Review: The Last Olympian

The Last OlympianThis final edition of the Percy Jackson adventures in the New Olympian series wouldn’t be complete without the requisite quest. This time the stakes are as high as possible: to save the world as it is. In order to manage this, Percy and his demi-god and half-blood friends have been planning for a year on how to defeat the Titans. Their efforts have at last roused the Olympians to war-readiness, but the key question is whether this will be sufficient to carry the day.

Complicate this with Percy approaching his 16th birthday, when he is fated to fulfill a mysterious prophecy–as well as deal with the burgeoning interest in the opposite sex–and you have a layered and complex tale that ties up all the story arcs and leaves you in equal parts satisfied and curious to see if there’s the possibility of more.

After all, where else are you going to read:

I know this might sound weird to people with, like, regular parents, but I’d only seen my dad four or five times in my life, and never for more than a few minutes. The Greek gods don’t exactly show up for their kids’ basketball games. Still, I thought I would recognize Poseidon on sight.

I was wrong.

For this final installment, we’ve already met the full cast of characters, and for once, the reader spends most of the time being carried along on the defense of New York City. From the back cover:

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

Ultimately, though this series lives in the fantasy realms of the Greek gods, it comes down to family relationships and how people relate to each other–which anchors it firmly in the here and now. And makes it and the series it caps all worth recommending to anyone who enjoys a little escapism to leaven the lessons of reality.

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