I am in a state of denial. This is proven by the fact that I write, deleted, and rewrote that sentence four times.
I’m not sure how to describe what I’m feeling. The book, as a book, was pretty good. But as a final book in a series that quite a few of us have practically sold our souls to?
I don’t remember if I reviewed The House of Hades or not. I love it a lot and I think it’s my favorite in the series. It just has so much heart, the emotions feel genuine. Another thing I really appreciated is how the fight scenes are kind of scraped over. However, this is The Blood of Olympus’s largest fault. Everything is vague and non-descriptive. The book is mostly dialogue, and when something is described, mostly emotions, the phrases seem to repeat over and over again. (Name)’s voice cracked. Tears stung whoever’s eyes. Things like that. In other words, there was a lot of telling instead of showing. I don’t know if it’s just me being a slightly psychopathic person whose dead inside, or legitimately a problem. Maybe I’ve lost my ability to empathize.
That’s not to say the story doesn’t have the potential to be a real kicker. It just seems like there were a LOT of missed opportunities and shying away from the story that certainly should be told. It honestly seems like someone who didn’t like the ending is telling an altered version, dumbed down for the sake of a happy ending. That’s not to say it’s all bad, actually, none of it was bad. But to elaborate on what I did like…
~~SPOILERS ABOUND, ENTER AT OWN RISK~~
I warned you. Last chance. (As I write this I’m looking through my highlights and cracking up because my very first note in the book is an anime reference. The ghouls are all calling out what city they want and my note reads simply “Tokyo!”) (If you understand that reference, you might see why I’m having issues adapting to this cuter everyone doesn’t die plot style.)
What I Liked:
The first thing that really struck me as the story I know and love was the bit where Hazel draws Calypso for Leo. It was innocent and honest. It was a nice bit of writing that revealed something about both of the characters involved.
What happens in Albania, stays in Albania.
“We commandeered them for the war effort.” Ah Hermes kids.
Nico’s conversation with his father. There was a lot of great writing here, which was something I felt most the book lacked. I especially love: “As always, the subject of Bianca lay between them like a loaded gun– deadly, easy to reach, impossible to ignore.” Poetry. Why can’t the whole book be like this. Also, Nico speaks up for himself on the “Did he do everything for Percy?” debate. I didn’t even know it was a thing until recently, some people seem to think his feelings for Percy were an excuse for everything he did. Which I just don’t understand.
Piper and Annabeth’s conversation before they nearly get toasted is about the best characterization we get for Percy in the entire book. It goes back to how much Tartarus affected him and that moment when he dropped his sword, and I think the way Annabeth elaborates kind of points out that Percy is probably the most unstable out of all of them. AND THEN IT’S NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN. The character still had a hell of a lot of potential with the direction he was going in, and instead of addressing that, Percy was reverted to a quirky background character.
Jason got glasses. HOW DID WE NOT NOTICE THIS ON THE COVER.
Leo and his music box thing.
Everything with Nico and Will was really… Nice? Like it was very alive and energized.
The chapter when the Olympians show up. It opened “Jason had heard of someone’s life flashing before his eyes” which plays with your expectations and the flashforward is just really great.
I really loved Leo’s last line to his friends, and I wish we could have seen this scene from his point of view.
I didn’t think too much about the screaming ball of charred Roman when I first read it, and when Nico opened his chapter talking about witnessing all kinds of death, I thought he was talking about Leo. I was wrong. And I wish I would have gotten my expression on camera as I realized what was about to happen. And I was really glad it did happen.
Nico telling Percy about his crush and Annabeth high fiving him was possibly the greatest thing ever.
I really liked Leo’s ending. It gave everything a sense of openness, there ARE new adventures to be had, while everyone else got a nice bow at the end of their story (Some sloppily tied) Nico and Leo’s stories seem to be moving forward into a larger story, one full of adventure and many more stories to tell.
Things that could have been better:
I really wish we’d gotten to be in Nico’s head when he throws a fit in the courtyard. But instead we get an interesting glimpse into Reyna and her sisters relationship. “Now she’d reinvented herself again as queen of the Amazons” is like my favorite line in that chapter. It tells you a lot about her sister.
Everyone sounds the same. Sometimes it’s an issue in past books, but other times it’s done very well. Like Annabeth’s point of view in The Mark of Athena. In this book, however, everyone has the same basic tone. Nico uses a few big words, only difference. All chapters start with that same witty line and everyone says the same types of jokes. Where is the personality?!
I wish we had seen Leo’s death from his point of view.
Octavian was reduced to an insane villain.
This book never saw the characters really scared or exhausted or sad in a real way. Everyone was cardboard cutouts of their most basic traits. Like Percy and Annabeth, I would have been fine with them not having POV’S had their small contributions to the story been more substantial.
A lot of the stuff I just haven’t mentioned.
There was all this buildup and in the end the only really important person was Leo. No one else hardly did anything.
I understand the whole “we’ve seen so many fights why bother describing them” thing, but shouldn’t more have actually happened. Everything was so easy.
asdfjkl; In short, everything.
So, in summary, it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. Let the fanfiction begin.
The title does say “Discussion” so what do you people who’ve finished the book think? What would you change? What did you like? What do you think lies in the future?
What are you going to do now that your life is over?