This is the last of five mini reviews for the five novels in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.
Read The Lightning Thief mini review here.
Read The Sea of Monsters mini review here.
Read The Titan’s Curse mini review here.
Read The Battle of the Labyrinth mini review here.
“I will deny I ever said this, of course, but the gods need heroes. They always have. Otherwise we would not keep you annoying little brats around.”
If there were ever such a thing as a perfect novel, The Last Olympian would be it. The novel was flawless, the action was perpetual and incredible, and everything from the previous novels was tied together and wrapped up neatly.
The concluding novel increases the action from the very first page. Percy and Camp Half-Blood have been planning tactics and war strategies all year in preparation for Kronos’ rise and the final war the prophecy has alluded to for years. Titans, few gods and several half-bloods have joined Kronos’ invasion and will stop at nothing until Olympus is in ruins. A major issue is the4 gods are unable to directly interfere with prophecies and so Percy and the Heroes are basically left to defend Olympus and Western Civilisation all on their own.
What stood apart in this novel is that the adventure has ended and war is imminent. The novel features several small battles, instead of just one final battle at the end of the novel which I supremely enjoyed. This made the war feel more realistic and accurate. I couldn’t help but notice, which I’m sure was intentional on Riordan’s part, that the novel followed the same framework of the Trojan War but in reverse: Titans are involved in the conflict instead of the gods; a beloved and famous hero, remanent of Hector, is killed at the beginning of the war; a hero, like Achilles, takes offence to something and refuses to partake in the war; another hero, like Patroclus, attempts to take the hero’s place and is killed, as well as several more similarities. As the Titan Prometheus said, “History repeats itself.”
Like The Battle of the Labyrinth, Riordan’s modern take on classical events and Greek mythology is unparalleled and shows what a creative mastermind he is. We are introduced to countless Titans and gods I never knew existed which increased the action and the plot by tenfold. My personal favourite was Prometheus, who is supposedly the Titan who created humans, much to the chagrin of other Titans and gods. Prometheus, and few other Titans, remind us that not all Titans are evil, like Kronos. Some have kindness and virtue within them, and their treatment by the Olympians was cruel and unjustified.
I was so excited to finally experience the endgame for many of these cherished characters; some outlines resulted in death, misery and sadness, while other characters get the ending they truly deserved. Don’t think this novel was all action and no heart. That is definitely not the case. The Last Olympian combines history, mythology and action with humour and whimsy, Riordan’s trademark stamp. I laughed so much while reading this novel that I would frequently have to put the novel aside to wipe the tears from my eyes. As always, Riordan’s writing was on point as he was perfectly able to get into the mind and heart of a teenage boy. The frank and comical tone of the novel made for a lighter read, as many of the scenes in the book were quite dark.
The conclusion was simply stunning. As I first began reading this novel, I had several questions that I hoped would be answered throughout the text, namely, how the Olympians can change their ways to ensure something like this never happens again. Riordan answered every question and concern I had in a manner that I did not see coming. I also loved that the hero of the day was an unlikely one and so glad Riordan made that particular decision as this god is someone who is frequently ignored and left out, not only in the novels but also in mythology.
I don’t think it is possible to choose a favourite character after reading this book. Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Nico, Berckendorf, Silena, Clarisse … every one of these character has touched my heart in some way and are the reason The Percy Jackson series has become one of my absolute favourite books.
The Last Olympian is by far the strongest novel in the series. It was a fun, touching and action-packed book that concluded in a truly satisfying way. Now I understand the hype surrounding Riordan and his novels.
Once she was gone, I knelt next to Annabeth and felt her forehead. She was still burning up.
“You’re cute when you’re worried,” she muttered. “Your eyebrows get all scrunched together.”
“You are not going to die while I owe you a favor,” I said. “Why did you take that knife?”
“You would’ve done the same for me.”
It was true. I guess we both knew it. Still, I felt like somebody was poking my heart with a cold metal rod.
“As for my brothers,” Zeus said, “we are thankful”-he cleared his throat like the words were hard to get out-“erm, thankful for the aid of Hades.”
The lord of the dead nodded. He had a smug look on his face, but I figure he’d earned the right. He patted his son Nico on the shoulders, and Nico looked happier than I’d ever seen him.
“And, of course,” Zeus continued, though he looked like his pants were smoldering, “we must…um…thank Poseidon.”
“I’m sorry, brother,” Poseidon said. “What was that?”
“We must thank Poseidon,” Zeus growled. “Without whom . . . it would’ve been difficult-“
“Difficult?” Poseidon asked innocently.
“Impossible,” Zeus said. “Impossible to defeat Typhon.”
The throne rumbled. A wave of gale-force anger slammed into me.
The voice stopped abruptly, The anger retreated, which was a good thing, because just those two words had almost blasted my mind to shreds.
“Percy.” My fathers voice was still angry but more controlled. “What-exactly-are you doing on my throne?”
“I’m sorry, Father,” I said. “I needed to get your attention.”
“This was a very dangerous thing to do. Even for you. If I hadn’t looked before I blasted, you would now be a puddle of seawater.”
Everybody was patting Nico on the back, complimenting him on his fighting. Even the Ares kids thought he was pretty cool. Hey, show up with an army of undead warriors to save the day, and suddenly you’re everybody’s best friend.
The cord, a familiar voice said. “Remember your lifeline, dummy!”
Suddenly there was a tug in my lower back. The current pulled at me, but it wasn’t carrying me away anymore. I imagined the string in my back keeping me tied to the shore.
“Hold on, Seaweed Brain.” It was Annabeth’s voice, much clearer now. “You’re not getting away from me that easily.”
The cord strengthened.
I could see Annabeth now- standing barefoot above me on the canoe lake pier. I’d fallen out of my canoe. That was it. She was reaching out her hand to haul me up, and she was trying not to laugh. She wore her orange camp T-shirt and jeans. Her hair was tucked up in her Yankees cap, which was strange because that should have made her invisible.
“You are such an idiot sometimes.” She smiled. “Come on. Take my hand.”
Memories came flooding back to me- sharper and more colorful. I stopped dissolving. My name was Percy Jackson. I reached up and took Annabeth’s hand.
“Doesn’t miss many meals, does he?” Zeus muttered. “Tyson, for your bravery in the war, and for leading the Cyclopes, you are appointed a general in the armies of Olympus. You shall henceforth lead your breathren into war whenever required by the gods. And you shall have a new…um…what kind of weapon would you like? A sword? An axe?”
“Stick!” Tyson said, showing his broken club.
“Very well,” Zeus said. “We will grant you a new, er, stick. The best stick that may be found.”
The older lady harrumphed. “I warned you, daughter. This scoundrel Hades is no good. You could’ve married the god of doctors or the god of lawyers, but noooo. You had to eat the pomegranate.”
“And get stuck in the Underworld!”
“And here it is August, and do you come home like you’re supposed to? Do you ever think about your poor lonely mother?”
“DEMETER!” Hades shouted. “That is enough. You are a guest in my house.”
“Oh, a house is it?” she said. “You call this dump a house? Make my daughter live in this dark, damp-“
“I told you,” Hades said, grinding his teeth, “there’s a war in the world above. You and Persephone are better off here with me.”
“Excuse me,” I broke in. “But if you’re going to kill me, could you just get on with it?”
She looked at me, like she was drinking in the fact that I was still here. And I realized I was doing the same thing. The world was collapsing, and the only thing that really mattered to me was that she was alive.
“You are so not making this easy.”
Then she laughed for real, and she put her hands around my neck. “I am never, ever going to make things easy for you, Seaweed Brain. Get used to it.”
When she kissed me, I had the feeling my brain was melting right through my body. I could’ve stayed that way forever, except a voice behind us growled, “Well, it’s about time!”
Suddenly the pavilion was filled with torchlight and campers. Clarisse led the way as the eavesdroppers charged and hoisted us both onto their shoulders.
“Oh, come on!” I complained. “Is there no privacy?”
“The lovebirds need to cool off!” Clarisse said with glee.
“The canoe lake!” Connor Stoll shouted. and they dumped us in the water.
Artemis smiled. “You have done well, my lieutenant. You have made me proud, and all those Hunters who perished in my service will never be forgotten. They will achieve Elysium, I am sure.”
She glared pointedly at Hades.
He shrugged. “Probably.”
Artemis glared at him some more.
“Okay,” Hades grumbled. “I’ll streamline their application process.”