Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan is the last in the five novels that make up the Percy Jackson series. You can see my reviews of the first four here, here, here and here.
This last novel really isn’t a stand alone novel at all. You will absolutely have to have read the previous four books to make any sense of it.
The structure is identical to the previous four, with Percy starting out his adventure at the end of the summer, ready to head back to Camp Half Blood, where he is undergoing hero training to help him save himself, and the world, from the onslaught of various mythical monsters. In this book however, we finally complete the plot arc which has been unrolling since book one, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, in which the Oracle of Delphi has revealed a prophecy that may or may not bring about both the end of Olympus, and the end of the world.
All the loose ends are tied up here, in a cracking adventure which leaps with even more energy than ever from one outrageous encounter to the next. It was exhausting reading the chapters as nearly every one ends on a cliff hanger, setting you up for what the grand finale.
As ever, the characterisation is perfect, the plotting is tight and clever, and despite this book being rather darker, and quite a lot sadder in places than the previous four, it still has that element of wicked humour which totally lifts the books and makes them a joy to read.
Although the book does tie up all the loose ends as you would wish, Riordan also introduces a new prophecy at the end of the book, to pave the way for a new series.
The first three books in this series are already in publication, and are entitled The Heroes of Olympus (The first book in the series is called: The Lost Hero). They have many of the same characters as the previous five novels, but there are some new heroes and heroines, and a brand new adventure to follow.
The book, as before, is suitable for both boys and girls. It is really for confident readers of about eight and upwards, and contains quite a lot of violence, as well as complex mythological names which can be tricky to pronounce. It’s well worth the effort if you are looking for a brilliant series of adventure books though. Highly recommended for anyone interested in Greek myths, but who wants a more modern twist to the tale. The way Riordan meshes the Greek and modern world is amazingly effective.