The Last Olympian
Percy Jackson and the Olympian Book #5
by Rick Riordan
read July 2009
So I have done it! I have read them all! I’m going to sum this up in two ways; this book individually and the series as a whole.
In the final adventure in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series had a lot going on. Percy and his friends are finally faced with the imminent threat of Kronos’ attack on Mount Olympus and on New York City. For those of you not following th book, Mount Olympus changes places throughout the centuries, but is currently located at the top of the Empire State building. Percy and his friends defend and fight bravely, but they are vastly outnumbered. Kronos has succeeded in dividing the forces of the Gods, demi-gods, and their allies.
An attack on Posideon’s castle under the sea has him battling away from the other Gods with his forces of sea creatures and cyclopes children. The Gods are all (almost) off trying to stop Typhon from reaching New York. Leaving Mount Olympus defensless. Even with his small group of demigods, satyrs, and Artemis’ Hunters working together, they cannot fight off Kronos alone. Percy must rally and inspire all forces to work together for the greater good, including the temporary bodily host for Kronos, former friend of Percy, Luke Castellan.
To top it all off, Percy has girl trouble. Percy has had a crush on Annabeth forever, and Rachel Elizabeth Dare has stepped into the picture. Both girls have a hugely important part to play in the events to unfold along with Percy.
For me, there were several loose ends in the story as well as some unnecessary storylines that seemed to have no point. For example, “the last olympian”, herself. I’m not going to give the storyline away, but I actually said, “huh?!?” out loud when the scene unfolds and the books title is revealed in the story.
Overall I loved the book. There were just those little things that made me wonder why they were added. The book is a great work of creative fiction. I can see it inspiring young readers in much the way Harry Potter has. It is original and unique. Rick Riordan has done a brilliant job infusing classic Greek Mythology into a work of modern children’s fiction.
Now, the series as a whole…brilliant. I have to say, I wasn’t sold on it at first. The first book was good, but didn’t have me jumping up and down. I’ve said before, the second book had me hooked. I had a compulsion to finish them all! The entire story unfolding is well thought out and planned. Each book can stand alone, but adds to the series.
Now the problems I have with the series. I suppose the greatest one really doesn’t bother me that much because I speak to my children openly and honestly and I don’t think it would be a big deal, but I can see how some parents might have a problem with it. Greek Mythology is notoriously naughty. The gods are all married, but all go off having children and realtionships with other gods and mortals, most resulting in children out of wedlock. Lets face it, the gods were not exactly good parents either. All of them have left their demigod children defenseless and father/motherless.
I think my children wouldn’t be bothered, but some may. Some parents might also have a problem with the fantasy element of other gods being introduced and presented as real. For me, it’s a work of fiction and is clearly so. Many parents had problems with their children reading Harry Potter because of the witchcraft, but I choose to see it as ultimately entertainment and a good work of fiction.
The target age group for this series is listed as 7-12 according to the publisher and the bookstores. I think this might be a little young considering the subject matter. There is death, monsters, extramarital affairs, killing, fighting, war, among other things. I would say this book is more for 9-12 or even older. I could see highschoolers enjoying this series. Heck, I’m 30 and I enjoyed it!!!
Overall, everyone should take the time to read this series at some point. I think they would make excellent movies. I would like to see them put onscreen at some point. If done correctly, they could be awesome!