26 January 2010

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5), Rick Riordan (#10)

Oh, Percy Jackson, I have grown so attached to you, your friends and your crazy extended family, the gods of yore.  I've loved every minute of the brief time we spent together, and I'm sad to say that I'm done with the series.  It was only a week, but it was super-fun.  At least you're going to have this movie, which I hope does your book justice.

Big thumbs-up to Rick Riordan, who brought this smartly written, well-planned and extremely enjoyable series to life.  I could read many more books of Percy's hijinks, but I'm intrigued by your note at the end of the book (the first Half-Blood series? Is there something else in the works?) and can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve. I appreciated that his story had a sense of closure, but also leaves him open for the future.

As for The Last Olympian specifically, I really thought that the series ended very well.  The book took the themes that had been building throughout the series and brings them all to a great few culminating episodes.  The characters are all allowed to have their specific moment-in-the-sun, and are all necessary in order to save humanity. Riordan brings the gods to life in ways that are clever and apropos to the story at hand.

One of the greatest aspects of this book is that Percy can't do it alone. In other sagas, it seems to all come down to the hero as an individual character, but in the Percy Jackson series, Percy relies on his peers and friends to help him overcome all obstacles, which is a really good message for the 5th-7th grade target audience.  Percy also never loses sight of what is really important in the world, and he does not compromise himself in order to accomplish what is necessary.

I won't give any synopsis of the book, because I think that this series is something that everyone can enjoy, and I don't want to spoil the twists and surprises at the end of the book.

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