Tag Archives: Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Last Olympian

By Rick Riordan

As if it weren’t hard enough to face his 16th birthday, Percy also finds himself up against the reality of the great prophecy, which spoke of a choice that could result in the continued survival of the gods, or doom both Olympus and the world. Kronos continues to gain both power and cronies, amassing an army of titans, monsters, demigods, and others harboring long-standing resentment toward the gods of Olympus. While Kronos’ forces grow and zero in on Manhattan and the Empire State Building (the modern access point for Mount Olympus), Typhon makes his way across the continental United States leaving havoc and destruction in his wake. Many of the gods come together to attempt to subdue Typhon, but others fight their own battles,¬†leaving Olympus undefended and the forces of the gods divided. Percy and his friends take up the almighty task of defending Manhattan against the army of Kronos. Even with the help of the centaurs, the satyrs, nature and water spirits of all kinds, and countless other allies, Percy and his friends find themselves scrambling and outnumbered. With dwindling weapons, strength, and hope, and rapidly approaching timelines, Percy and his friends prepare to make the final stand for Olympus and the gods.

“The Last Olympian” is the final installment in this particular series of Rick Riordan’s Olympic adventures. This novel continues in the same vein as the previous four, offering sarcastic observations amid lightning fast action, building tension up to the final pages of the book. In addition to the plot tension, Riordan also brings in other areas of tension, bring multiple dynamics into the storyline and characters. “The Last Olympian” centers on the conflict between mortals and immortals, whether they are gods or titans, demigods or utterly unspectacular bystanders. He also focuses on the dynamic between Percy’s growth as an independent, autonomous person, and relationship with his family, both his mortal mother and his Olympic father Poseidon. Not only does Percy call all the shots during the big battles, but he also faces more typical teenage difficulties like dating, all while remembering the promises he made to his mother. This novel also touches on dichotomies like power and powerlessness, destruction and creation, choice and fate, and many more. In the middle of all these adventures of epic proportion is the relatable, laughable, occasionally clumsy Percy who simultaneously inspires us to greatness while humbly¬†reminding us of the most important aspects of our shared humanity.

Again, not much more I can say that I haven’t already said about this series. This book, as with all its predecessors, is fun, entertaining, and a very quick read. Yes, I would still be willing to sacrifice some action to add a bit more depth to the characters, but overall, it’s pretty good. I enjoyed reading this one, and I’m sure you would too.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth

By Rick Riordan

In his fourth summer at Camp Half-Blood, Percy and the other demigods realize the imminence of war when they learn that the growing Titan threat has reached their own turf. Percy and Annabeth stumble upon an entrance to the Labyrinth within the sacred boundaries of camp, which means the enemy army could arrive at any time in the middle of camp. This discovery, combined with other suspicions about the recent activities of Luke’s cronies, results in a quest to navigate the impossible Labyrinth, find Daedalus in his workshop, and convince the eminent inventor not to allow Kronos’ army safe passage through the Labyrinth. Led by Annabeth, who receives her first quest after years and years at camp, Percy, Grover, and Tyson set off through the underground maze, encountering obstacles, traps, and detours of all kinds. Eventually, the foursome splits apart with Grover and Tyson in pursuit of Pan while Percy and Annabeth perform favors for other gods to ensure safe passage through the maze. After becoming unexpectedly separated, Percy and Annabeth reunite at camp with a new plan for navigating the Labyrinth. They must rely on the hope that a new guide with a fresh set of eyes can help them see through the maze, persuade Daedalus, and restore safety within the boundaries of Camp Half-Blood.

“The Battle of the Labyrinth” is the fourth novel in Rick Riordan’s Olympian series. In his typical style, Riordan writes with an easy, conversational tone. Combined with the constant obstacles, challenges, and cliffhangers in the story, this book is as readable as the previous three. Another hallmark of his writing is Percy’s sarcasm. Percy brings comic and ironic relief to a sense of imminent destruction with blunt remarks and obvious comebacks.¬† While Riordan thrives with plot and action, moving so quickly from plot point to plot point leaves less room for depth and growth in the characters. However, in the fourth installment of the series Riordan focuses on issues of loyalty, betrayal, and redemption. This plays out not only in the immediacy of demigod defectors joining Luke’s army, but also in the eternal grudges of the gods, kings, and other leaders. Percy learns that showing kindness is not always met with reciprocal actions, but he does have opportunities to see the bigger picture, find hope wherever possible, and demonstrate integrity in his committed leadership with Camp Half-Blood and his friends.

What can I say at this point that hasn’t already been said about the books in this series? I continue to feel slightly disappointed that character development is sacrificed to moving the plot along (at an incredibly rapid rate), but at the same time, the action always sucks me in and keeps me reading well beyond the chapter I say I will finish before going to bed (and I may have already checked out the fifth book from the library because I just have to know how the series ends). They are entertaining, engaging, and easy to read. Despite my criticisms, I clearly enjoy these books, and I’m sure you will too.

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