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The Last Olympian  - Rick Riordan This is the last book in the Percy Jackson series, and I wasn't disappointed. Percy struggles to save Olympus as the conclusion to the prophecy rapidly approaches.

Firstly, this whole series of books was only four stars for me. I really enjoyed reading them all, but I never really grew any sort of emotional attachment to any of the characters (except Percy, to some extent, but only because we were in his head the whole time). Which sounds awful, really. I don't know why. I'm not sure if it was because of Percy's narration, or because the characters seemed a bit flat, or if I just didn't relate to them. Considering the acclaim this series has received, this is probably a quite personal problem with the books. Despite this, I still enjoyed them.

This book also convinced me not to shelve the series as young adult, because it very clearly is marketed at the younger end of the spectrum (9-12), as, although there are some dark themes, the books are not really mature. There is death, for example, but it's dealt with quite distantly. Percy barely ever sees death first hand (if we don't include monsters), and it's not dwelt upon. Riordan does not patronise his readers, as he does deal with some difficult themes, but there is not the complexity there to class the books as young adult (in my opinion). This is not a bad thing, and Riordan's made it quite clear his books are middle grade, so yeah. Just my thoughts, as I've seen loads of people shelve these books as young adult.

Percy, even though we're told he's sixteen, really isn't any more mature than he was at twelve. To be honest, if he didn't need to age for the purposes of a) continuity and b) the prophecy, Riordan could probably just have kept him at twelve and it wouldn't have mattered. There is no struggle through puberty in the series and, in this book in particular, there is some interest in girls but it is very naive. See the points above, really. This is the only fault I can find with the series and, to be honest, I can see Riordan's reasons for characterising Percy as he did.

Focusing now on this book...

The action in The Last Olympian was practically non-stop. A war had to be fought. I thought that this was handled quite well, as Riordan nicely captured the confusion and chaos of battle. And he also managed to capture the quiet spots, the waiting. Also, people died. This is war, and for it to be believable, people had to die.

I also enjoyed finding out more about Luke's past, and Nico's past. There were quite a few flashbacks, but they were integrated well into the story and did not seem like a distraction.

The curse of Achilles was a fascinating addition to Percy's character, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that is continued with in the new series. (I assume Percy will be in them in a less major role (I hope).)

I did see the plot twists involving Luke and Rachel quite a bit before they actually happened, which is a down side, but I'm keeping in mind these books are aimed at 9-12 year olds and they are perhaps not as attuned to foreshadowing as I am. And there was some heavy foreshadowing (at least, I thought so).

The ending was brilliant. This series has been wrapped up nicely, but now there is a new prophecy which leaves things open for new heroes and new books. That's always exciting. And it didn't seem forced or contrived at all; it just seemed like a natural progression to have a new great prophecy after the last one had been fulfilled. Dun dun duuuun.

I don't really have much more to say than that, other than this was a worthy finale to what has been an excellent series of books.

I'm planning on leaving it a while before starting the next series of books, as I think that reading it straight after these ones would not be a brilliant idea (as I'll be stuck in Percy Jackson mode and might not be able to like the new characters). I'm not sure if I'll be able to stick to that, though!