My reread of Heroes of Olympus is done! There will be no spoilers for this book here, but there will be some minor spoilers for the previous ones, by nature of this being a review of the final installment.
In Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus, the crew of the Argo II is back together, but the reunion is bittersweet. Gaea is only days from rising, and if the demigods don’t stop it, the world will be destroyed. So as the Seven head for Athens for a (hopefully not) last stand, Nico and Reyna race to return the newly recovered Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood to heal the rift between Roman and Greek demigods.
I love seeing the Argo II crew complete again, but also seeing how being in Tartarus has impacted Percy and Annabeth. They are more damaged in this one, but no less powerful, interesting, and relatable. The others, having had to face leadership in the previous book, now have new strength to utilize, which is awesome to see here. I also adore the chapters from Reyna’s and Nico’s points of view; as characters we have so far only seen from afar, I relished the chance to know them better. We get insight into their backstories and personalities, and I loved watching them undergo substantial changes during this book. Reyna goes from somewhat reluctant and highly guarded to more confident and opening up to new friends. And Nico steps up in a major way, and starts to get to a happier place (Finally! Thank you, Riordan!).
Other characters get more time to shine, too—Coach Hedge is featured a lot more, as are Dakota and Will Solace, making reappearances from earlier books. The latter in particular became an absolute favorite of mine, and half of one of the best relationships in all Riordan’s books.
For some reason, I didn’t love the plot of this one as much as I did others in the series (mainly Son of Neptune and House of Hades). It’s exciting, certainly, but the actual climactic battle for some reason didn’t feel as intense as the battle at the end of The Last Olympian in the Percy Jackson series. I can’t exactly put my finger on why I feel like this. Still, it is an engaging tale, with an especially suspenseful element involving Leo that keeps the reader glued to every page.
That said, I appreciate what this book says in terms of friendship and unity. In order to succeed against hatred and violence, two historically contentious groups must learn to deal with their differences and join together for their mutual benefit. And of course, the two sides realize they have more in common than they thought and end up good friends. This is such an important lesson for everyone. This theme isn’t shoved down our throats either, but told with lots of heart and humor when necessary. It’s fantastic.
In the end, although this isn’t quite the explosive, heart-pounding finale like in the previous series (I mean, it is literally explosive, but let me be metaphorical), The Blood of Olympus is still highly enjoyable. The meaning of the Prophecy of Seven is finally unraveled, the final battle of gods and demigods arrives, and new characters get the spotlight. The action is great, the character development is excellent, and the conclusion is satisfying, if tantalizing in the small loose ends it leaves behind.
Overall rating: 8.4/10
Now all I have to do is wait for the new Trials of Apollo next month (well, and reread The Kane Chronicles, but that can come later).