Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Series Review: The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan


Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Author: Rick Riordan
Books: The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, The Blood of Olympus
Series Rating: 4.5/5 stars- a great follow up series but not without it's flaws
Book #1's rating: 4/5 stars- Enjoyable but I need Percy. Leo Valdez is amazing.
Book #2's rating 4.75/stars- PERRRRCCCCY
Book #3's rating: 5/5 stars- CRYING EVERYTHING IS JUST NOT OKAY
Book #4's rating: 5/5 stars - breathtaking in the perfect balance
Book #5's rating: 5/5 stars - clean, enjoyable, I really loved it, but I do have to give it a small slap on the hand

Synopsis of The Lost Hero:

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.


Review:

*just a heads up guys, I'm anticipating this to be a looong review

So if you guys don't know, The Heroes of Olympus is the spin off series to Percy Jackson and the Olympians! There will be spoilers for Percy Jackson, but not (any major spoilers, but minor tidbits of knowledge) for The Heroes of Olympus. (except for the spoiler section cause how can I not?) So if you haven't read Percy Jackson- WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING GET ON BOARD ALREADY EVEN I DID IT AND I PROCRASTINATE ON EVERYTHING.

*cough

That aside, I will not be doing a fangirl reaction, not because I didn't fangirl, but because god knows how long that section will be on top of this review that's already going to be pretty long.

The Heroes of Olympus was a bandwagon I jumped on late... like Percy Jackson, but this time I did hold on with a purpose: that I wouldn't have to die with anxiety for the books to come out. HAHAHA. So yes, I feel really bad for all the people who had to wait for House of Hades... but yeah I read Mark of Athena after it came out. >:) I did have to wait for Blood of Olympus though.

While I enjoyed The Heroes of Olympus, I definitely can think of flaws in this series that made me prefer the Percy Jackson series more. DON'T GET ME WRONG: this is series is fantabulous. It has one of my most favourite characters in it and one of my otps. But Percy Jackson just happens to be more fantabulous.


In this review I mainly want to talk about the characters and then just a mishmash of other thoughts. OH AND THE ENDING BRIEFLY (but more about that in the spoiler section hehe)

LET'S GET TO IT

Characters

Before I talk about each character individually, I want to say that my personal opinion for The Heroes Olympus is that there were too many characters. I thought seven demigods was too much, and I would've been happy with five, plus Nico and Reyna. I feel like everything was so scattered and some characters could've been completely eliminated.

Jason:

Let's start with the controversial Jason Grace. I know from other reviewers that they think Jason... is a bit useless. I personally don't think so- I definitely agree that he wasn't too defined in the beginning of the series, but I did warm up to him a little at House of Hades and beginning of Blood of Olympus. His character growth is most apparent there and his internal conflict is a good and important one once Rick Riordan introduces the idea of two camps. Having a son of Zeus to kind of balance Percy out is definitely... interesting. Two children of the Big Three... there's got to be some fun interesting demigod powers on display.

Piper:

You know how people thought Jason was useless? I thought Piper was beyond useless for at least the first three books. I warmed up a little to her for House of Hades and Blood of Olympus but I still thought she was annoying. I feel like Rick Riordan tried to "break" the stereotypes with her character and it didn't really work on me... and she just wasn't interesting, and truthfully speaking, plain annoying. I feel like she was only needed for her charmspeak, and... yeah. You know which demigod I would get rid of.

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Leo:

Remember how in the beginning I said this series has one of my favourite characters and otp? Well otp aside, LEO VALDEZ IS THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER. I loved this damn boy. There was something about him being the single of the seven that's not matched up with everyone else that gave him an edge of vulnerability and he just tried so hard to be strong and hide it. OHMYGODS. He's absolutely hilarious, probably he and Percy are my favourite comic relief during the story, and just the way he acts and how loyal he is to everyone makes him so much more of a dynamic character than Piper and even Jason. By far, of the seven demigods, beside Annabeth and Percy, I definitely connected to Leo the most and understood his backstory and character best.

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Percy:

He's Percy FREAKING Jackson. Done. No more words needed.

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Annabeth:

I originally was a bit iffy on Annabeth's return. I loved her in Percy Jackson. But as soon as she was alone without Percy, it almost seemed like it snuffed out the spark in her. Which totally makes sense, but makes for a bit of a downer. But I grew to love her even more in Mark of Athena. Her quest and part in this prophecy is something really fearless and is proved that she is meant to be here, even though she doesn't have lightning like Jason or control over everything water like Percy.

Also PERCEBETH. Just. Sigh. Seedweed Brain and Wise Girl. Forever an otp of mine.


Hazel:

I feel like Hazel is the counterpart to Piper. She's not annoying, and I actually quite liked her. She's very quiet and determined, but when the girl needs something done, SHE GETS IT DONE. She might not be the most talented and use her powers sparingly throughout the story but she is a comforting presence and how she makes Frank embarrassed and blushy is funny as hell.

Frank:

My homie. Basically. How can I not love a fellow Asian Vancouverite?! I loved his character growth throughout the series, becoming more and more confident in himself and being more and more comfortable in his own skin. I especially love the dynamic between Leo and Frank, they're so just much fun to read about when they're together.

Nico:

I have to give Nico a shoutout. I know some people thought he got really weird and emo-y and stuff BUT LITERALLY I DON'T CARE. He's like the character I want to just hug and reassure and say "everything will be okay" will patting them on the head and feeding them tubs of ice cream. His vulnerability in this series finally came into the spotlight and just... everything came into place at the end. I absolutely love what Rick Riordan did with his character.

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Reyna:

Reyna is every bit the badass strong fearless person I want to be that I probably can never be. I really grew to love her in Blood of Olympus and that final scene... ohmygosh. Her backstory was interesting and I'm really sad we didn't get to see more of her.

General Thoughts

In general, I really liked how we saw more of the different gods and places and myths in this series, and the dynamics of the entire prophecy coming together. I didn't care for all the POVs, I really would've prefer to have less characters for that reason, and I agree with everyone else, we needed a Percy and Annabeth chapter in Blood of Olympus to wrap everything up nicely. I just want a final farewell, and just everything to kind of fall into place. I wasn't dissatisfied with the ending, but I definitely want Rick Riordan to write a short story after because it ends in a bit of an awkward ending.

The humour is still on point here, and the plots are written very well- good climax, good rising action and in some cases VERY TOO GOOD PAINFUL CLIFFHANGERS UGGH


(this is so hard to try and do without spoiling everything)

But although I don't think this series quite matches up with Percy Jackson, it was definitely an interesting pace and different way of storytelling and I think it's worth reading. Go give it a go! And those of you who have read it- READ THE SPOILER SECTION THEN LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS :))

(I finally figured out how to hide a spoiler section guys aren't you so proud of me?!!)

CLICK FOR SPOILER SECTION

Just a quick run down on stuff for some characters that I didn't say up there.

Jason: Liked him, don't hate him but I wouldn't cry without him. I did like when he promised to do his best to recognize minor gods. His internal conflict of being Greek or Roman was also great as well, it gave more layers to him and I ended up liking him much better by the end of the series.

Percy & Annabeth: As much as I wished Percy & Annabeth was more of a central role in this series, I acknowledge that he and Annabeth had their major moments in their own series, and that they were more supporting in this series, and truthfully speaking, they completed their part of the prophecy by House of Hades.

Except for the nosebleed for Blood of Olympus. DIED OF LAUGHTER. Wakes Gaia up by a nosebleed. Such a Rick Riordan thing. On top of that, Percy complains about it. Hilarious.
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They were adorable though, and him falling down into Tartarus for her... just. WHERE CAN I FIND A BOYFRIEND LIKE THAT?

Also- just a part I also really liked: when the camps are fighting Gaia and Reyna and Frank were commanding the Romans into an efficient army with all their fancy Latin commands, and Percy's just like "Umm Greeks... LET'S FIGHT. AND STUFF. CHARRRGE!!"

DIED.

Nico: I really want things to work out between him and Will Solace. I love how he find his self-esteem in the end and confronts Percy with his feelings and comes clean. It's like a heavy baggage off his back. And his relationship with Reyna was such a great bond in Blood of Olympus.

Reyna: THE SCENE OF HER RETURNING ATHENA TO CAMP HALF-BLOOD. Reyna is basically amazing. I loved her determination, the small guilt she carries with her, and that fighting spirit. LOVE HER. Like I said, her and Nico's relationship was really beneficial to each other in the story and I really really wished we could've seen more between them. Instead of being annoyed by having even more POVs in the story, I genuinely enjoyed reading from their point of views.

Leo is getting an entire section because he's basically the entire ending of the series. THAT SELF SACRIFICING FOOL. I was scared and freaked out all of the novel that he would actually go suicidal for the greater good and just ugggh. The whole time I was just screaming at him that he made a promise to Calypso and he better keep it. I loved him and Calypso. Them together in House of Hades... ohmygosh. The fact that we got Calypso to return and we gave her freedom is just.. EVERYTHING CAME FULL CIRCLE. But luckily Leo pulled through and reconnected with her and it was happy and beautiful and everything was great. I wanted though, to read when Leo met up with everyone else with Calypso. Can you imagine him coming home on Festus with Calypso clinging to his waist and him screaming "I'MMMM BACK GUYS!!"
Seriously I WOULD KILL TO READ THAT SCENE.

I definitely wanted a more conclusive ending to Blood of Olympus- whether or not Rick left it open-ended intentionally for his next series, I have no idea, but I rather he wrapped it up and start one with no relevance to this world. Sort of like The Kane Chronicles.

I can't say I was disappointed with what I got though. This series has been a great joy to read and I have some definitely favourite moments and characters and being able to see more of Percebeth and meeting this lovely character called Leo Valdez... all worth it.

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