In anticipation of The Blood of Olympus coming out, I re-read the Heroes of Olympus books which precede it last week. I decided not to re-read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, because ten books in a row by the same author would probably be too much, but there’s no point re-hashing anything I have to say about the first four Heroes of Olympus books, because I’ve posted about them before.
So I was more than a little excited about The Blood of Olympus. I’d been looking forward to it coming out since I finished The House of Hades last year (this is the problem with binge-reading series of books) and thus I had very high expectations of it. I was ready for Blood of Olympus to be a five-star book, and satisfy all my nagging concerns, and wrap up the Percy Jackson threads forever, allowing me to leave Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter one satisfied and sated reader.
And I nearly managed that. Nearly. I was pretty pleased with how BoO turned out, and had only a few niggling complaints.
Like the rest of the books in this series, the perspective was shared between several demigods. For the first time, we got to see inside Reyna and Nico’s heads, which was a brilliant addition, I felt, as well as getting outside of the seven demigods of the prophecy. Although we already know Reyna and Nico, the chance to get into their perspectives and learn how they’re seeing things is a welcome addition, as the two most important demigods outside of the Seven of the prophecy. The other perspectives belong to Leo, Piper, and Jason, meaning that four of the seven demigods (Annabeth, Percy, Hazel, and Frank) are left silent, and we only see their actions. For Annabeth and Percy, I wasn’t so pissed about this, because they had a massive adventure in the House of Hades, although I have to say that it was a little misleading to label it ‘Percy Jackson’s final battle begins’ when you don’t even get inside his head. Frank and Hazel, though, I was a bit pissed about – I think they both have more to tell us, and I was kinda disappointed that we didn’t get to see it.
The Blood of Olympus is, as expected, a sweeping epic, bringing in a huge number of gods, giants, monsters, goddesses, demigods and, as usual, a whole swathe of Greek (and Roman) mythology. The action was exciting, the demigods were adventuring wildly, blood was flowing (which is a dangerous thing in these areas), the gods were split between their Greek and Roman aspects and Leo (oh, poor Leo) is still heartsick as anything.
Leo irked me in this – he was the only character who did. Even though we got chapters from his perspective, he was still, essentially, a mystery. I can understand why this was necessary for the construction of the book, but if you want to keep Leo a mystery, don’t have us inside his head – what we got from Leo in this book felt like only a half a character, who was deliberately keeping things hidden for the sake of the story.
Leo was my main complaint about this book. I have other, spoilery, complaints, but they’re not massive, and I can understand why things worked out the way they did.
The Blood of Olympus also leaves some loose ends – far more than Percy Jackson and the Olympians, actually. The path is clear for another series of books, in which other demigods from Camp Half Blood or Camp Jupiter (or both) could take centre-stage, with a new mission concerning Apollo.
It certainly doesn’t look like the end for Camp Half-Blood, and certainly, why would Riordan give up on a world which has been so fruitful, and spawned so many extras? I wouldn’t be upset to see an announcement of another series, certainly not if the quality is as good as Heroes of Olympus was, but I think wrapping up loose ends in the Heroes series would have served Riordan better than leaving them as danglers for more books.