24 July 2010
Book Review: The Last Olympian
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: 5 May 2009
Date Finished: 23 July 2010
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge, 101 Fantasy Reading Challenge, YA Reading Challenge, Hogwarts Reading Challenge,
My reviews of The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, and The Battle of the Labyrinth.
The Short and Sweet of It
The final installment of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series portrays the final battle between Percy et. al. and Kronos et. al. Teeming with gods, monsters, Titans, heroes, magic, and action, The Last Olympian was a wonderful end to a wonderful series.
A Bit of a Ramble
I finally read it. I didn't want to. I really didn't want to. When reading a series I truly enjoy, I have a great deal of difficulty picking up the last book for the obvious reason: I don't want it to end. I know once I read the last book, my time spent with characters I've fallen in love with in a world that fascinates me will be over, and my experience with the books will never be the same even if I re-read them over and over again. The last book is a love song at a funeral, bittersweet. Okay, enough of my mushiness and on to the meat of the matter.
Unlike many "final battle" books, The Last Olympian doesn't save the big fight scene for the end; instead, almost the entire book deals with the epic battle. I loved this. By filling the book with the battle, Riordan lent import and authenticity to the event. Far from feeling like a fleeting culmination of prior events, this battle felt like the main event. The battle was a marathon, not a sprint, which for some reason made it more real for me and increased the battle's importance. Of course, it also allowed Riordan to include some amazing fight scenes, awesome monsters, and even more ancient myths, legends, and heroes.
And the best part : IT'S NOT A FREAKING LOVE STORY. A few days ago on Twitter, I was talking with Pam from Bookalicious and Amanda from The Zen Leaf about Suzanne Collins' Gregor the Overlander series. Just like the Percy series, the Gregor series is full of action and excitement, and leaves romance on the back burner. The love story is there, but it is secondary to the main action. I have to admit that this is how I prefer my YAL. When the love story is too prominent, I'm annoyed. As strange as it may sound, I have a much easier time suspending my disbelief for the supernatural than I do for the tragically romantic. Flying horses, demigods, werewolves, vampires, and psychic abilities are much easier for me to stomach than desperate glances, doomed lovers, painful longing, and violent passion.
As with any book, The Last Olympian isn't perfect. First and foremost, I was a bit put off by Percy's decision to bathe in the River Styx; it seemed like a cop out, taking the easy way out, and other cliches that convey the same idea. When he was standing by the river with Nico, I kept thinking that he was being tested, and when he actually jumped in despite Achilles' warning, Percy himself diminished a bit in my eyes. Alas, what can I do? It happened. Deal with it. Or better yet, I can just ignore it since I'm in control of the story that resides in my brain.
I would highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a clever, action-packed, easy read. And I would especially recommend it for those who need a break from the I-would-slit-my-wrists-to-be-with-you love stories that permeate YAL.
The Filmic Connection
Please let them continue the Percy Jackson movies. Pwetty Pwetty Please.
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Question: How do you cope with the end of a series you loved?