A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Blood of Olympus is the last book in The Heroes of Olympus series that spun off from the über-popular Percy Jackson series. It's about teen demigods (who have one Greek- or Roman-god parent) on quests to save humanity from ancient monsters still at large in the world. Author Rick Riordan combines plenty of action and danger (usually not gory -- monsters may get decapitated, but they disappear into dust when they die) mixed with lots of humor and learning. Some minor characters die from arrow wounds and from an explosion, there are many battles with injuries, and there's a threat that one of the seven demigods will die as well (but we won't give that away). The diverse cast includes Asian, African-American, Latino, and straight and gay characters.
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What's the story?
As usual for the demigods aboard the Argo II, there's so much to do and so little time before the end of the world. Gaia, the vengeance-hungry earth goddess, is set to wake August 1. The Greek and Roman aspects of the gods are still at war and unable to stop her. And the whole Roman demigod army is camped outside Greek Camp Half-Blood, ready to attack on doomsday. To restore peace between the Romans and Greeks, Reyna, Coach Hedge, and Nico jump ship with the confiscated Athena Parthenos statue in a desperate attempt to reach camp on time. Easier said than done. Nico's fancy son-of-Hades shadow jumping keeps blowing them way off course, and the lethal hunter Orion is hot on their trail. Back on the Argo II, Leo, Piper, Hazel, Frank, and of course Percy and Annabeth set sail for Gaia's grand wake-up party, with dangerous quests along the way. They're able to skirt southern Greece to avoid the worst of the creatures after them, but they can't avoid them all.
Is it any good?
Longtime Rick Riordan fans will be satisfied. In the Heroes of Olympus series, the characters have discovered a whole new camp of demigods and their Roman-god parents, helped poor Percy and Jason through their amnesia, survived oodles of battles with giants and other vengeful creatures, traveled all over Italy and Greece in a flying dragon-powered ship, and have literally gone to hell -- Hades -- and back.
Big Percy fans may complain that their favorite demigod doesn't get much to do. But he already had a whole series. Jason, Piper, Nico, Reyna, and Leo take turns being the narrator in THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS. Reyna and Piper are the most fearless and fun to watch take on their enemies. Though Leo, as usual, adds most to the humor, he also takes on the heaviest burden. Readers will root for him and Nico, who comes a long way to understand and accept himself. It's hard to say goodbye to such great characters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about grand finales. Is the ending what you expected? Did you like how things turned out for your favorite characters?
What did you learn in this installment? Which new gods did you meet? Using a map, can you find all the places the Argo II and Reyna went?
This may be the end of this series, but will you read more from Rick Riordan? What do you like about his books?
- Author: Rick Riordan
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Ocean Creatures
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Publication date: October 7, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
- Number of pages: 528
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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