Reviews: The Heroes Of Olympus
So Much Content And Too Few Books To Squeeze It In
Percy Jackson and the Olympians are hands-down one of my favourite series ever. Heroes of Olympus was excellent, but not the greatest. The main problem Riordan did when writing in five new main characters and does character development for every single one of them. This is almost Up To Eleven when he adds Nico and Reyna to the list in Blood of Olympus. Both of them with their resolutions in one book (albeit over 500 pages or so) with the rest of the crew of the Argo II. Now, Character Development is all fine and well, but it falls short when the reader can enjoy and savour those good moments. Piper and Annabeth in the Temple of Fear facing down Mimas was quick and fast paced, matching the tone of the fight wonderfully, but is it me or did this "Piper trusting her emotions" thing come out of nowhere? I was baffled when she was suddenly the one in the lead. Maybe I haven't read the previous books in a while, but the Seven tend to have a habit of sporting power ups in a short amount of time. Frank in the House of Hades had two which left me in the dust. Those that don't have a point of view are side-tracked and have to wait their turn. Another issue the series has is the sheer lack of fearsome villains. Mark of Athena nailed it well with it's boss (not much of an epic fight, though) and so did the House of Hades. However, the giants are conveniently vaporized each time (except maybe Porphyrion that one time) with little effort and Gaea... well it was a disappointing fight. I thought she was going to kick butt, but nope. The heroes' plans kick in and she is defeated without another word. All that hype about somebody dying? Sacrifices to be made? Happened, but didn't happen, if you get my meaning. Rick Riordan played it extremely safe throughout the final book. Some did die, but not to make a large impact. It's been an annoying trait in both series, but it almost deflates everything he was building up in Heroes of Olympus. Overall, all the books were wonderful. Great characters, great setting, great plot, great writing. A worthy successor to the original series, but still falls short in said areas. For me, this series is a 9/10. Awesome, but could've been better.
Heroes of Olympus
All right, let's go in order shall we. THE LOST HERO : I feel this is the weakest book in the series. The first character we meet, Jason, Has no memory of who he is and is brought to camp half blood with two others, Piper and Leo. It feels a bit slow and the plot is like the books in the previous series, how ever Leo is the only one who is endearing from page one. Jason, while not a bad character, suffers form not knowing who he is which is a problem as that means we don't either. Piper was my least favorite but has grown on me. Her side drama with drew is dull but she does shine near the end. SON OF NEPTUNE: much more fast paced with interesting characters. Percy returns with no memory like jason, and stumbles onto the roman camp, Camp Jupiter. the new characters Hazel and Frank are lovable and bad ass. We first meet Hazel as she fights of a gorgon to help percy and she proves to be funny, sweet and a determined young woman with great powers. Frank Is a fun character to watch grow over the course of each book. He starts out insecure and dorky and becomes a confident, but still dorky, leader. The humor in this book makes it a delightful read. MARK OF ATHENA: Things heat up between the romans and greeks as a war is about to break out as our heroes are united. Seven demigods ( Jason, piper, leo, percy Annabeth,frank and Hazel) go to rome to follow the mark of athena. The book allows us to see how the kids interact and clash with each other as not every one gets along perfectly. the love triangle between frank hazel and leo could have been left out but seeing some of the conflict brings out their characters more. This is also the book were Piper grew on me showing that she is kind and strong at the same time. THIS BOOK ENDS ON A big cliff hanger. HOUSE OF HADES: So far may favorite book as it focuses mostly on developing and exploring characters. Every one gets their time to shine and Rick balances humor and horror in a great way while using the most of the third person point of view to give each character some action. Some things are a little clunky but over all every character gives you something to think about. It also breaks from the mold of other books with a more mature feel
House of Hades: Professional Fanfiction
I was completely on board with Heroes of Olympus until this book brought to my attention everything that was wrong with the series. Months after my initial reading, I've come to the realization that the magic I felt in every book prior may be irretrievable. To start, the perspective changes. It worked in every other book because it never got unwieldy, but when Riordan got it in his head to give every single character a point of view in this book, he should've planned it better. Firstly, Percy and Annabeth's chapters are exempt, they were standard and high quality. Leo's were also very good. But what made me gag were Hazel's chapters, along with Piper's sole turn as point of view character. When everyone is in the limelight, no one is, and the pacing of the non-Percy-Annabeth chapters become schizophrenic and unpalatable at how breezy they are. Second are the easy ways out. This is a particular ding on Frank. After having his size be part of his character, Riordan has that particular feature waved away. It's not whether or not he earned it, but that becoming more conventionally attractive was somehow considered a proportional benefit to overcoming a huge challenge. Another big issue with the book was Nico being gay. After an entire series of brooding culminating in about a dozen other reasons for him to be distant and upset, Riordan pulls this reveal completely out of left field. It felt tacked on and phony. All these issues put together just make me feel as though Riordan is trying too hard. Too hard to hang on to two completely separate demographics and letting them both slip away.
Rick Riordan has an incredible imagination, but he's just plain bitten off more than he can chew.
In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Riordan crafted just this huge, complex alternate world of gods, monsters, and heroes. There was more than enough potential still left in that world and its characters for a second tour. But itís not the same quality of tour as before. Riordan introduces all these incredible places and characters, but he doesnít stay with them long enough to really grasp them and enjoy them as we did before. I have many grievances with the Heroes of Olympus series, and most if not all of them ultimately boil down to Riordan not giving himself enough page time for the sheer amount of story heís trying to tell. Heís rushing and cramming too much into each book and the whole series is suffering for it. To elaborate, the Kane Chronicles is only three books long but has only two POV characters. There's more than ample room to tell their story, more than ample time for everything to develop organically. And that series is so much richer for it. In Heroes, we have seven POV characters, all with their own back stories, relationships, strengths and struggles - and Riordan has only five books to fit it all in, not including the actual main storyline. Itís not enough time. So he cuts corners. He trims down and summarizes so much of what made the first series so rich. Key relationships aren't developed, just happen and then itís as if theyíve always existed. Mythological figures are flanderized into one-scene guest stars. Major plot points from previous books are suddenly dropped or effortlessly resolved in the next. Important scenes are watered down into single chapters of only a few pages. Characterizations from previous books are rewritten wholesale simply for (often highly unnecessary) plot purposes. Calypso, itís not your fault but Iím looking at you. This series does have a lot of good things going for it. The imagination and world building is again amazing. There are new characters that Iíve come to absolutely adore, and old ones Iíve come to adore even more. And it is a damn interesting story. But in the end itís like watching a really good movie on fast-forward. What you can see of it is great, but itís simply going by too quickly to really experience and enjoy it. And when itís over, it just leaves you feeling kind of cheated, because it could have been so much better if they just slowed it down.
I like where this is going.
Let's get one thing straight: This book was not Riordan's best, by far. I think the third-person view was a terrible idea for a writer that was so FANTASTIC in First Person Snarker mode. I really felt a connection to Percy, a connection that I don't really feel to Jason, Piper or Leo. However, I like the potential it has. Roman and Greek camps being rivals, the gods having different aspects- I see a lot of potential for awesomeness in the future. It really felt to me like Riordan was trying to raise the Holy Shit Quotient with this one; it worked, for me, with the general plot-points, but some of it came off as Narm. This series has the possibility of becoming an Even Better Sequel, if R.R. gets back on his game. Come on, Rick. You can do this.
Liking The Lost Hero
I am looking at these other reviews, and it seems that I am the only person so far who really likes Jason. I mean, I found most characters in his books so far pretty interesting, but so far he is really my favorite. I know he is a little bland at the beginning, but that is because he has amnesia and I felt that watching his character develop through the book was the most interesting part of the series. To be fair, 90 percent of his personality was his HER Oness but I sort of found that refreshing. I mean, sure he is basically perfect, but so far a good half of the main characters are perfect. Jason, Piper, Percy, Annabeth, and Rachel are all basically complete package. I don't really know why I like Jason so much. Maybe its because I like heroic characters and Jason is the only who might be more heroic than Percy. Maybe its because me and Percy are just way too alike with the being incredibly odd thing he has going on. Maybe its because after reading 5 books from one perspective it is nice to have something different. Not only do we have a new perspective, we have three. We follow three separate characters who are all pretty different keeping each other fresh. In addition, the perspective split makes Leo and Piper seem more important. While its obvious Jason is the main character and the leader, the others feel more like equals and Hero's in there own right while in the older books, while Percy's traveling companions were all incredibly important, the other characters always felt sort of like side kicks to me. Like they did not matter as much.
The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune are both very good although very different but where characters are concerned they both follow the same formula: heroic male lead, slightly-too-perfect-and-somewhat-irritating supporting heroine with a tragic backstory and a well-rounded ethnic supporting male with a dead mum and the coolest powers available. The Pros:
- The Heroes of Olympus series provides some exposition on gods who had a bad rapport or weren't really important like Aphrodite, Ares/Mars and Hades/Pluto while the gods that were front and center in the original series faded into the background. I like that.
- If you've been following Riordan's books you know that he eats foreshadowing and dramatic irony for breakfast. While still prominent in The Lost Hero, it's somewhat less heavy-handed in The Son of Neptune. Somewhat.
- An exciting change of setting for people looking from a break from Camp Half-Blood.
- If you're a fan of such things you've probably noticed that the books follow the classical Greco-Roman story tradition present in the Odyssey and the Aeneid.
- Romans are cool and the book captures some important archetypes of Roman politics like the stately praetor Reyna or the duplicitous augur Octavian.
- The the next book in the series promises to take the readers beyond the boundaries of North America, and it's about time too.
- The battle scenes are spectacular!
- Some characters (I'm looking at you Piper and Hazel) are not as developed as I'd have like and are sort of annoying.
- This series is aiming to be more dramatic by using a few lesser-known mythological figures to throw the readers for a loop. Even so you may still see a few of the plot twists coming.
- Follows the same formula as the Olympians series. I'm not sure that's a bad thing or not.
one thumb up.
You know, it's still a good series. Rick knows how to write some cool stuff, and I enjoy it. But now that he has three-man perspectives, we now know their flaws before they tell other people. In the old series, they're may have been hints and convenient interruptions to keep drama going, but now, it's almost: 'Cliffhanger: The series.' No one discusses their problems with anyone else until at least halfway. It can be grating when they are about to, and something interrupts them. Which happens frequently, by the way. I think it's more of a character trait, I don't recall others really doing it, but Frank always thinking whatever power he has will scare everyone gets old, especially since he's reassured rather quickly. I was tempted to dope-slap him after the skeleton, considering he thought he would scare the daughter of the DEATH GOD WITH A SKELETON. But it's still a good series. The witticisms are still played out, but being in third-person doesn't let it play out as well. Anyways, I'll keep reading these, and I would recommend them if you're looking for something cool but easy.
Not Riordan's best, but getting there.
I loved the first series. The writing style was funny and sarcastic, and it flowed well all up to the very end. The characters were amazing and competent, but also humanly flawed and ultimately well-rounded, which I liked. To put it lightly, so far I feel that The Heroes of Olympus, while entertaining and a fun read, is nowhere near the quality of the first series. The three-person perspective, while interesting, feels like it could have been handled better. It actually feels rushed and I spotted plenty of wording mistakes. The characters also feel rather flat to me - Jason really seems to have little personality aside from courage and good looks. But even if he is boring, at least he's not totally unlikable. Piper, on the other hand, is near Mary Sue levels for me. She's a Cool Loser with a movie star for a dad, beautiful - which I would not mind had it been handled subtly, but it isn't - and the charmspeaking and the French are nearing Deus Ex Machina levels the way they're used - she uses them to get out of any situation, even bringing people back from the dead. And she's fantastic at it despite knowing she has it for only a week. And the conflict that was bothering her for like half the book is resolved far too easily - she never had to make the decision between her friends and her father nor sacrifice, both of them get handed to her on a silver platter. Her showdown with Drew felt far too cliche - see every high school Chick Flick with The Libby and the New Transfer Student ever made. And Piper/Jason is shoved into our faces, despite the fact that their initial attraction was based on Fake Memories, and even then, deeper feelings our not, seems to be based more on physical attraction than anything. But Leo is fantastic and really the only of the three that I liked. He's funny and sarcastic, has his own flaws, handles his new found powers and his problems very well, etc. I also liked the presence of characters from the previous series, because it's fun to see how they've been since the end of The Last Olympian. The plot seems to be quite good, albeit rather predictable. The Roman aspect of the plot is interesting, and it's a wonderful way to weave more mythology in. This series has potential, and I'll keep reading to see if it lives up to its fantastic prequel.
Good, but not as good as the original
The book is titled The Lost Hero, which refers to Percy Jackson, so I sort of expected him to be, well, found by the end of the book. Jason seems like a nice guy, but he seems so one-dimensional. I feel like if this book were about Percy at the Roman camp, we'd be able to see a lot more of Percy's personality than Jason's at Camp Half-Blood. But I digress. Maybe Jason seems a little flat because it's in third person, and he doesn't have his memory. Piper, our heroine, was also flat and kind of a Mary Sue. I guess her lack of confidence at the beginning of the book could be seen as a flaw, but that seems to be all patched up by the end. Leo was, hands down, my favorite new character. He's definitely the roundest in this book. I liked seeing the old characters, and the ending is a cliffhanger, so I definitely cannot wait until The Son of Neptune. I really hope that it will be about Percy this time, and that it's as good as the original series.