REVIEW: Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan
The Lost Hero:
After the drama of defeating the Titan Lord Kronos, things are looking up for Percy and the gang. Camp Half-blood is being rebuilt but suddenly Percy goes missing. Enter our new main protangonists, Jason, Piper and Leo. Jason, Piper and Leo are all friends and attended the wilderness school together until one day when Jason loses his memory and must figure out who he is. When a load of storm spirits start to attack them, the realize that they are not normal kids. They are half bloods. The half bloods are rescued by Annabeth who is searching for the missing Percy Jackson. She hoped to find him but instead finds Jason, Leo and Piper. Annabeth takes them back to camp half blood and Jason starts to remember bits and pieces of his previous life. It turns out he wasn’t actually at the Wilderness School and was instead placed there by the Goddess Hera. The mist changed everybody’s memories to include him. So Piper believed that they were starting to become a couple and Leo being his best friend. Hera states through Rachel Elizabeth Dare, The New Oracle of Delphi, that she has been imprisoned and must be rescued. And so a prophecy and a quest must be given to the new arrivals who appear to be entangled within the mess. Piper, Leo and Jason must save Hera and find some secrets out a long the way. With these new characters coming into this world, I can understand why this gave people such unease as it did I. We were so happy with Percy and the gang so why change that, but the reason why is so that Rick Riordan can reinvigorate and reinvent the story’s allowing a new audience to come in but still enjoy the mythology and the lore behind such stories. These new characters make for a new entrance within the series and allows Rick Riordan to incorporate the Roman mythology also. Fans begged him to carry on the series and also write a Roman mythology series and so why not kill two birds with one stone and write a story involving Percy but also new characters as well from the Roman side. My favourite reveal was when we find out that Jason is Jason Grace and is Thalia Grace’s brother. When they finally meet, and they have a discussion of what might have happened to him. They figure out that Zeus visited their mother twice. The second time though, he was slightly different, he spoke Latin and was stricter. And that was when Jason was born. They figure out that he is a son of Jupiter, the Roman aspect of Zeus and that’s why he is different but they still wonder what happened to him. When he was born, Zeus gave Jason to Hera and to be his guardian in order to appease her after having two children with the same person and as such named him after her favourite hero, Jason. When he was two, their mother gave him up to Juno as a way to introduce him to the Roman side of his heritage. Later on in the book, Hera explains to Jason that he and Thalia had to be separated as their situation ― a child of Greece and Rome born into the same family ― is both dangerous and previously unknown of. In this time period, their mother was on edge and drinking a lot and as such caused Thalia to run away and thus caused the events before the Lightning Thief to occur. I’m so glad I made the decision to continue this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next on the journey. 4 out of 5 stars.
The Son of Neptune:
The Son of Neptune follows Percy, as he is the other side of the coin to Jason. He wakes up nine months after the Battle for Olympus with the Titans. He finds himself without memories and alone until he finds the wolf goddess, Lupa who guides him to Camp Jupiter. Knowing that he is a demi god, monsters come after him and makes his journey to camp not an easy one. Camp Jupiter is the Roman counterpart of Camp Halfblood. He is attacked by a couple of gorgons and the goddess Juno, disguises herself to him as an old lady that he must save. He does so and protects Camp Jupiter as well. Knowing who Percy is, Juno announces his arrival and with her approval and identifies him as a son of Neptune (hence the name). Whilst beginning his journey at camp Jupiter, he befriends Frank Zhang, a son of Mars, and Hazel Levesque, a daughter of pluto. Their greek equivalents would be Ares and Hades. Juno tells Percy he will get his memory back by becoming a hero. Percy remembers one thing from his past life, a name, annabeth. Frank and Hazel take pity on Percy and help him to adjust to camp life. Suddenly, the God of War appears, Mars. He gives the camp information that the lord of death, Thanatos is missing and the campers must go on a quest to rescue him. Mars seeing his son, Frank, decides to give him the quest and is told by Mars to take Percy with him to learn respect for the God, as Percy ultimately dislikes Mars/Ares. They must go to Alaska to defeat the Giant Alcyoneus who has Thanatos captive. Along their way, they befriend a Harpy named Ella and discover that the goddess Gaea is awakening and plans to destroy Olympus and the world. Her giant children are being awoken bit by bit. Each Giant represents one God and can only be defeated by Demi-gods and Gods working together. This is harder than you would think. The Gods don’t want to admit that Gaea is coming after them. Just like the ministry of magic didn’t want to admit that Voldemort was back. They denied the fact and made it more difficult for their demigod children. Hazel and Frank find themselves along the way and find that they belong together as one although there may be obstacles in the way as explored in the next book. They must figure out their powers and be the best heroes they can be. When they return to Camp Jupiter, it is being attacked Polybotes, the giant counterpart to Neptune/Poisedon. He can turn water into poison so when Percy uses his water powers, the water becomes poison. In order to kill him, Percy must team up with a God. But what God? Terminus gets angry that there are weapons around and Percy riles him up more to get him to fight with Percy. And in doing so, defeats Polybotes. When that is done, the Argo II arrives, the greek airship that Leo has been working on. And it sets the scene for the prophecy of seven to come in the next books. As always Rick Riordan’s writing is amazing. It is something for every age to enjoy. You don’t have to be middle grade age to enjoy it. If you enjoy mythology and long series, you are in for one hell of a ride. The characters of Frank and Hazel, start to gleam when they realize that they are special to each other and must trust one another to get ahead. Now on to Mark of Athena… 4 out of 5 stars.
Mark of Athena:
The Mark of Athena follows the Argo II as it just sets down in new Rome. We see Anna-beth and Percy reunite and the Romans and Greeks get a long. Well for a bit anyway. Octavian, the augur for camp Jupiter, despises the Greeks and thinks that they are out to get the Romans. Reyna, the Praetor of the Roman camp, welcomes them with open arms. When Anna-beth talks to Reyna, they start talking about the mark of Athena, and that the only way to get the two camps to unite against Gaea, is for the lost and missing Athena Parthenos to be returned. Now this thing is a huge statue that was once stolen from the Greeks by the Romans, so this makes sense that the only thing to unite them would be the massive thing that they had stolen centuries before.
All of a sudden though, the Argo II starts firing on camp Jupiter. As we find out later, Leo was possessed by an Eidolon demon that forced Gaea’s will upon Leo. And as such Camp Jupiter retaliates by declaring war on the Greeks.
Barely escaping the camp, Leo, Frank, Hazel, Jason, Piper, Anna-beth and Percy find out that they are the seven spoken about in the prophecy of seven. 3 Roman demi gods and 4 Greek Demi gods. Along with a certain satyr that was introduced in the Lost Hero, Coach Hedge, they must stop Gaea from awakening. After leaving Camp Jupiter, they find themselves in front of the Goddess Nemesis. Nemesis blesses Leo with a fortune cookie that would help him later on in the quest but it will have consequences. Meanwhile, Percy, Jason and Piper meet with Bacchus, who we know as Mr. D in his Greek form, they talk about the quest but later find themselves possessed by the demons that possessed Leo, the eidolon. They are doing Gaea’s biding and cause Percy and Jason to fight each other. Piper has other plans though, she repels them with her charm speak.
They realize that Nico has been taken after entering Tartarus to close the doors of death but he didn’t get very far with that. The team make it to Rome and Anna-beth and the rest of the team must part ways to she can take her quest alone to find the Athena Parthenos. Whilst the others must rescue Nico from the twin giants, Ephialtes and Otis, and with the help of the God Bacchus, they defeat them. It seems like all is good and celebrations should occur until Arachne, who Anna-beth had just thrown in to tartarus after defeating her to get the Athena Parthenos, decides to get a little bit of revenge on them and uses her remaining silk left on the Parthenos to drag them into tartarus. Percy tells Nico to meet them on the other side. On the other side of the doors of death…
Listening to these as an audiobook has been such a treat. To hear the mystical tales told by the narrators are just simply astonishing. My favourite thing about Rick Riordan’s writing is the fact that he doesn’t down play stuff for kids, like make it dummy. He gets that children understand a lot more than what people give them credit for and that is what I love.
4 out of 5 stars.
The House of Hades:
The House of Hades follows the seven that we already know and love coming together to stop Gaea and her minions and also trying to stop the warring demi-gods from the opposing camps fighting. You know, the usual round here.
We follow Percy and Anna-beth as they have just crash landed into Tartarus. They meet up with a titan who Percy dunked into the River Lethe. (Demigod Files: Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades) who is now named Bob. They eventually reach an offering place where the food that is offered to Hermes, gets delivered. So they chomp down on a piece of pizza and some m&ms. Anna-beth figures out a way to reverse engineer the altar to get a message back to camp half blood. She sent the message so that Reyna, a Roman, will take the Athena Parthenos back to Greek ground, camp half blood as a peace offering to unite the demi-gods as this appears to be the only way. They must travel to the doors of death, which are located at the heart of Tartarus. Along the way they face some old enemies and new, such as Nyx, the goddess of the night.
Back in the mortal world, Nico must lead the charge to the house of hades where the doors of death are located on this side of the world and they must shut them after Percy and Anna-beth come through them. In Venice, Frank, Hazel and Nico must help out Triptolemus, the god of farming in exchange for special barley cakes designed to protect them against the poison that they must ingest to enter the house of hades. Upon helping Triptolemus, Frank receives a blessing of Mars which makes him physically stronger and much more confident. In addition to this, Hecate makes a visit to Hazel to tell her the ways of controlling the mist, which will eventually help them, win the war against Gaea. They arrive at the house of hades and find that they have walked into an attack. Hazel along with her new powers and Hecate defeat the giants as it requires a demi god and god to work together. Right on time, Anna-beth and Percy come through the doors of death and help in the fight. In the aftermath, Reyna eventually arrives to pick up the Athena Parthenos but her Pegasus is near enough dying and so she doesn’t have the transport to take it back with her. So Nico and Coach Hedge volunteer to accompany her on the journey whilst the rest of them must focus on what is ahead.
One of my favourite parts of this books is when forces that are on Gaea’s side attack the Argo II. Everybody aboard the Argo II narrowly makes it out but Leo is transported to Ogygia where he meets Calypso. We have previously met Calypso when Percy rocked up to Ogygia in Battle of the Labyrinth. But this time Calypso genuinely falls in love with somebody that she can finally have. The magic boat doesn’t appear when she asks it to and so she gets more and more annoyed at Leo for the way he does things. Their relationship blossoms into something but alas; with her curse she knows that he cannot stay, as he is a hero. But as he leaves, he promises to come back for her and that he always keeps his promises.
4 out of 5 stars.
The Blood of Olympus:
The Blood of Olympus is the last book in the Heroes of Olympus series.
Taking place right after the previous book we find our heroes Ithaca where the souls that Gaea has resurrected are appearing. Disguised by the mist they try to gather information from their foes. But alas, someone recognizes their deceptions and makes Jason face his mother’s spirit who is pretty much insane. She entices him but he rejects her. As he has faced some trauma, he must rest and so the gang continues and goes to the marriage bed of Odysseus. There they summon Juno. Juno tells them to seek out Nike and Artemis and Apollo, as they will have the answers. Nike tells them that one of them will die on this quest unless they have the physicians cure to survive which consists of pylosian mint, the heartbeat of the chained god and the curse of Delos.
They obtain two ingredients in various ways. But the last must be obtained from Apollo and Artemis. They arrive at Mykonos and Apollo tells them that his son can make the cure and where to find him. Upon this, Leo tells Hazel and Frank what his plan is and how he must defeat Gaia by sacrificing himself and taking the cure. Meanwhile, Reyna, Coach Hedge and Nico are travelling by shadow travel to get the Athena Parthenos back to camp. Nico is tiring though and his energy is dwindling. At this point, we find out that Reyna can lend her strength to anybody she needs to in time of need. So she does just that. However, in their shadow travel, they are taken to San Juan, Reyna’s birthplace where she is taken by the Hunters of Artemis and the Amazon’s to face another problem. The giant Orion is now hunting all of them because they resemble Artemis. They warn her but let her go on their way back to camp. Reyna reveals the reason she doesn’t go back to San Juan is because she killed the ghost of her father. We find out that a Roman who was exiled from camp heard this and wants to report Reyna and or execute her patricide. But Nico stops him by turning him into a ghost. Which I will say is pretty badass in itself. So well done Nico.
They arrive with the Athena Parthenos with the help of the Pegasus’ and it is revealed uniting the camps and demi-gods once again. Reyna defeats Orion with the help of Bellona, her mother and the Goddess Athena. Meanwhile, the blood of Olympus will wake Gaea and that it definitely does. Percy and Anna-beth are some how wounded in combat with the Giants and their blood awakens the goddess who is seeking revenge. The Gods help them get back to camp, as that is where Gaea now is. They continue the fight back in their home territory and Leo sacrifices himself to stop Gaea in an epic battle. They celebrate the win but mourn Leo as they think he is dead. They all make plans but alas the Romans must return to camp Jupiter. But one person does not. Jason. Jason always thought he belonged more at camp half blood than at camp Jupiter and so decides to keep a promise that he made. To celebrate all the gods, no matter how minor.
One of my favourite parts of the book is the ending. This is because Leo keeps his promise and returns to Ogygia for Calypso as they are truly meant to be together. Calypso is no longer bound by her curse and can finally be happy. When Leo arrives back on the island, she tells him he is late. When Leo asks her if she is ready to leave, her invisible servants give her suitcases to her and she gets on festus to ride into the unknown with him.
As the last book in the series, you of course have to expect everything to be tied up in a neat little bow. This ending was spectacular. It didn’t lack anything. It had the right amount of action mixed in with the right amount of character development. It didn’t have the last book syndrome where the last book lacks the sentiment of the previous book. This is honestly why I loved reading these books. The audiobooks as well were just fantastic for both this series and that of Percy Jackson. I would recommend both of them even though they are not the same narrator, which is a bit of a shame. But still they were enjoyable. I can’t wait to start the trials of Apollo but alas, I have to put some time in between these series otherwise it might start a real addiction. Who knows at this point?
4 out of 5 stars.