Posts Tagged ‘heroes of olympus’

Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan – ReviewBlood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Nick Chamian
Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
Genres: Children’s, Contemporary Fantasy
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Evelynne’s rating:

three-half-stars

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan is the fifth and final book in the Heroes of Olympus saga.  In this book the seven demigods of the prophesy finally have their confrontation with Gaea.  I listened to it in audiobook format – perfect for a sick day from work where you don’t feel like doing much.

If you enjoyed the previous books, it’s very likely you will like this one, too.  It’s more of the same, with resolution of lots of plotlines.  It seems this is the final book in Percy’s world, at least for some time – Riordan is moving onto a series on Norse mythology (sign me up for that asap) – so it is nice to get some closure on these characters with whom we have spent five and in many cases 10 books.

What I liked

The writing style.  A Rick Riordan novel can be characterised as a mixture of humour and adventure, and Blood of Olympus is no different.  I often found myself chuckling out loud at a particularly amusing turn of phrase.  Riordan’s books are definitely a quick, fun read.

The resolution.  Riordan resolved the main conflicts efficiently and pretty much as predicted, throwing in a few character resolutions in as well.  I particularly enjoyed Nico’s and Leo’s character arcs.  There is some suggestion of what the future might hold for our favourite demigods, although sadly there are no more books to see if they are able to follow through with their plans.  As the main character of the new Norse series has the same surname as one of the Percy Jackson series main characters, maybe there will be some crossover.

The narration. Nick Chamian did the narration for Blood of Olympus.  I enjoyed it, but would characterise it as proficient rather than awesome.

What I didn’t like

Lack of narrative tension.  Despite the fact that this is the last book in the series and the fact that at least one death was prophesied, there was no point at which I actually felt one of my much loved characters might not make it.  Admittedly, the series is aimed at younger readers which might explain this.

Efficiency rather than brilliance.  Throughout the Heroes of Olympus series, Riordan has been laying the foundations for this final conflict with Gaea, and it followed pretty closely the pattern he set.  There are no unexpected twists or turns at this stage in the game.  Most of the heavy lifting in terms of character development has also been done by this point.

So in summary, while I enjoyed Blood of Olympus, I didn’t love it.  I gave it three and a half stars out of five.

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three-half-stars
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First of all, happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!  An extra day to read!  Woohoo!  Have a great weekend and safe travels if you’re visiting family.  We already have the pumpkin pie ready.

As my regular readers may know, this week saw the release of some books that I had been anticipating.  See below for details.   Unfortunately I was also sick with a nasty headache and ended up taking Wednesday off work.  Fortunately, listening to the audiobook of Blood of Olympus was much less taxing than assisting people with their technical support issues – and, let’s face it, a lot more fun.

So let’s cut to the chase and talk about this week’s books.

Added to my library this week

Tribulare by Anne Robillard.  This is the sixth book in her contemporary fantasy series.  I really look forward to reading this, and I see the next two are due in ebook format at the end of the month!  Yay!  I have been collecting Robillard’s books in Kobo format.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.  This was rather an impulse buy with my last Audible credit for this month.  It’s about a socially inept geek who develops a scientific plan to find the perfect wife.  I’ve started listening to it and it is very sweet and amusing.  I loved the sample I heard on the Audible website so picked it up in audiobook format.

The Blood of Olympus, the finale to Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series.  If you’re not familiar with Riordan’s work, go check it out.  I have already finished this and did enjoy it very much.  Look out for the review next week. I picked this up on both Kindle and Audible formats.

Unraveled, the third and final book in Gennifer Albin’s Crewel World series.  This is a YA fantasy/dystopian series with an interesting magic system and politicking. I didn’t enjoy book two as much as book one in which the world building was excellent, but I am still interested enough to want to read the end of Adelice’s story.  I have this on Kindle and, with Whispersync for Voice, also Audible.

A Midwinter’s Tail by Sofie Kelly, the next in her series of cute cat mysteries. I am a sucker for these and this is a good series.  I’ve already started reading it.  I have A Midwinter’s Tail on Kindle.

Silverblind by Tina Connolly.  This is the third in Connelly’s fantasy series, the first of which was based on Jane Eyre meets the fae.  I picked up Silverblind in Kindle format, but I will likely wait til my next Audible credits hit and buy the audiobook instead as I enjoyed Rosalyn Landor’s narration of Ironskin so much.

So there you go.  Have a  great (long) weekend.

House of Hades is the fourth, and presumably, the penultimate in Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series.  It continues the story of the seven demigods who are prophesied to work together to prevent the earth goddess Gaea from rising and populating the earth with her giants, presumably a VERY BAD THING.

The overall impression I had was that House of Hades was Mark of Athena part II.  It follows on directly from and continues the plot points from the previous book.  In it the demigods continue to work on the task assigned to them in MoA – to close the Doors of Death. Books one and two form a pair – Jason and Percy’s swap – and so books three and four as well.  Riordan has cleared the decks so to speak for the final push in book five, Blood of Olympus.

I also had the strong feeling that this is Riordan preparing to say goodbye to the world of Percy Jackson.  As far as I understand, his next project is a new series based on Norse mythology (Yeah!  Loki!  Odin!  Thor!  Sign me up for that!).  Annabeth and Percy’s trip through Tartarus is pretty much a Percy and Annabeth’s Greatest Hits medley as they re-encounter monsters they’ve met in previous books and reminisce.  (As an aside, if you’ve not read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, it is worth reading it before House of Hades so that you can pick up the references more easily.)

What I liked

Each demigod gets the chance to shine.  House of Hades has point of view narration from each of the seven demigods mentioned in the Prophecy of Seven, Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Frank, Hazel and Leo.  Each of them has at least one section where they alone really kick ass and take names.  They all get some kind of “level up” and emotional development in this book.  As an aside though, for me Jason’s real heroic moment comes in his unexpectedly sensitive handling of Nico’s crisis not when he’s fighting monsters.

The comedy. These books are laugh out loud funny.  I just adore Riordan’s humour (Percy and Annabeth jumping out of their skins at a sweet little kitten!)

Greek/Roman mythology.  I do love Greek/Roman mythology and Riordan has a real knack for giving it a wonderful twist.

Nico’s storyline.  Kudos to Riordan for handling this in a beautiful and sensitive way.

What I disliked

There was nothing I disliked about House of Hades.  It’s a great, fun read.

My predictions for book five, Blood of Olympus

Normally, I’m really lousy at predicting what’s going to happen in future books.  I’m far better in hindsight.  My guess is the secret to defeating Gaea is the resolution of the conflict between Greeks and Romans.  That was Hera’s endgame when she started off this whole scenario by swapping Percy and Jason.  I think this refers to both the conflict between Camps Jupiter and Half Blood as well as the conflict between the Greek and Roman aspects of the gods.  The Athena Parthenon is clearly the key to the former, and I suspect it will have a major influence on the latter.  Fire or storm is referenced in the HoH as the two aspects of one of the minor gods and I would be surprised if that’s not the key to the prophecy – “to fire or storm the world must fall”.  I also expect that the demigods will have misinterpreted at least part of the Prophecy of Seven.

I believe all seven of our demigods will survive.  Nico though, I expect to die in a blaze of glory, making some kind of sacrifice for the one he loves.

What do you think will happen in Blood of Olympus?

Let me know in the comments.

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I hope you enjoyed last week’s guest post from Azrael, but now it’s back to regular programming.  The books I have read in the last few weeks have all been worthy of full reviews, so expect to see them in the next few weeks.  This week I started listening to Steelheart of which I have heard the first few chapters a few weeks ago when Audible released them early, free of charge.  I do enjoy Sanderson’s writing so I’m really looking forward to this one.

I’m also reading an ARC of Paul S. Kemp’s The Godborn.  Expect reviews of these two soon.  

Added to my library this week

One series I love listening to on Audible is the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher.  I used an Audible credit to add book 5, Death Masks, to my library.  I’m looking forward to this, but it will likely be a few weeks before I get the chance to listen to it.

One of the books on Audible’s daily deals this week was The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.  This is a very interesting tale, and I was happy to add it to my library for the couple of dollars that it cost for the deal.

To test out my Kobo Aura I bought Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons.  I had read the sample and found it both amusing and engaging.  I look forward to reading the rest.

One book whose title I simply couldn’t resist was The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand.  I am a real chocolholic and I couldn’t pass this up for the $1.99 it cost me on Amazon.  Of course with Whispersync for Voice I was able to pick it up on Audible too, for just a few dollars more.  I’m hoping it won’t be too heavy on the romance side though.

As I have enjoyed Kiera Cass’s The Selection series I picked up the novella The Prince.

Upcoming new releases

October is an absolutely phenomenal month for new releases.  There are just so many I’m very excited about.  It’s not going to be so great for my bank balance though…

1st October 2013

Final Catcall by Sofie Kelly.  This is the next in Kelly’s Magical Cats mystery series.  I love gentle mystery series in which the cat helps to solve the crime, and this is a good one.  I’m looking forward to this.  I have preordered it in Kindle format.

8th October 2013

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier.   This is the final book in the Gem trilogy and probably the book I’m most excited about this month.  I read the German original, and I’m looking forward to the English translation by Anthea Bell which, if it’s like the first two, will be excellent.  I know many of you are looking forward to this one, too.  You should check out Tor’s sneak peak.  I have preordered this on Kindle and will pick up the Audible version as soon as it’s available, which I’m assured will be release day.

Heroes of Olympus: House of Hades by Rick Riordan.  This is the fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus and I’m really looking forward to hearing what happens to Percy and Anabeth whom we left at more than a cliffhanger, more like falling off the cliff.  I’ve preordered it in both Kindle and Audible formats.

15th October 2013

Bridget Jones – Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding.  This is the next in Fielding’s Bridget Jones series.  I’m actually a little anxious about this one.  I adored the first two in the series.  In short, I was Bridget Jones.  At the time it came out I was a single young woman in London building a social network and trying to find love.  I’m now in my forties, as I understand Bridget is, so I wonder how well that maturing process is handled.  I had preordered it on Kindle, but I noticed it is narrated by the wonderful Samantha Bond, so I have switched my preorder to Audible.

22nd October 2013

Allegiant day.  This is when the third and final book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.  I’m very excited to find out what happens to Tris and Four in this book.  Insurgent was left with some very interesting developments and I look forward to seeing them played out.  I have preordered this in Kindle format as I wasn’t particularly engaged with the Audible narrators for the first two books.

29th October 2013

Altered by Gennifer Albin.  This is the second in Albin’s Crewel World series.  I read and enjoyed the first book, Crewel, so I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.  I have preordered it from Amazon.

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope.  No, not the Jane Austen version, but Trollope’s updated version.  HarperCollins is commissioning series of Jane Austen updates and this is the first.  I’m intrigued to see what she has done with the story.  I’ve picked it up from Amazon.

That’s all for this week, folks.  What new releases are you most looking forward to?  Let me know in the comments!