The Last Olympian - spoilers!

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The Last Olympian - spoilers!

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maj 17, 2009, 11:35pm

So who else has finished this one? Jump in and give me your thoughts.

I loved it! I thought the ending was so well done. I was completely surprised by the identity of the spy in the camp. I would have guessed maybe one of the guys from the Hermes cabin.

And I loved that they gave Luke a hero's farewell.

maj 18, 2009, 12:37am

I read it and loved it, too. I didn't guess the spy's identity, either -- I would have thought Pollux, maybe, or one of the Hermes guys.

I saw Rachel becoming the next Oracle way before it happened -- I always like it when I can predict something.

I'm really glad that he left it open for another series. I think it will either be about Nico, or about seven children of the minor gods, now that they have cabins and recognition (and a prophecy to fulfill)!

maj 18, 2009, 3:41am

Another who read and loved this book.

I didn't see it coming for who the spy was. Among my guesses I had at one point wondered if Annabeth was the spy, unknowningly to her.

I guessed about Rachel as foggi did and also think the series might take off next with the son or daughter of either Hades or a minor god.

Very sleepy! I'll comment more about the book tomorrow. I do have to add now though, I love that I read this after being to NY! For instance, comparing something to the size of Madison Square Garden became very easy. It did make me sad that I didn't see the Empire State Building last summer, though.

maj 18, 2009, 3:54am

I suspected Annabeth was the spy too, with Silena as my second choice.

I'm hoping to see more of Nico in the next series. His powers were unusual and pretty cool.

maj 18, 2009, 9:14am

Another who was blindsided by the spy. I also was leaning toward Annabeth, though I really didn't want it to be her.

I'd like to see the prophecy being fulfilled in the next series, but I'm mostly excited that there will be another series. I think that's the main difference between Percy and Harry Potter. I don't think that the characters were built as well in PJ as HP and it was the world and the idea of the gods still being among us that was the best part of this series, whereas, while the world of HP is of course huge and wonderful, it was the characters that truly drew me in. I don't know if I could deal with an HP book that didn't have Harry in it, even if she broke down and did a Marauder's book...

There were other things I know I wanted to talk about but I can't remember any of them right now....

maj 18, 2009, 9:56am

My son insists he knew who the spy was. In hindsight, it should have been somewhat obvious since the jewelry just screamed Aphrodite cabin and she was so distraught and kept insisting it was her fault. I figured she was going to die a hero's death when Beckendorf said he was waiting for someone, and I was very happy about how they did that. I hated that Beckendorf died so early in the book, as I had just gotten to know him in the Demigod Files.

I thought Annabeth was the unwitting spy, especially the scene where Percy show's her his Achilles spot.

Loved, loved, loved when Ares recognized Clarisse's accomplishment. Excellent!

I figured Rachel would become the oracle. Annabeth hates competition.

The battle in Manhattan was AWESOME!!!

maj 18, 2009, 12:58pm

I loved the battle too!

And I loved the way Percy handled the offer of a wish from the gods. If there is another series, that will make a big difference in how Camp Half-Blood looks.

maj 20, 2009, 2:42pm

#5 bib:
Well said. I have to agree with you.

#6 jp:
The scene that Percy tells Annabeth where his 'Achilles heal' is made me nervous for Annabeth possibly being a spy, too.

#7 cmbohn:
I think Percy's wish did a lot for Riordan and opened new doors in the way of there being future books. Not that I felt it was just for that! It was perfect even if the author had decided to end the Camp Half-Blood books there.

maj 20, 2009, 3:47pm

#8: Thanks, of course I had to go back and reread what I had written!

I talked to hollybeee yesterday, who I turned on to the books shortly after finding them myself. She said she was blindsided by the spy's identity as well and is very excited about the possibilities of further series. I then told her about the movie and she was very excited until I told her who was directing...then she suggested that perhaps she should write a letter asking him not to direct any more movies based on books in the hopes that he would cease to ruin all the best kids literature in production. I have to agree with her that I'm not at all excited that he's directing, but at least there's an actual actor playing the centaur this time...

maj 20, 2009, 3:52pm

Oh! There's a comment that I wanted to make: I love the centaurs in this series! They're so far removed from the mystical stargazing centaurs in most other fantasy.

Redigeret: maj 20, 2009, 4:30pm

I'm sorry to hear about the director for The Lightening Thief.

Touchstone, where'd you go?

maj 20, 2009, 10:23pm

The centaurs are great foggi! I love their party attitude. And the root beer. :o)

maj 20, 2009, 10:43pm

I was very satisfied by The Last Olympian. I liked how the prophecy meant that Luke was the one who finally got rid of Kronos. I had no idea who the spy was, but I wasn't expecting Silena. I knew she would die, though. I was so happy when Hades came through! Demeter was hilarious, I can see why Persephone would want to get away from her once in a while.

maj 20, 2009, 11:59pm

See, I thought it was weird to have Demeter just used for comic relief. I guess that's been the role that Dionysus had filled up to that point, though he became a slightly more sympathetic character in the last two books. (And the Pac-Man scene was fabulous!)

maj 21, 2009, 8:36am

It's interesting that Demeter and Dionysus have somewhat similar powers and least when it comes to the earth and growing things. Kind of interesting considering the green movement that they should be the more disagreeable characters. Do you suppose it's a subtle refutation of the green movement? Or perhaps Riordan wrote them so cranky because the damage being done to the earth is having an effect on their mood?

maj 21, 2009, 11:37am

Who is the director for the movie?

maj 21, 2009, 11:55am

I can't believe I forgot to say! Chris Columbus is directing, famous for the Home Alone movies and the first 2 Harry Potters. IMO, he completely ruined the HP centaurs, which is why I'm a bit anxious about Chiron...especially with Pierce Brosnan playing him!

maj 21, 2009, 3:23pm

14- Ah, I guess I'm more used to Demeter being comic, because I used to read a different series where she was like that. It was done in a fractured-fairy-tale style, with Hades telling the story.

15- I think that Dionysus's crankyness is an act. Tough on the outside, a softy on the inside.
I don't think Riordan was refuting the green movement, after all, he also has Grover, Juniper, Pan, and all the other satyrs, and they are very green.

maj 21, 2009, 4:11pm

I'm just trying to get some interesting conversation going on. I tend toward my second theory, that perhaps the two of them were a bit on the cranky side because of the earth's decline.

maj 21, 2009, 4:40pm

#18 -- What series? One of my library regulars is on a mythology kick, and is always looking for new stuff.

maj 21, 2009, 6:01pm

She's talking about the books Have a Hot Time, Hades!, Phone Home, Persephone! and Say Cheese, Medusa. There is one other book in the series, Nice Shot, Cupid but she hasn't read it. There might be more since she read them.

I liked how Demeter was portrayed. If you think about the original myth, she was a bit of a complainer. She didn't like the compromise of her daughter leaving for six months (three months in some versions) so she goes into a funk and causes winter. Get a hobby, for crying out loud!

maj 26, 2009, 11:34pm

I was surprised by the spy too. I was thinking one of the twins (the name escapes me right now) or Annabeth. When he told her where his weak spot was I found myself thinking, "Don't tell her! Don't tell her!"

I loved the book though. It was a great way to end it. I'm glad he turned down immortality. I probably would've been really mad if he had become a god.

maj 27, 2009, 5:02pm

Mindy - I had the same reaction (when Luke told Annabeth his weak spot)!

Redigeret: maj 28, 2009, 2:37am

I thought for a bit that the spy might be Chiron; in the same way that Moody took Harry away from the scene of the portkey's return from the graveyard, Chiron took Rachel away when she arrived in Manhattan and things were kinda weird (I did figure on Rachel becoming the Oracle, though I was thrown a bit by the interaction with Hestia - didn't really get what he was going for there). I also thought the spy could have been Annabeth when Percy told her about his weak spot, to which I then said, "No way, that's what he WANTS us to think," because I'm a Gemini, and that's how we roll :-P

I hate to be a voice of dissent, but I was kind of disappointed in this book overall. I think I've been spoiled with YA fantasy, and expect a writer's work to improve and age over the course of a series, and I feel like these all could have been written back to back to back in one sitting; there was no real progression from a writing standpoint. Don't get me wrong, they were a lot of fun, and I may read them again someday. I think I started getting a bit weary of the same-same-ness somewhere in Battle of the Labyrinth, though, and, with the exception of a few parts that I thought were original and clever, this felt more like continuing along a plateau than like the Great Final Battle the previous books built it up to be.

*steels herself for the stoning she's about to endure*

maj 28, 2009, 9:23am

No, I see your point. I did feel like this one was a bit better than the rest from a literary point of view, with the spy misdirection and the spin on the prophecy and especially with Percy turning down immortality, which is a great statement about living your life the way you want to. The thing that kept me coming back to these books was the premise itself. I had fun playing guess the monster and exploring the various sides to the different gods. I think it's a fun way to introduce kids to mythology. Is it a series that will endure? No. But they're fun, fast reads that if I ever have kids, I'll want to have for them.

maj 28, 2009, 9:42am

#24: I understand what you're saying, laia. I think Riordan seems content to keep his writing at the same level for the age he is writing for, rather than have his style grow and change with a particular set of fans. Also, you are a girl, and girls expect a lot from their stories. From my perspective, as a mom of a boy who was a reluctant reader, I can tell you Riordan has a style that is very appealing to boys. My son enjoys the action, the monsters and the idea of a boy who has powers. I'm glad for the reinforcement of what I've taught him about mythology and I'm happy to have a topic to discuss with him that we both enjoy.

maj 28, 2009, 9:57am

#24, 26 -- J.K. Rowling has spoiled us all! ;-)

I do see your point, Laia. I think that the strength of these books is in the action, rather than in character development. During my first read of any of this series, I have been carried away by the story. Upon rereading, when I can step back and be more critical, I find the books lacking in depth, and I don't see the characters growing or changing much over the course of the series. I do think they're fun reads, great for reluctant readers, and ones I will probably reread some day . . . but not on the same level as, say, Harry Potter!

maj 28, 2009, 10:00am

You know it's weird, I'm having the strangest sense of deja vu....*looks at post #5* Oh, that's why.


maj 28, 2009, 10:25am

#28 -- ;-)

Redigeret: maj 28, 2009, 11:26am

bib, yes, you made very good points in #5; it was late, and I couldn't go post by post for agree/comparison purposes ;)

JP, I can see how the series might appeal more to masculine (though not necessarily boy/male) people, particularly this last book, which felt like one super-extended battle scene; I know Mare is going to love this series when she gets to it!

I think the biggest difference between the two series was character development, and that Riordan didn't feel the need/have the guts/want to kill any major characters. That may seem trivial to anyone who hasn't read the HP books, but we all know how devastating - and necessary - those big deaths were. The invasion of the Titans never seemed truly *dangerous* to me, possibly because of the not-so-near-ness of near-failures throughout.

ETA: bib, we watched Disney's Hercules a couple of weeks ago when I first started the series, so I knew as soon as it was offered that Percy would turn down immortality for Annabeth. It was the only way!

maj 28, 2009, 11:58am

In some parts I got kind of sick when Percy would "talk" to the reader. Sometimes the random ",like," in the middle of a sentence bothered me. But that's just a minor thing =)

maj 28, 2009, 12:04pm

Mindy, the minor irritation I had with Percy talking to the reader was all the times he said something like, "and I know this from experience." I know, Percy; I just read about it yesterday, you don't need to remind me or brag about it! :-P

maj 28, 2009, 12:35pm

There are HP spoilers, as well as Percy Jackson spoilers, in this post, if anyone cares.

#30 -- I thought we were going to finally have the big death when the wall fell on Chiron. It wasn't until after I finished the book that I remembered that Chiron is immortal.

I would argue that Beckindorf was a fairly major character -- I'd say his death was bigger than, say, Cedric Diggory's -- maybe more on the level with Mad-Eye's death early in DH. It had shock value, though it didn't hold the level of grief that I would have felt for Grover or Annabeth. I think that part of the problem is the relative shallowness of the characters: in HP, we really cared about Tonks, Lupin, Fred, Dobby, Sirius, Dumbledore, Snape (okay, maybe that one didn't have the same effect for everyone . . . ) -- characters who were not in the red-hot center of the action, but who were well-developed enough that their deaths were meaningful. In the Percy Jackson series, who could he have killed off, other than Percy, Grover, and Annabeth (the H/R/H of this series) that would have had a deep impact? I thought Chiron, because he was in the understanding teacher/king of exposition role, but Chiron can't be killed as long as there are heroes to be trained. The gods can't die, really, so it's not like Poseidon could be killed off. I supposed Sally could have been killed, but it would have been a bit "been there, done that," after the minotaur fight in the first book. I guess Tyson would be the only other obvious choice, or maybe Thalia, since those are the only other characters that Percy had much interaction with.

I do agree that the lack of meaningful deaths is one factor that makes this series a little less excellent, but it's tied in to the character development,

maj 28, 2009, 12:45pm

...He also could have killed Rachel, forgotten the whole Oracle curse thing from Hades, put that in a future series and kept mummy-girl as the Oracle. But to be quite honest, I don't know that I would have given a flip if any of them died because I really didn't care about any of them. Part of me wanted Percy to accept immortality, because at the end of the day, I wasn't invested enough in that relationship to care. When Grover was lost for half the book, I didn't care...wasn't worried at all. If he was dead he was dead, if he was alive that'd probably be helpful later on. :)

maj 28, 2009, 12:52pm

#34 -- See, I forgot all about Rachel. Guess that just reinforces the point.

maj 28, 2009, 12:58pm

Exactly, to both of you. I sobbed like someone had killed a not-too-close but not-too-distant relative with each of the deaths you mentioned, foggi, and I wouldn't have even gotten misty-eyed for anyone except maybe Tyson in this series.

maj 28, 2009, 4:44pm

Really? I was a bit choked up for Beckindorf and Silena, but I think that was because I read the Demigod Files and had the background on their relationship. I don't think it is fair to draw HP comparisons here. These books are light, I enjoyed them for their creative retellings of stories I knew.

And caveat for anyone who got annoyed with Percy talking to the reader: Don't take out the books on tape. I listened to half of one before I wanted to smack the actor who was reading.

maj 29, 2009, 3:58pm

I got choked up for the deaths, even Luke's. I don't know, maybe it was just me.

37- Oh, yes! I wanted to throttle the guy that they hired to do the audiobooks. He didn't know how to read out loud to save his life.

maj 30, 2009, 10:32pm

I disagree that this is a series that won't stand up over time. It's not Harry Potter, but then, why should it be? It's a great series for a younger set. And my kids got really into it. Bianca's death was a pretty major loss for Percy, and I thought Luke's final end was just so well done. I admit that this is not as character driven, but then the books are shorter and again, aimed at a younger set. This series really does tackle some serious stuff - Tyson living on the street, Luke's mom and her mental state, Annabeth and her dad. I would say that in its place, I loved it as much as I loved Harry Potter. I think we're comparing apples and oranges.

jun 1, 2009, 9:55am

I can finally open this thread! What a relief.

Quick Thoughts:
Pretty good book. Predictable. Can't wait until the next series.

Now I'll go back and read your thoughts!

jun 1, 2009, 10:13am

#3 K: I also thought Annabeth could be the spy.

Rachel was not a surprise. I thought it was going to happen in the last book though.

#33 foggi: I also though Chiron was done for. I can't believe I didn't remember that! I thought Tyson would be the big death. I was happy to see that he "grew" for the battle.

I think the series will be a great start off for younger kids who aren't quite ready for HP. I probably will not do a reread any time soon. I'll probably put them with my keep for later books that are packed away.

jun 1, 2009, 11:26am

As predicted, Mare picked up The Lightning Thief last night at dinner and finished it before we went to sleep; she's hooked :)

jun 20, 2009, 9:12am

Definitely fun, fast reads. I'm not crazy about this book because the little character development there had been stopped to make way for the battle, which felt like it was the whole book long. But I did really like that the battle was in NYC and the way the monsters were overtaking such-and-such street or bridge or tunnel.

Is it just me or are Hades and Poseidon way more interesting than Zeus? *runs to avoid a lightning bolt* Poseidon is my favorite of the major gods because of the whole ocean thing. All things ocean are wonderful. And there's just something about Hades that makes him intriguing. Nico too, so it must be the power-over-the-dead thing.

I like the possibility of more series about Camp Half-Blood but with different characters. For my complaints about this book, I know I would read more. The concept of the story is just fun. Monster-guessing is one of the best games ever. Though I was right less often as the books went on.

jun 20, 2009, 10:47am

I don't know. I always liked Hades too, but I'm sure it's because he is a "complex, dark, moody character". You can tell he is lonely and has secrets and that kind of sucks me in. Kind of the way I feel about Snape. ;o)

By the way, my husband just finished the Percy Jackson series and loved it. He thanked me for suggesting reading Demigod Files before the last book. He felt it helped you get to know some of the minor characters better "so that you could feel bad when they bit the dust."

jun 22, 2009, 7:26pm

I can tell you that in my library, this series has boosted the Greek mythology section, which had previously sat untouched. So yay! Kids reading classical mythology, who woulda thought??

jun 22, 2009, 7:30pm

Yes! And that's one of my favorite things about the series!

jun 22, 2009, 11:07pm

I love Greek mythology!! There was a game called Age of Mythology. It was great. My freshman year of high school we had a unit on Greek mythology and I knew most of the gods because of that game.

aug 27, 2009, 11:46am

I agree with many of your opinions, you guys....I guess it's because I read the book like 3 months after all of you read it :P...

I loved the book, didn't suffer as much with the deaths, I thought Annabeth was the spy too...but all in all it was a very nice story and as a male I must say that the fights were awesome!!

dec 9, 2009, 1:10pm

I know I'm ridiculously late to this thread (and the series) but I just finished all 5 of them (6 if you count Demigod Files).

I can't remember the last time I plowed through a series so voraciously - even though I agree with much of what was said already with there not being as much character development/investment as in HP I also really enjoyed that there wasn't as much teen angst. I was able to enjoy them for the storytelling and the humor and I guess I liked that they weren't overly emotional. To me the fast pace and light tone lends well to rereading and repeat enjoyment. :)

I really like the foundations in Greek Mythology (a long time favorite subject of mine) and I think it's great that it's sparking kid's interest in the subject - RE: #45. I think it's impressive that fifth graders will learn more from reading these books than the entire semester of Classic Civ taught at my university.

And I give Riordan definite kudos on appealing to male readers. Even though some girls may find the excessive action a turn-off, I think the inclusion of strong females (Annabeth, Thalia) was a good way to appeal to both genders.

Okay maybe more on this later but just wanted to inform everyone that I'm finally in the know on the PJ scene and I'm stoked about The Lightning Thief movie too!

jan 3, 2010, 7:49pm

Im soooooooooooo behind on reading this series but i still absolutely love them!
My friend read them over the summer and suggested them to me and I read all of them in like a month!
They are the best books I ever read!

jan 5, 2010, 7:38am

El, good point about the lack of angst and light tone. And really, since they're told from Percy's perspective, they shouldn't be overly emotional because how much of that stuff is a boy that age going to be in tune to, let alone put down in writing? I think you're right about the strong females appealing to female readers too.