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{end of messing around}

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian

Warning: This review contains spoilers for the previous four books in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.

Title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian
Author: Rick Riordan
Released: May 5. 2009
Genre: fantasy, adventure
Pages: 381
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Rating: 9 (Awesome!)

"All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate."

The last installment in a series always makes me emotional. Like really emotional. Sometimes I start to tear up in the middle of the book, not even because of the story, but because of the knowledge that this will be the last time I share an adventure with the characters.

But I did not expect The Last Olympian to get me emotional. 

Don't get me wrong. I truly did enjoy the first four books in the Percy Jackson series; I loved the twists on Greek mythology, the sidesplitting humour, and the fast-paced, monster-filled adventures. Before The Last Olympian, I always thought, it's just a series I read for fun, right? No emotional attachment to the characters here.

But I don't think I ever realized how much I loved this series until I read the final book. And trust me, I got emotional.

The Last Olympian was truly a great finale for the Percy Jackson series. It's definitely my favourite book of the series, along with The Lightning Thief.

The problem I always had with the earlier Percy Jackson books was that the characters just felt sort of two-dimensional to me. It's especially common in middle-grade and children's novels, but it's not necessarily fatal to the books. A lot of the time, books for younger readers are plot and humour driven, so the story can still be fun to read, even if the characters are not as fleshed out as they could be. This is how I felt about the Percy Jackson books in the beginning. The original story lines and the hilarious dialogue always made up for the lack of character depth. 

As the series went on, this improved. And The Last Olympian definitely surprised me.
There was character development!  It was amazing! As Rick Riordan revealed the mysterious pasts of several characters, I found myself understanding and learning to love characters I had never liked before. Even Annabeth, who I had always thought of as a "meh" character, grew on me as Riordan revealed glimpses of her past. 

This novel is quite a bit darker than the previous ones, and that lead to the exploration of serious themes: death, betrayal, guilt. This only added to the development of the characters and the depth of the story itself.

Naturally, as the last book in a series about an impending God/Titan/Demigod war, the vast majority of the book is battle. Riordan also has dozens of loose ends to tie up, so there are a lot of flashback scenes. However, there is rarely a boring moment. Riordan's imagination, the fast-paced plot, and Percy's lasting humour add up to a fantastic finale for a fantastic series.

And now I have to get my hands on The Lost Hero ...

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