Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #87: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #87: The Last Olympian by Rick RiordanThe Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 25, 2011
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Mythology
Pages: 381
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos's army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan's power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it's up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

Recommended by: Debby, Snuggly Orange and Slayer of Feels

I both saw this coming and I didn’t. I mean, I knew that The Last Olympian would be my favorite of this series, but I also really didn’t expect the emotional whomping. The willow totally snuck up on me is all I can say. Rarely is a book full of so much ow my feels and dawwwww all at once. So yeah, I guess I have to formally thank Debby for forcing me to give this series another chance, because she was totally right.

The Last Olympian starts, literally, with a bang. Up to now, the Percy Jackson novels have had to build up to the drama and danger, but this time it starts there and doesn’t let go. The pace of this one manages to be even faster than that of the previous novels, which weren’t slow reads themselves. The Last Olympian is the darkest of the series by far, but manages to maintain a mood that works for middle grade readers. Riordan keeps that trademark humor flowing, though it does smack a bit more of the gallows this go round. Personally, I’m a big fan of books that can make me laugh even at the darkest times and I think it makes the moments when nothing is funny pack that much more of an emotional punch.

I wouldn’t say no one is safe in a Rick Riordan novel. It’s not quite Game of Thrones in terms of death and destruction. However, I would definitely say that not everyone is safe. Of course, this is already well-documented, but it gets more emotionally painful this time. I really didn’t see it coming, but this book almost made me cry TWICE. Once from the sads and once from the happies and holy hell what are feelings ouch. Considering that it’s middle grade, The Last Olympian is considerably dark and I consider myself satisfied with the end results.

The characters really shine in this one. The world building is still masterful, but wasn’t really being developed at the pace of the previous novels (since hello that’s sort of done now and there’s a war going on), so I really had time to focus in on the characters. Obviously I loved a bunch of them already, but some that I didn’t know I cared for suddenly meant so much to me. How did Riordan do this to me? The rather massive cast is so well-developed. Each of the gods have their own personality as do the children. You can even see the influences of the godly parents on the kids, while also seeing the way they are completely their own beings, which is basically the whole point of the series.

The ultimate messages of the series are so powerful and touching. In a lot of ways, Percy is not the hero. He’s not the smartest or the most powerful. I don’t even know if he’s the bravest. I sort of think he’s actually just the biggest, most optimistic idiot. I suspect Percy’s tragic flaw is that he would do anything to protect others, but I think it’s his greatest strength too. Percy has so much compassion, more even than he realizes. At this point, I want to talk about some specific spoilery things I love, so into the spoiler tags, I go.

View Spoiler »

My sole lingering grumble is the summer thing. Like, okay, Camp Halfblood operates in the summer ideally, but there was a war on. I find it really hard to believe that Kronos would wait for the campers to finish out their school years to make his big attack. Let’s wait until the enemy is in place before attacking; everyone knows Kronos likes fights to be as fair as possible. Yeah, right. Plus, Kronos’ forces are stronger at night, which there is less of in the summer. I feel like the story’s a bit too strongly tied to its summer schedule for its own good in this case, but everything else is right on target.

Oh right, did I forget something? The romance. I will climb on board that ship with everyone else. *throws champagne bottle at the good ship Percabeth* I still love Rachel and that totally could have been okay with me too, but obviously this was going to be the ship and it’s all for the best. I do find it impressive that Riordan manages to sell Annabeth being more charmed by Percy than annoyed by his more than occasional slowness. She appreciates him for who he is, and he her, which is a good ship when you come right down to it. Poseidon grant them calm seas.

My heart was dashed on the rocks and lifted up on the waves. Strange things happen when you put the son of Poseidon in charge. I’m going to be reading the next series soon, after a brief break, and I am so excited. Leave spoilers for that series and you will be sent directly to Tartarus.

Favorite Quote:

“I am never, ever going to make things easy for you, Seaweed Brain. Get used to it.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif hercules emotions

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7 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #87: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan”

  1. TEEHEE THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY. SLAYER OF FEELS, I ACCEPT THIS TITLE GLADLY.

    Oh man, you almost CRIED. HOW. WHAT. I did not see that coming but it pleases me greatly. But yeah, The Last Olympian was so feels heavy – just outstanding. I think it is indeed that way Uncle Rick incorporates humor into a pretty dark story that just makes it a masterpiece. And action. And plot twists. And Percabeth. Goddamn I wanna reread this series.

    I love all of the things you are saying here, I’m just nodding and giggling, and especially the spoilery things and NICOOOOOO. Just wait. Nico will assault your feels in The House of Hades. …You’ll get there. Mmhmm.

    YAYYYYYYY PERCABETH. I think I get your feelings about Rachel though. I thought she was cool too, but yeah, the Percabeth ship is a strong and good ship. They balance each other out so well. *sigh* Happy feels.

    “Poseidon grant them calm seas.” Oh you sweet summer child. :’)
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Book Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda KenneallyMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT, SLAYER.

      I DO NOT KNOW. It was weird. I did not expect a certain thing with a chariot to get me so much and also just the resolution of things and Percy being so Percy. This is the best I can do without putting comments in the spoilers.

      Anyway, yes, the humor! Humor is essential for a dark book, I swear.

      People keep saying this about Nico and I have literally no idea what will happen to him. NERVOUS.

      Rachel’s BAMF, okay. It kills me that she probably won’t get a ship, though I refuse to slam that hope shut entirely. I DO NOT CARE.

      I am not sure why I’m a summer child, but I’ll take it as long as there is AC.

  2. Gillian says:

    “Rarely is a book full of so much ow my feels and dawwwww all at once.”

    SQUEEEEEE

    “Personally, I’m a big fan of books that can make me laugh even at the darkest times and I think it makes the moments when nothing is funny pack that much more of an emotional punch.”

    DOUBLE SQUEEEEE

    “I suspect Percy’s tragic flaw is that he would do anything to protect others, but I think it’s his greatest strength too. Percy has so much compassion, more even than he realizes.”

    IIIII HAVE FEELINGS IN MY HEARTPLACE AND EMOTIONWATER IN MY EYESPACES CURSE YOU

    yesyesyesyesYES to your spoiler tags SO YES

    YES JOIN THE SHIP WE HAVE T-SHIRTS AND STANDING THERAPIST APPOINTMENTS FOR REASONS YOU WILL SOON LEARN SHIP SHIP SHIPPPPPPPPP

    ““I am never, ever going to make things easy for you, Seaweed Brain. Get used to it.”

    SOBBBBBBBBINGGGGGGGG

    Okay i realize this is a bit of an imbalanced comment but I honestly and just exploding with feels right now, because this series gives me feels and you HAVING feels about this series gives me feels and CURSE THIS EMOTIONHAVING BUSINESS MAKE IT STOP

    The Last Olympian really is just outstanding and perfect and GAH. Can’t WAAAAIT for you to read the second series. (Debby is so right that your Nico feels will go through the roof. AND THE SHIP. GAHHHH)

    *pops champagne* *dancesss*
    Gillian recently posted…Review: Shadow Kiss by Richelle MeadMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      OOOH I GET A T-SHIRT? :-p

      EMOTIONS ARE SO INCONVENIENT. Thank goodness I do not wear eye makeup, because really.

      I’m really excited for the next series because older and darker and eeeeeeek. But The Lost Hero though.

  3. I remember crying my eyes out when I read The Last Olympian in middle school! OH MY GODS THE FEEEEEELS!

    This review makes me feel super nostalgic, especially because the last Heroes of Olympus book came out last week. *sniffle* Excuse me, I need a moment. *sob*

    YESSSSSSS! Percabeth is my OTP. The Percabeth-ness gets even better in the later Heroes of Olympus books. And there’s this one part that will make your heart stop… *trails off ominously*
    Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist recently posted…TGIF Weekly Recap | Oct. 10, 2014My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      In MIDDLE SCHOOL. I feel old now. Haha. Aaaanyway.

      Yeah, I just ordered The Blood of Olympus and I’ll be working through that series soon too!

  4. Nikki says:

    “Poseidon grant them calm seas.”

    Haha. Hahahahaha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA omg brb dying. XDD

    Also YES NICO GETS A CABIN AND OMG I just have a lot of Nico feels right now from HoO which I am SUPER FREAKING EXCITED FOR YOU TO READ so I’m gonna shut up now.
    Nikki recently posted…Review Q&A: BEWARE THE WILD by Natalie C. ParkerMy Profile

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