The Blood of Olympus: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 5

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
The Blood of Olympus: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 5 Book Poster Image
Satisfying finale full of gods, giants, and fond farewells.
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Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 24 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

There are a few new faces in this mythological mash-up, including Orion the Hunter, Hygeia, Asclepius, and a very irate Nike, goddess of victory. You can find more about them in the book's extensive glossary. There's also some historical background of places the demigods visit, such as Ithaca (with much talk of Odysseus); the Portuguese city of Evora (and the oh-so-charming Chapel of Bones); the Acropolis in ancient Sparta; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Lancaster, South Carolina (with more about the Battle of Waxhaws during the American Revolution); and Mykonos and Athens, Greece.

Positive Messages

As with the whole series, characters are driven by loyalty for their friends, love for their boyfriends and girlfriends, and the big picture: how to save the world from destruction. Plus there's much about making good choices and trusting your instincts. Piper teaches Annabeth that you can't plan for feelings or control everything. And always blaming others will just lead to more conflict. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

All the demigods are admirable for their loyalty to friends and their drive to save the world. Reyna stands out here for her bravery; one of the bravest things she does is face her past. Both Reyna and Leo are willing to sacrifice themselves for peace. Nico also is brave and self-sacrificing, but his biggest achievement is finally accepting himself and letting his friends understand who he is.

Violence

Each stop on the road to saving the world from doomsday is understandably full of peril. Some minor characters die from arrows, another is swallowed up by the earth and made into a ghost, another character dies in an explosion that could have been prevented, and a prophesy declares that one of the seven demigods on the quest will die (not giving that one away). The main demigods and their friends face swarms of angry ghosts, hordes of angry giants, the ruthless Orion the Hunter, an angry sea goddess who tries to break apart the ship, and more. There are a couple of bleeding injuries from stab wounds; Jason gets run through with a sword and slowly heals. Enemies are stabbed, crushed, hit with lightning bolts, shot at with flaming onagers, and even decapitated. They either heal and reform right away or turn to dust. Past violent events are mentioned, including how Odysseus slaughtered all his wife's suitors in his palace, how Jason's mom drove drunk and died in a car accident, how monks were burned alive by the inquisition in Portugal, the merciless killing at the Battle of Waxhaws in South Carolina, and the abuse Reyna suffered under her PTSD-afflicted dad and how she stabbed his ghost.

Sex

A couple kisses and says "I love you" and there's some flirting. When Coach Hedge leaves for his part of the quest, the suddenly unchaperoned teens on the Argo II solve the problem by making a holographic version of him that randomly shouts things such as, "Put your clothes on!"

Language

Stays light, as always. One "full of schist" and talk of how much a magic horse swears (only Percy can understand him).

Consumerism

Brief mentions of junk food items such as Kool-Aid, Eggo waffles, Ritz Crackers, Easy Cheese, and Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. Plus a joke about Nike and Adidas and The Hunger Games

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Piper and Annabeth serve wine to ghosts as part of a disguise. Jason drinks a little to blend in with the ghosts but vows not to again.

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.

 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymkwas July 8, 2016

The prior series and this series had been good up until Book 4

My son, 10, has loved the series and I thought it would be good for younger readers since the first 5 were great..the friendships, the adventures, the humor....... Continue reading
Adult Written bymerilia November 17, 2014

The Blood Of Olympus

It's called the blood of olympus for a reason. There is quite a lot of violence in this book. The death tally is high for the demigods and they of course... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysupereader October 21, 2014

A great ending to the series, read it!

Even though I thought the beginning was a bit rushed and I felt it started in the middle, the book was great. Nico and Reyna are in the book (a lot) which surpr... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old October 26, 2014

Nico IS LGBT: Live With It.

I'm seeing all of these comments saying that Nico isn't gay, but on Rick's official website, it says that he IS, and that it was part of his goal... Continue reading

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?

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