Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The Last Olympian

Book #5 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians
By Rick Riordan

I finally got my hands on the last of the series to read it just before I saw the trailer for the first movie! These will make great movies, with lots of action and plenty of opportunities for cool effects, so I can't wait to see what they do with them.

At the end of the series, I can't help but look back over them and see the structure of the whole, which bears a remarkable resemblance to the structure of other series and notable quest myths, most obviously and best-known being the Harry Potter saga. (Let's see, at about 12 yrs old, the kid who's always had weird things happen discovers he's not an ordinary human, foes off for some training, ends up on some quests/in some battles, is facing a Big Dark Power who is rising again after years in hibernation, and is prophesied to be The One.)

The fact is, though, even a well-worn old formula can be a fantastic ride in the hands of a good storyteller, and Riordan is most certainly that. These books are entertaining, fast-paced, and could even manage to hook a kid on mythology if they were the curious kind, which I think is a great side benefit.

The series ends with a good resolution, and the battered and ragged forces of good live on, at least some of them, to fight another day, having vanquished the Titan Lords once more and saved Olympus. Phew!

My only issue was the very, very end, which seems to leave the door open for another set of Percy Jackson adventures. I enjoyed these thoroughly, but I think Percy has earned a rest, and would like to see him start a new series, instead. Perhaps based on a different set of myths, or something altogether?

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