Monday, May 18, 2009

The Last Olympian

I finished Rick Riordan's The Last Olympian, book #5 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  This was billed as the last book in the series and the adventures are finished but ... there were lots of openings at the end for another series based on the same concept.

The series has been leading up to one giant war between the demi-gods and gods against the forces of evil led by Kronos.  I expected that this book would encompass the war and it did.  In fact, most of the book was the war and I didn't expect that.  It was one action sequence after another.  I enjoyed it but would have liked a little less action and a little more character development.  I guess Riordan thought he had developed all of his characters at this point.

There were some clever bits.  The monster Typhon is moving through the country like a terrible storm front (in fact that's what mortals think he is) and at one point he is in St. Louis destroying buildings downtown.  I hope one of them was the Gateway One building, I've never liked it and the Mall would be better without it.

But most of the action takes place in New York and for those of us not up on the geography of Manhattan some of the descriptions didn't mean much (although Riordan or his editors did think to include a map, which was helpful).  In fact reading this book is a little like hanging out with a Yankees fan for an extended period.   By the end I wasn't really all that upset that New York was trashed. 

There were a few twists in the story that were good and the ending was satisfying.  I'm not a kid so I don't know how it would go over with kids.  I had a good discussion about the series with my 13 year old cousin Andrew last week but he hadn't read the new book yet.   When he does ... we can compare notes.