Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Five: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Saturday, April 23, 2011


The last instalment of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is more of a battle report than a novel. As a fantasy reader, I’d rather have a bit of both. But for the most part, it is a gripping read.

Author: Rick Riordan
Released: May 5, 2009
New York Times children’s best seller series

Synopsis
The entire plot can be summarized by one word, war. Manhattan is destined to witness a contemporary Greek battle. Nico di Angelo, son of Hades, convinces Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, to bear a well-known curse, which could be the remaining hope to thwart the advances of titan Kronos, inhabiting Luke’s body, and son of Hermes, against the gods of Mount Olympus.

As if things aren’t bad enough, the gods of Olympus are spread thinly, Hades is refusing to fight alongside his brothers, Poseidon’s domain is under siege, while the rest of the gods are in Central America fighting a primal evil that Kronos has unleashed, leaving the Empire State Building, site of Mount Olympus, to be defended by the demigods of Camp Half-Blood against an army of assorted mythical monsters and brainwashed demigods.

Amidst the immensity and intensity, the Great Prophecy reveals its true self to be far from expected, a common feat of prophecies, a truth which will require Percy to study his mortal enemy—definitely not his favorite subject.

Reading Experience
Unlike the usual bittersweet ending achieved by other sagas; the satisfaction of a fairytale ending against the finality of a riveting storyline, Book Five feels more of a closure—the thing you look for when you want to move on. Don’t get me wrong, it is action-packed and readers will still find themselves soaring across chapters. But there’s almost nothing unpredictable or unexpected in the entire plot, except the part where the River Styx is involved.

Readers would always have room for character histories, even more for the intended readers of Percy Jackson. Character history is a tool used by writers to make the audience relate to the characters and more immersed in the storyline, which is as present as much as a tip of an iceberg in this instalment. This ingredient is used sparingly, maybe owing to the fact that everything needs to be fast-paced. But like any rollercoaster ride, there should always be a point of slowing down to build up an utterly breathtaking climax. 


Moreover, the last book of a series means tying up of loose ends, but the way it was done in the Last Olympian is rather dull and uncreative, like some final credits of a movie. I still think Riordan  has a great fast-paced writing style necessary for his target readers, but I guess I expected more for a final instalment. 

In Conclusion
It might not be a breathtaking novel, but it would make a breathtaking 3D movie.

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I'm a young professional working in a call center; a licensed nurse who's not practicing the profession, out of choice; gay, and proud to be; sporty with an active lifestyle filled with badminton and running; a reader who easily gets lost in a well-written story; a wannabe-author and wannabe-successful. But more importantly, I'm a writer with a hunger for life.

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