Monday, January 4, 2016

Percy Jackson and the last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the last Olympian is the fifth and final book in the  Percy Jackson and the Olympians series so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read the first books in the series.  This is one of those series where it really pays to read them in order so if you have not already read the other books then I suggest you do so before reading anymore of this review!

For the past four years Percy Jackson's life has been all about the prophecy, the one that says a child of one of the three great gods will decide the fate of the world.  As a son of Poseidon Percy is likely to be that child, and the last few years may have thrown up a few false leads but the great Titan Kronos has his sights set on destroying Percy and the gods of Olympus.  There have been skirmishes in the past, and Percy has lost friends and foes, but the great battle is approaching and it appears that the gods and their demigod children are divided and ill prepared for the battle that is approaching.  The titans have stirred and while they may have their own agendas they are powerful allies for Kronos, and to make matters worse some of the minor gods have joined team Kronos to take down the gods of Olympus and their children.

Battle lines have been drawn and sides have been chosen, and for Percy the time has finally come to discover what he is really capable of - and for him to hear the full prophecy.  Allies old and new are needed for this last mighty quest, and if they are to succeed they need to find courage and cunning, because Kronos is not playing fair.  As his sixteenth birthday approaches Percy is willing to try just about anything to stop Kronos and save his father (and the other gods of course).  That willingness to put himself at risk, to try anything to save the world is Percy's greatest strength and his greatest weakness - there is a fine line between bravery and courage, and being a seaweed brain and brash.  If Percy is going to save the world he needs to understand history, ancient history and more recent history, otherwise he may make the same mistakes they made in the past and doom the world.  

The Percy Jackson series has been a real delight to read, not only because of the readability of the series and the engaging characters, but also because it brings the wealth of Greek mythology to life for modern readers.  This has also been a surprisingly meaty read, with Percy and his friends experiencing hardship and the loss of friends and family, as well as having to make very mature decisions for young people their age (or people of any age really).  Over the course of the novels Percy has developed as a character and as a person, he has become a living breathing person that could step off the page and into the real world.  His closest friends and enemies are the same, characters that have been fleshed out over the series to become more than just names on a page.  The cast of hundreds for Camp Half-Blood also developed, but to a realistic background noise rather than overwhelming the reader with details and side stories that go nowhere.  

I came to the series late, and in one way that was a good thing because it meant I could read the books quite quickly - with only a matter of days between the last two books.  It must have been torture for die hard fans to have to wait for the last books in the series to come out!  It is unusual to find a series that has strong male and female main characters that are instantly relateable and you get that with the main characters of Percy, Annabeth, and in his own way Grover.  The characters grow and change, in much the same way as the readers themselves would grow over the years of the series.  I have seen comments calling Rick Riordan the "US Rowling" and in many ways that is a disservice as while Rowling wrote an amazing series it was not the easy to access world that Riordan has created - Rowling was more bookish and clever, while Riordan has created a world of action and discovering the hero within (my personal opinion, but after all the series I have read over the years I think its valid!).

It has been a pleasure to meet Percy Jackson and his world, and I am all set to jump into The red pyramid to see if Riordan has breathed such believable life into ancient Egyptian mythology.  If you have not discovered the Percy Jackson series then try it, and that includes the adults reading this review thinking about buying/borrowing this series for the young people in their lives - this is a series that adults need to discover too!

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment