Book Review: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan


The Blood of OlympussTitle: The Blood of Olympus

Series: The Heroes of Olympus, #5

Author: Rick Riordan

Summary: Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over. -Goodreads

Review:

*Non-Spoilery Section

Today I am here with my review of The Blood of Olympus, the fifth and final book in the Heroes of Olympus series, by Rick Riordan.  We’ve been waiting for this book for a long time, guys, and it was so exciting to finally be able to have it and read it.  And despite my enjoyment of the book, I have very conflicted feelings about it, especially taking a day after I finished it to reflect on it when I wasn’t as emotional.

I feel like it’s very difficult to write a phenomenal series finale.  Suzanne Collins couldn’t do it.  Veronica Roth couldn’t do it.  And, sadly, despite loving his other finales, Rick just didn’t satisfy me with this book.  I didn’t get enough time with some of my favorite characters, and I feel like the book was focused too much on characters I wasn’t fond of.  Reading the dust jacket, I had an idea of whose POVs we’d be getting in this book, but it wasn’t enough.  I remember continuously flipping back to the summary flap to reread it, just to make sure I wasn’t missing any characters, but no.

I did love the character growth in all of the characters that were focused on.  I have to say, though, I can’t really connect with Piper.  We got a little more insight on Jason, Reyna, and Nico, though, which was fantastic.  I really love Nico, but thinking about him now makes me want to change a past statement of mine about him (see spoilery section).

To wrap up this non-spoilery section, The Blood of Olympus had a lot of potential.  There were so many storylines that were explored throughout this series, but Rick left us with a lot of loose ends.  I felt like there was no closure.  I’m hoping that was intentional, because I hate being disappointed at this book.  I hope Rick is going somewhere with this ending, possibly in his upcoming Norse mythology series.

Nevertheless, thank you for a fantastic journey.  I won’t forget it.

*Warning: Spoilery section!

I didn’t take notes while reading this because I just wanted to enjoy the book.  I’m hoping I remember everything I wanted to remember, though.

As stated above, I was a little disappointed with how things turned out.  Let’s talk about some of those things first, just to get them out of the way.

POVs: I think this is probably one of the things people were the most disappointed with.  In The Blood of Olympus, our last journey with these lovely characters, we got to see through the eyes of Jason, Piper, Leo, Reyna, and Nico.  The reason why people have been so disappointed with this character selection was the lack of Percy, and even Annabeth.  We didn’t get any chapters with these characters, and while I understand why Rick finished off the series with these characters (especially Jason, Piper, and Leo), I still feel that we should have gotten at least one chapter with Percy and Annabeth.

I feel like Jason, Reyna, and Nico grew in this book.  We really got to go in depth and see everything that was going on with them.  Leo and Piper didn’t seem to get much character development in this book, though.

Jason: I know a lot of people aren’t Jason’s biggest fan, but I think he was pretty good in this book.  I really grew to like him a lot more in this book.  At first, I thought Rick was doing that intentionally, making everyone become more partial to all the characters to suddenly kill them out of nowhere.  But that wasn’t the case.  Jason definitely had some good moments, and though I like him more than I did in the rest of the series, he’s still not a favorite.

There was something in Jason’s POV that had bothered me.  It was when he was thinking about how he used to try to change his fate, like by befriending the least-popular kids at Camp Jupiter.

Whoa, whoa, whoa—hold the phone.  Those sound like selfish reasons to make friends.  I really didn’t like that.

Piper: Ah, Piper.  I really can’t relate to her at all.  Just thinking back on her character, I draw a blank.  I know I definitely liked her a bit better in this book, I just don’t know why.  Maybe because it’s the end of these books, and I was sad.

Leo: I feel like there were too few Leo chapters, and he was very different in this book, it seemed.  The characters have gone through so much, but Leo was startlingly different, and we didn’t get much time with him, or so it felt.  I also felt that Calypso wasn’t a big part of this book (literally—we only saw her in the last few pages of the book, which I now understand, since she didn’t have a POV).

I knew he wasn’t dead, especially since the hints being dropped toward his “death” were so apparent.  I was really confused by his plan, too.  I knew he wouldn’t be dead, even though it was stated he was dead, and it wasn’t a big shocker when our last chapter was a Leo chapter, especially with Nico saying, “His death felt different than others.”  If we were going for shock with that last chapter, it most definitely could have been executed better.  I did cry, though, but I knew Leo wasn’t really dead.

But what really got me was that ending.  As stated above, I felt no closure with The Blood of Olympus.  In the end, Leo found Calypso, but… they didn’t go back to Camp!  Or, it’s not something that was shown.  How could you leave us with such an open ending?!  They just ride off into the distance?!  NO!  And what’s worse is that nobody really knows that Leo’s alive.  They want to believe he’s alive, but they don’t really know it.

Reyna: Reyna was truly amazing.  I love how she was portrayed in this book.  She’s such a strong character who’s been through so much but still came out okay.  I really liked her group, with Nico and Hedge.  That was definitely an unlikely bunch, but I feel like they each contributed so much in getting the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood safely.  Reyna was a brave hero.

Nico: Nico, Nico, Nico.  I feel like I’m saying this about all the characters, but it’s justified: He’s been through a lot.  He had a lot on his shoulders.   I love his newfound friendship with Reyna, and how they were able to relate a bit.  I loved their bond, how Reyna was constantly lending him her strength and energy.  I feel like Nico grew a lot, and I’m really happy that he decided to stay at Camp Half-Blood.

Finding out that Nico was gay was rushed, thinking back on it.  It was too sudden, but I guess I’ll have to go back and read PJO again before I can state an opinion.  I shipped Will Solace and Nico after I finished the book, because my feels were hurting, but after thinking it over, I would be happy if they had a friendship.  When I read the book at first, I hadn’t realized that a romantic relationship between the two had been alluded to, but after someone told me about it, I kind of liked the idea.

Now, I just want Nico to find some friends, and he did.  He has Reyna and Coach and now Will, and I’m sure he’s going to find a lot more.

I really loved how Nico told Percy about his crush, and I think Annabeth was amused by Percy’s reaction.  I mean, he was so oblivious and confused, and Nico was like, “I mean, you’re cute and all, but you’re not my type.”

And Percy was like, “I’m not you’re type?”  Gold, guys.

Other Characters: There are a few other characters whose eyes we didn’t get to see through: Percy, Annabeth, Hazel, and Frank.  Though I’ve never been too big on Hazel and Frank, I do want to discuss Percy and Annabeth.

Percy and Annabeth: With each book in this series were different central characters.  In this book, they were the characters listed above.  Yes, Percy and Annabeth did have their own places in the series, but with everything that happened in The House of Hades, you’d think we’d get to see what was going on with these two.  I mean, everything they went through opened doors to some major character development for the two!  They literally went through hell and back.  Did they suffer any PTSD?  I feel like that was hinted at a bit, but I wish Rich had explored this.

Percy: The ending with Percy really bugged me.  I get that he wasn’t a big character in this book, but you’d think he’d visit his mom after all this, or at least mention in passing that he’d just been to see his mom.  I wanted a Sally reunion, I wanted a Grover reunion, a Chiron reunion.  Maybe even a Clarisse reunion!

Annabeth: I had no idea that Annabeth and Piper had been so close.  I don’t remember that in the previous books, but maybe that was a thing.  That scene with Annabeth and Piper down in that hole-maze place, though, kind of showed Annabeth’s fear.  I feel like, after Tartarus, she was more prone to flashbacks during her time there during a battle, and that kind of happened down in that hole place (I can’t remember the details).  And then there was that whole Annabeth being the “logical” fighter/strategist and Piper being the “emotional” fighter/strategist.  I thought it was nonsense.  I didn’t like that whole Piper thing, but I did like hers and Annabeth’s friendship.

Another thing I wanted to bring up was Magnus Chase, who people are speculating is Annabeth’s cousin, who she mentioned in the book.  She said she had an uncle in Boston, but there was a rivalry between the uncle and her father.  I’m pretty sure the Norse books are based in Massachusetts, so there’s some clever foreshadowing there, which totally flew over my head until I read some speculation.  Does this mean maybe a little more Percabeth in later books…?  I’m very excited to know what’s going on here!

Frank: I really expected something to go down with his firewood.  I expected something, anything, but I feel like he wasn’t even a big part of this book!  I mean, he went through this whole transformation (I feel like it was mostly physical to make him more attractive), and yet… nothing.  He understands himself now, and what he’s capable of, which is awesome, but I feel like he didn’t develop enough emotionally.

Though I didn’t want any characters to die (and I had a feeling no one would), we were told that someone would.  Leo’s death didn’t even count, because he was resurrected.  Ugh, I don’t know.  I don’t know how I felt about that.  (Spoilers for City of Heavenly Fire: I feel like the whole book was very reminiscent to City of Heavenly Fire.  It was a good read, interesting and all, but in the end, no one extremely important died.  End of spoilers.)

The Final Battle: I feel like the final battle was a bit anticlimactic.  Gaea’s rise wasn’t all too impressive, and throughout the whole book, Leo and his plan was pushed a little too hard.  That bugged me a lot.  And, like I said, there were no deaths.  I’m glad none of our favorite characters died, but this was really misleading.  I had no idea all it took was blood from a cut on Annabeth’s thigh and a nosebleed from Percy to awaken Gaea.  THAT WAS VERY ANTICLIMACTIC.  A NOSEBLEED?! 

The Second-To-Last Battle: I really liked how all the demigods paired up with their godly parents while fighting those giants.  Percy with Poseidon, Annabeth with Athena, Zeus with Jason, Frank with an overenthusiastic Ares, Leo and Hephaestus, Piper and Aphrodite.  Hades wasn’t present, but he was helping Hazel from the Underworld.

The thing is… Did Athena ever acknowledge what Annabeth achieved?  What she went through?  I didn’t really care about Zeus and Jason’s interaction, what about Athena and Annabeth?

The End: I knew that there wouldn’t be an epilogue a long time ago, due to Rick Riordan’s Twitter, and I was cool with that.  But, since that ending, I wish there had been an epilogue.  I didn’t even have to be something that far into the future!  Just something to let us know that Leo was reunited with his friends.  They could have had a picnic at the park or something stupid like that, but it would have meant a lot and would have made the book ten times better.


Recap: The last book in a series is always going to be hit or miss.  I feel like The Blood of Olympus was somewhere in the middle.  There were some things I liked about it, like Reyna, Nico, and Hedge, and the familiar humor, but there were things that bothered me.

I really loved that some of the characters got some development.  We didn’t really get to see much of other characters (who were more like side characters), so I can’t really say if they had a significant amount of development.

I really expected more of Frank, Percy, and Annabeth.  Rick could have gone deeper into Percabeth’s experiences in Tartarus, and the aftermath and how those experiences changed them.

This book didn’t knock me off my feet.  The Last Olympian was fantastic, from what I remember.  But this… it kind of fell flat.  I think that, with a series you really love, you have to give it time before you form opinions, because you’ll be too emotional to say you didn’t like some parts.  That’s what happened with me.

The Blood of Olympus was an enjoyable read.  It wasn’t my favorite in the series.  When I first finished it, I gave it a 5/5, but I feel like I have to bring this book down a star.  It makes me really sad to do that, because I love these books.

So, 4/5 stars for this book!  I had a fantastic time reading it, regardless.  I loved all the hype surrounding the book, and I’m so glad I got to be apart of the hype.  I started the Percy Jackson books when I was ten, and now it’s all over.

I’m really looking forward to the Norse books, though.  Bring it on!

 

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13 thoughts on “Book Review: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

  1. Awesome review! This has been sitting on my bedside table for like a week now – I don’t want the series to end so maybe I won’t read it… haha just kidding. But that sucks that you thought an amazing finale. Thinking back, I really can’t remember ever reading an amazing last book. Sad 😦

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    • Thank you! I wanted to read the book right away, because I definitely didn’t want to be spoiled. I don’t want the series to end, either. D: Yeah, I think it’s really difficult for an author to write a spectacular series finale, just because every reader is expecting something.

      Anyway, I really hope you enjoy this book when you get around to reading it! 😀

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  2. Yes I was conflicted for a while too! Yeah, Piper and Jason are okay characters, but I don’t really care about them as much as the rest of them. This book needed more Percy and Annabeth. (Mainly Percy) I liked Reyna’s point of view, she really grew on me in this book, and I LOVED finally hearing Nico’s voice. I wanted like one more chapter told by each character to wrap things up. (At least one by Percy.) Percy and Annabeth were hardly in this book at all! and when they were they felt like minor characters. I wanted more!! I didn’t notice the change in Leo, but you’re so right. I wonder why. Yeah Leo’s whole plan was really predictable.

    In the last book, with Cupid, it was revealed Nico had a crush on Percy, but before that I didn’t guess that he was gay. I liked Nico’s new crush and how it wasn’t rushed or anything. I hope Will likes him too, and not just a friend. There wasn’t time for that to be made clear. I wish we could hear Percy’s thoughts on the confession!

    Yeah, there needed to be a scene with Percy and his mom!! I’m hoping for a sequel or even a short story!

    I DIDN’T WANT ANYONE TO DIE!!!

    Lovely review. 🙂 Sorry for writing you a book.

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    • Thank you! Haha, long comments are my favorites. ;D

      After I finished the book, I really wasn’t sure how to feel. I mean, I was sad for the series being over, and I was happy that no one died, but at the same time, I wasn’t too happy about the way it ended. I feel like a lot of the hype around the book was about one of the seven dying. Alas, I am happy that everyone is alive, but I wish we’d gotten a scene of Leo reunited with his friends.

      I felt like there was a little *too* much Piper and Jason, and not enough Leo. I loved Reyna’s and Nico’s POVs, though. They were amazing. I think everyone forgets that Nico’s so young, and he had all this weight on his shoulders. I’m really glad he gets to just be a kid at Camp, now, and I really hope he’s able to make new friends. 😀

      Percy, Annabeth, Frank, and Hazel seemed like they’d been cast aside as side characters, and while I understand why Riordan was closing off the series with Jason, Piper, and Leo, the others had voices in the previous books, too. I wish we’d gotten at least one chapter from everyone at the end, telling us their feels. But, most importantly, I wished for more Percy. And I’m not sure what was up with Leo’s plan, but that was *too* predictable. Even I caught onto it easily, and I never catch on to these things! 😄

      I still don’t know how to feel about Nico and Will, but I do know that I want there to be some sort of relationship between them. Hopefully (if they do have a romantic relationship), they have a nice friendship first to get to know each other more. I loved how Will was really accepting of Nico. That was so sweet. And, yes! Percy’s thoughts on the confession would have been GOLD.

      Maybe Riordan is going to write a book of short stories (like Veronica Roth) to wrap up everyone’s stories. Here’s hoping!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooh, I love your theories for Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard! RR did say it wasn’t a coincidence…
    Wait, were there really only that many POVs? Wow. I thought there were more.
    I KNOW, RIGHT? The final battle was way to short, especially with 5 books leading up to it 😦
    And yeah, it would have been so much nicer if there was an epilogue. I might have actually cared then about Leo coming back to life and all that.
    And not much happened, really, to the characters without POVs, other than that one part with Annabeth. Kind of disappointing.

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    • I thought the theories were pretty good when I read them, too! I really hope they end up being true. I actually think that bit of foreshadowing when Annabeth was talking about her family in Boston was one of my favorite parts.

      Yep, just those five characters. I see why it would have been hard to juggle more POVs, but… meh. I don’t know.

      I’m so upset that I think the final battle was unimpressive. I’m really mad at myself that I think this, and I really wish I’d enjoyed the book more. D:

      I’m glad that Leo didn’t actually die, but now that I think of it… I don’t really care that he was brought back to life. I mean, yeah, he saved Calypso, but the fact that we don’t know where he’s headed is what frustrates me! If he’d gone back to his friends in the end, then I would’ve been happy, but now I’m just feeling kind of… empty.

      And then there was Percy nearly dying at the bottom of the ocean. But nothing happened with Frank and Hazel. To be honest, I’m not sure why half of these people were on this quest, if we were only focusing on three people who were actually on the quest. This frustrates me xD

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      • Honestly, he could’ve just written from Nico and Reyna’s POVs and I would’ve been happy. 🙂
        Don’t be mad- you’ll never find all the right books. Just jeez, I wish it was longer too. I mean, 5 BOOKS.
        Yeah, that’s what I mean. I honestly wouldn’t have minded if he’d died. It would’ve been for a good cause. And why exactly did he leave a cliffhanger on THE LAST BOOK IN A SERIES? (sorry. I’m frustrated too.) Empty is a very good word to describe it.
        Oh yeah- sorry Percy. I forgot him. That is a very good point you make there, what with only 3 people.

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  4. *spoiler alert*
    Agreed, for the most part. I really enjoyed Blood of Olympus on a surface level, but having come this far to have four of the main seven shoved into the background felt kind of like a betrayal. Plus Gaea’s four-minute return, only to be talked into letting herself get exploded, was awful. Amongst other things.

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    • It was an enjoyable, but I don’t think it was “end of epic series” material, haha. That was really disappointing to have four of them shoved aside. I’m starting to wonder why they were even included in the quest, because the people who didn’t have POVs in this book didn’t really add to it and had no special roles to play. It was quite unfortunate.

      I really wish Gaea’s return had been more exciting… I can’t recall her actually *doing* much. Le sigh.

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  5. I meant to write this comment /ages/ ago, but only got the time now, so here we go 😛 ….

    This review is On. The. Spot. I wasn’t nearly as emotional as I was while reading Mark of Athena.
    I hate character deaths, I do, but THIS IS WAR WE ARE TALKING ABOUT! It’s never happily ever after. I was quite looking forward to watching either Piper and Jason die though 😛

    ANd then Gaea’s return. I expected her to be terrifying. Rick writes four books as the lead up for the final battle, and then Gaea goes just like that? MAKE HER HARDER TO DEFEAT.

    And also, NO EPILOGUE! GAH, WHAT KIND OF END IS tHIS? And didn’t Percy and Annabeth suffer from some kind of post traumatic stress after Tartarus? Didn’t Percy go visit his mom after everything? There needed to be ALOT more happening.

    *stops complaining* There some good bits too, hehe 😛
    Also, congrats if you finished my novel of a comment 😄

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    • You know I love novel-esque comments 😀 I’m glad someone agrees! This review was a bit difficult to write because I expected to love this book so much more than I actually did. I honestly wanted to be more emotional, but I wasn’t. At least not during the book. After I realized, “Oh, wow, we’re never seeing Percy again,” so that’s what got me emotional. The more I ranted to people and thought about it, I had to finally admit that the book hadn’t been everything I’d hoped for 😦

      Since Rick just *had* to make this book happy (when don’t his books leave us fangirls sobbing?!), an epilogue would’ve made this so much better. We have no idea about Leo’s next destination, and, as mentioned in the review, I wish he had a part in the epilogue, being reunited with his friends.

      Ah, Gaea’s return. That was just… I try not to think about it 😄

      I’d really wanted to see the effects Tartarus had on Percy and Annabeth. We only got tiny glimpses of it, and I understand that this book was not revolving around Percy or Annabeth, but I’m actually really surprised that Rick didn’t delve into how Percy and Annabeth had changed after that experience.

      Nevertheless, there were some great parts, too 😀 I’m really excited for the Magnus Chase novels, though. Definitely marking my calendar for fall of 2015!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review! You included all the thoughts I had while reading. Usually I would have been upset with such a final installment of a series but compared to the Kane Chronicles, I think this one was okay. I agree with you that Riordan should have included more on how the heroes were affected by their adventure. I definitely would like to know how Percy & Annabeth are holding up. I was glad for a break from their parts but I would have liked a conclusion where an omniscient narrator does a quick update/wrap-up since the perspective narrators are so limiting.

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    • Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I really did enjoy this book, but I feel that, as a final installment, it didn’t live up to my expectations. I think I’ve calmed down a bit since then, though… you can’t please everyone!

      I definitely wanted more about Percy and Annabeth. Their experiences in Tartarus opened so many new doors for discussion, but there were only brief mentions of the effects that journey had on them. Hearing about how the others were affected by their own adventures would have been interesting, too. And I think a third person perspective would have been great as a little wrap up, which is why I think an epilogue would have been a good thing, especially for this particular book. Nevertheless, I’m glad I read it, and I’m very excited for Riordan’s next series! 😀

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