Book review: The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan
A satisfying - if a bit safe and predictable - conclusion to the Heroes of Olympus series. Fans emotionally invested in Riordan’s characters can breathe a sigh of relief at the happily-ever-after ending; fans expecting a long, climactic fight against Gaia and her followers might be in for disappointment.
Despite the five-book build up towards the final fight, Gaia’s rising - and subsequent defeat - was abrupt and handled easily, with few surprises. Instead, much of the book is spent seeking a (literal) deus ex machina cure to get around the death Riordan prophesied five books previously. The conflict between the Greeks and the Romans was much more interesting - but again, I felt that it was too easy to bring the two warring camps together.
Nevertheless, Riordan’s refreshingly diverse characters and his witty, self-aware Americanisation of ancient mythology made The Blood of Olympus worth reading. I was worried before I began The Blood of Olympus that Riordan would attempt to give every ensemble character a point-of-view chapter. Thankfully, while each of Riordan’s demigod heroes was given a moment in the spotlight, only five of Riordan’s nine leading characters narrated The Blood of Olympus. Leo’s chapters were by far the weakest - I’m sorry to say that he’s felt out of character to me since his contrived romantic storyline with Calypso began in The House of Hades, and his characterisation didn’t improve in this instalment. Reyna and Nico’s perspectives were a much more welcome addition, and I found myself caring more about their side-quest than the journey of the main seven.
I’m sure I’ll miss reading Percy Jackson’s adventures, but I’m tentatively looking forward to reading Riordan’s new series.
Rating: 4 stars | ★★★★✰
Review cross-posted to Goodreads