy the extreme dork's nosebleed. They even sent out boxes of HoO merchandise to a bunch of book reviewers on YouTube and had them make predictions, and then NOTHING HAPPENED. I'm sorry, but Leo came back to life, so that doesn't count. I don't appreciate that, I really don't. I thought that Frank's wood would burn up, or Nico would exert himself too much, or Hazel would be tragically forced to return to death, but nope. Just...
Anyway, as for other matters:
- Percy's fatal flaw was stressed a lot in the previous books, and there really wasn't anything that made him make a major decision that was affected by it.
- Frank's stick played pretty much no part in the book (although I guess one could argue that that was taken care of at the end of HoH when Leo made the pouch for him).
- At least Leo found Ogygia again. BUT, I wish we would have found out what time period that he actually was in when he woke up. I think it would have been cool (but really sad) if he found Camp Half-Blood again with Calypso and it ended up being fifty years in the future, then he had sort of a Captain America moment. Like he and Calypso would get off of Festus's back at Camp and he'd be like:
Now I will end with a list of good things.
- Jason got glasses and is gonna be the pontifex maximus.
- Percy and Annabeth are going to college together in New Rome.
- Frank is actually legit gonna be co-praetor with Reyna. (!!!!!!)
- Reyna, Piper, and Annabeth are like BFFs.
- Coach Hedge named his son after Chuck Norris.
- Coach Hedge named his son after Chuck Norris.
- Coach Hedge named his son after Chuck Norris.
Overall, I really liked the actual content of the book, I just felt that it needed more for it to be a proper conclusion. I liked the parts that we did get, but the problem for me was the timing, the length (or lack thereof), the perspective, and the arrangement. I think that I would have liked a stronger conclusion, but I think that Blood of Olympus definitely had its strengths as well as its weaknesses.