Title: The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5)
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
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.
I’m not even ashamed to admit that I busted this book out in three hours. It was like I physically could not get myself to slow down or stop, I had to finish it. For those of you that don’t know, I absolutely adore the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. Years and years ago, my mom picked me up some tattered copy of the first one from our local Half Price Books, and I promptly threw it on my bedside table and ignored it for months. Then, on a hot summer day, I picked it up, and cursed myself for not reading it sooner. These books are amazing. If you have not read them, go get them now. You won’t regret it.
After finishing this book, I had to sit in a bitter depression for a few hours before starting this, wallowing in my mixed emotions. Sadness, for the end of another great series. Happiness, because this book was everything I had hoped for and more. Self hatred, for being such a fast reader and not savoring every word. And excitement, because in the back was the title for the first book of Rick Riordan’s new Norse series.
You guys, this book was so good. The thing I love, is that I’ve never once been afraid of getting a bad book out of the Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus series. I have complete and utter faith in Rick Riordan, something I think I can only say for a few other authors. The Blood of Olympus was adventurous, emotional, funny, emotional, suspenseful, emotional… I think you get it. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry through half of this book, so I did both.
Instead of addressing each of the millions of characters, I’m just going to talk about the ones that stood out the most for me. I’m going to try my best to keep this spoiler free, so you can read without fear if you haven’t gotten your hands on a copy of the book yet.
Nico. My poor baby Nico. One of the things that I love most about this series is that we get more of him and he has really had time to shine throughout these books. I feel kind of funny saying that the depressed, sulking teenage son of Hades shines, but it’s true. My relationship with Nico is bittersweet because I hate that he is suffering and so lonely, but at the same time, I can’t help but love him for it and want to give him a comforting hug. He would probably banish me to the underworld for that, but I still want to. Reading his POV in this book, understanding how he feels about everything, it makes you realize that his isn’t just being a normal teenage boy, he actually thinks that no one likes him and he doesn’t belong anywhere. But he really grows through this book, opening up and letting people in. And he helps the quest so much, as much as he likes to blame it on the fact that he would do anything for Percy, I know it’s just because he has a big, warm heart hiding way down somewhere.
Leo was another character whose POV we got to read. I’ve always loved him, I have a soft spot for the clowns that actually have depth inside, even if they try to cover it up with jokes and a frighteningly large arsenal of modified grenades. But in this book, Leo has such drive and purpose, it was like seeing a whole other side of him. He really steps it up to help his friends, because they are his friends and he loves them. And he has such smarts, reading about his new inventions is one of my favorite parts of this series. And his love for Calypso is so cute, I felt so bad for her in the Percy Jackson series, she needs a Leo.
We don’t really know much about Reyna, but in this book we get to learn a whole lot more about her history. That poor girl, she had a rough time. Her and Nico become close and develop a hesitant friendship, and it really showed what kind of person she was, that she could get through to Nico and cares about him. One top of everything, she is a mega bad-ass. I love how commanding she is and she just radiates pure leadership. I love any lady that can hold her own against big scary monsters but this girl kicked some serious ass. I felt like Reyna still had some story to tell though, even though this series is over.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a particularly large amount of Percy or Annabeth time. It felt like they were just kind of in the background, which makes sense since they had so much of The House of Hades to themselves, and technically Jason, Piper, and Leo are the three heroes of this story. But Percy is my absolute favorite and after being spoiled with him in the last book, his lack of shine time in this one was disappointing. I should have expected it, but it was still disappointing.
Jason is the one character that I never loved. I like him fine, and I like his role in these books, but he never really stood out for me. I love Nico because he is sulky, sad, tormented Nico. And Leo is the funny and sweet guy that everyone loves. Jason is just kind of like the strong leader guy, which in my mind, that position has already been filled by Percy. While he did kick some butt in this book, and I liked seeing him and Percy work together, he never really made much of an impression to me. And I absolutely love Piper, and I love the role she had to play in this book and how she helped in the end, but her parts in this book don’t necessarily stand out to me either.
Now for the bad guys. Octavian. I hate that guy. I hate him with a fiery passion. Not only is he kind of creepy with his stuffed animal sacrificing addiction, but he was such a backstabbing, two faced, power hungry jerk. I hated him more than the actually bad guy, Gaea. Gaea was super scary and everything, whispering in people’s ears and sending them spooky dreams, but Octavian was actually a physical person so I could imagine punching him in the face with much more satisfaction. Imagining going outside and punching the dirt just makes me feel embarrassed. We also got introduced to a new bad guy, Orion, who was basically a woman hating butt-face, with a really big bow.
Do I even need to reassure you guys that the plot was great? It moved along quickly and was so suspenseful and fun, it kept you on your toes the whole time. I really love the alternating POV in these books, it moves the story along so quickly and being able to read a book through multiple of your favorite characters eyes is the best. You have no idea what I would have given to read some of the Percy Jackson books in Annabeth’s POV. No idea. But my favorite thing is watching the prophecy come together in the end. I love trying to put the pieces together in my head up until the last second, then Rick Riordan blows my mind. The ending was a roller-coaster of emotions. I was basically like “Yay! NO! Wait, what?! NO, NO, NO! YAY! Woo hoo! Oh my, holy cow! YES! NO WAY! No, stop. Please stop. Hang on… YES! YES! THIS BOOK! MY FEELS!” The whole experience exhausted me, but in such a good way.
If you haven’t read The Blood of Olympus, do it now. If you haven’t read any of these books, do it now. Oh and the title of the first book of Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard is… THE SWORD OF SUMMER. Which gives me absolutely no insight as to what it’s going to be about. Thanks for that, Rick. Thanks a lot.