Showing posts with label percy jackson series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label percy jackson series. Show all posts

Saturday, May 14, 2016

[Review] The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson #5) - Rick Riordan: Cluttered and Halfheartedly written

In the last book of the Percy Jackson series, Percy and the Gods of Olympus are preparing for the final battle against the Titan Kronos.

What intrigued me: There's no reason for me not to pick this one up! I loved the third and fourth novels. Unfortunately, it could only go downhill from there.

A Very Chaotic, Messy Storyline

THE LAST OLYMPIAN needs a lot of time to get the story started. What I loved about the previous books is that there was a straight storyline they were following and you knew exactly how close the heroes were to their goal at all times. This one doesn't have that. 

I feel like Riordan is just trying to give a storyline or cameo to all of his characters, so they can all have their moment of glory in the last book. It's cluttered, and it's full of unnecessary halfheartedly-written side quests that weren't really enjoyable to read. I didn't really understand why the characters were doing anything, they seem to be rushing from scene to scene, preparing for battle or trying to convince someone else to help them. 

With all those mini side quests comes also a frequent change of scenery that throws you off track and leaves you wondering what they were doing there in the first place. Riordan really lost himself in trying to make this battle epic and trying to cram as many characters and mythological concepts in this as possible. Because the heroes have dealt with Luke and Kronos in the previous book before, having these two as the final battle antagonists is repetitive and boring to read. 

Disappointing Character Development (or lack thereof)

Riordan's biggest strength in this series has always been Percy's voice to me. Percy is funny, a sweet and loveable guy, and just overall a wonderful protagonist. It's remarkable how spot-on Percy's voice is and has been for the entire series, however judging by this being the last book - he hardly went through any character development at all. While it was charming and relatable to have this oftentimes super oblivious main character before, after five books it really gets annoying to have Percy realize even the most obvious things last. He's not a leader and it hardly seems realistic to have anyone follow him into battle. Annabeth in a heartbeat, but not him.

In general I have never been a fan of the character development in Riordan's books, and never really thought any character aside from a handful of Gods and side characters (Apollo, Artemis, Zoe, Nico) was even remotely developed enough for me to actually care about them. 

In other reviews I've often read about how everyone loves the relationship between Annabeth and Percy- which I find is pretty much non-existent (Enlighten me please if you disagree). I was hoping to finally get behind the fascination that these two seem to have for everyone - but no, I'm still confused. This didn't make the novel better or worse for me either way, but is simply proving my point that even after five books I still feel like most characters remain blank slates for me.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

A very disappointing conclusion to the series. I personally found it lacked structure and was very drawn out, and I wish I just hadn't read this and pretended the series ended after the fourth.

Additional Info

Published: May 5th 2009
Pages: 361
Publisher: Puffin
Genre: YA / Mythology / Greek 
ISBN: 9780141321288

"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. "
(Source: Goodreads)

Have you seen the Percy Jackson movies or read the books?

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

[Recommendation] The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson #3) - Rick Riordan

In THE TITAN'S CURSE, the third novel in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Percy and his friends have to deal with the aftermath of freeing the titan Kronos.
Wonderful and Likeable Main Character

I have only watched the first two movies and not read the books and just went ahead and read the third book. I didn't have any problems trying to understand who was who, even though Riordan doesn't make an effort to describe what has previously happened. I got quite annoyed at Mead doing the opposite in her Vampire Academy series and always summarizing everything in the first chapter, so this was refreshing.

Because Percy is such a young protagonist, I didn't expect to identify with him at all as a twenty-something. I was wrong. Percy is a very smart character that does act his age while not being either obnoxious or naive. Many authors try and fail at writing about characters that are that young, but Riordan masters it skillfully.

The key to making Percy so realistic and pleasant to read about it that most of the action in the novel is describes via little hints that Percy doesn't get. Riordan doesn't try to make him the omniscience hero that figures everything out right away, quite on the contrary. He's impulsive, doesn't put much thought into his actions and oftentimes flat out embarrasses himself while failing dramatically. I love that. I identified and sympathized 100% with Percy and that's remarkable, judging by the fact that he's a thirteen year-old boy.

Perfect Blend of Mythology and Own Ideas

I've seen so many authors try to tackle Greek mythology as a background for their novels and just flat out fail. Riordan doesn't just use the myths as story lines in his book but creates a vivid, entertaining and unique world on his own. There are rarely times when I thought he just took this from The Iliad as I did when reading works of Angelini, Carter, or Cabot.

Riordan mixes mythology skillfully with his own imagination and puts a very unique and different spin on things. His portrayals of the different gods are hilarious, spot on and super entertaining.
Another main thing that absolutely fascinates me about the series is how funny it is. Riordan is a master at funny dialogue without trying hard and I found myself having to pause several times because I was laughing so hard.

Towards the end the story drags a little. Percy and his friends are constantly being hunted by mythological beings and it gets a little repetitive if you're familiar with the story lines of the first two novels. However, I enjoyed to meet new Gods and get to see Riordan's interpretations of them. I wasn't a fan of setting one of the battles in the Smithsonian, I've just seen too many other novels and movies do that. I'm looking forward to reading the next novel!




Overall: Do I Recommend?

You don't have to read the first books if you've already watched the movies. I didn't. You won't miss anything and the movies do an alright job at introducing you to the world of Percy Jackson.
I know already that I will reread the series at some point so I'll get all the small hints that are scattered throughout the novels. I love how Riordan nods to readers familiar with The Iliad and gives us the opportunity to find out which character we're dealing with.

If you love Greek mythology, this is the series for you and I'm by no means surprised at how successful the franchise has become. Riordan is an excellent writer and Percy an extremely lovable and likeable hero. I dearly recommend the series.

Additional Info

Original Title: The Titan's 
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: May 5th 2007
Pages: 320
Medium: Hardcover
Genre: YA / Mythology / Greek


But when you're the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive..."(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite Greek mythology read?

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