Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5
Date: May 2009
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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.
In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.
Reviewed by: Mary
It’s time for the moment Percy has been avoiding for four years – the fulfillment of the prophecy. Olympus will stand or fall on his decision, if he can stay alive until his 16th birthday anyway.
Riordan doesn’t waste time, starting off the book with a reminder that no one is safe, the stakes are as high as they can get, and there is a spy at Camp Half Blood. Kronos has overtaken Luke’s body, and though Percy tries to stop him, the battle for Olympus is coming.
At the end of the previous book, Nico Di Angelo gave Percy a suggestion for how to survive the battle ahead. As he gets nearer to choosing, the two discover more about Luke. The Last Olympian becomes Luke’s story in many ways, and it’s very fitting. Riordan handles the character well, once again showing that everyone in this series has complex motivations and complicated histories. No one can be boiled down to simple want for power and ambition, save Kronos who mostly wants revenge with a side of ruling the world. But Kronos complexity comes from his plotting and manipulation, which is masterful (as is befitting the King of the Titans).
Before the book even gets started, the world is falling apart. Ancient Gods have awoken, and the mortal world has no idea what is coming their way (literally). As the gods go to defeat them, they leave the stragglers from Camp Half Blood as the only ones to be in position to stop Kronos’ real plan, naturally.
I balked at this development at first. These are 16 year old kids, and it is such a common trope to leave the world saving to children in YA books. But Riordan has been setting up these kids for five books now, they’re demi-gods who have been training and fighting their entire lives. Characters that he has been slowly setting up are brought to the forefront and Clarisse is especially well done and I cheered quite a bit for Percy’s mom and her boyfriend’s contributions to the final battle. The death toll is high, but unlike some authors, Riordan makes you feel these deaths and you understand why they had to happen and what impact they have on the story.
But everything in the whole series for me comes down to Luke and Hermes, and to explain why would be too many spoilers. All I know is that when they get to the end of the film series, I hope they don’t forget those scenes. Nathan Fillion will be able to play Hermes’ emotions perfectly, and I really want to see it.
Riordan remembers to give us some happy endings to temper the sadness, and he’s built such a rich world that he could play in this sandbox forever and I would be happy to let him.