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The Last Olympian: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5

Review

The Last Olympian: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5

Rick Riordan’s series starring Percy Jackson and his demigod companions from Camp Half-Blood has brought Greek mythology vividly to life for a whole new generation of readers. Riordan manages to meld contemporary life with classical mythology, all the while imprinting his novels with clever humor and dynamic characters. The formula has worked perfectly; each book’s popularity has grown, and millions of fans have been clamoring for the final volume ever since the publication of THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH in 2008.

Now, with THE LAST OLYMPIAN, the wait is over. Fans of the series know that Riordan has been building suspense for the ultimate battle between the renegade Titans and the demigods of Camp Half-Blood. Over the course of four previous books, the Titans have grown stronger and gained support, but Percy himself --- as well as several of his friends --- has grown from a confused and awkward boy questioning his identity and heritage to a capable and courageous leader. In this final adventure, the two forces collide, and the result is spectacular indeed.

Throughout THE LAST OLYMPIAN, Percy is troubled by dreams and prophecies. Some are open to interpretation, but others seem to foresee certain doom for Percy and his forces. Summoning all his courage and uniting his forces proves tougher than Percy had anticipated, especially when some of the internal conflicts at Camp Half-Blood threaten to sabotage his plans (it’s hard to win a war without the children of Ares cooperating with you!). The battlefield for this final conflict is, in true Riordan style, the streets of Manhattan, centering on Mount Olympus (known to us mortals as the Empire State Building).

As the casualties mount, loyalties are tested, sometimes strengthened and other times broken. Riordan manages to introduce some new characters and elements from Greek mythology (including Pandora’s Box and the sleep-inducing god Morpheus) while simultaneously reaching back to Percy’s very first adventure to bring back familiar friends and enemies. Even Percy’s most essential relationships --- with the satyr Grover and love interest Annabeth Chase --- evolve and deepen over the course of this last novel. Percy’s final adventure is the most sophisticated, serious and mature of his life, but the book never loses its sense of humor or fun: “The campers down at the volleyball pit had early ’90s hairstyles, which were probably good for keeping monsters away.”

Most readers will finish THE LAST OLYMPIAN exhilarated by the epic final battle and deeply satisfied by the way Riordan ties up his characters’ professional, personal and romantic lives. For those who just can’t get enough of Percy Jackson, however, the entire series is destined for immortality --- and even more fans --- once the first movie based on the novels hits theaters in 2010.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on January 25, 2011

The Last Olympian: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5
by Rick Riordan

  • Publication Date: January 25, 2011
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
  • ISBN-10: 1423101502
  • ISBN-13: 9781423101505