The Heroes of Olympus (series)

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Follow up to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the five book The Heroes of Olympus series is just as great. Riordan does it again with his new characters, while still following the story of Percy and Annabeth and Grover and Nico and demigods of Camp Half-Blood.

Percy is missing. He has been gone for more than 8 months, and Annabeth and the Greeks are searching for him. Unbeknownst to them, he is living as a Roman demigod with the 12th Legion in California. He has no memory of his past, save the image and name of a girl. Annabeth. New friends Hazel and Frank join him on a quest to restore the 12th  to its former greatness.

At the same time, new demigods Jason, Piper and Leo join Camp Half-Blood. They learn their parentage, become part of the camp life, and go on a quest to free Hera from her captors.

They are all pawns of Hera/Juno. But it is a necessary con, as the end of the world demands their mutual cooperation to avert.

I love Percy and Annabeth even more. Now 17 years old, they have grown up enough to understand what their lives really mean.  Nico’s story will break your heart while you simultaneously want to slap him out of his funk and hope he succeeds in his personal mission.

Leo and Frank and Hazel and Reyna and the Amazons and gods and giants and Titans that they battle are so well drawn. As usual, Riordan creates vibrant, realistic characters, even if they are half-god, half-human.

I have to say it: Jason and Piper put me to sleep.  I’m sorry.  Talk about boring. Come ON. They are demigods. They have skills. The son of Jupiter and the daughter of Aphrodite? Give. Me. A. Break. They should be exciting and powerful, yes? Instead they are all angsty and wishy washy and woe is me and no one understands me and poor me and I love Jason but what if he doesn’t love me back. I want some guts in my demigods, please!

The story follows the trials of the two camps as they learn of each other, and try to find a way to cooperate to save the world from the rise of Gaia.

Riordan meshes the worlds of Roman and Greek mythology together beautifully. The story lines explore the differences in the gods, as well as the reasons the two camps have been kept apart for so long, unknown to each other. Riordan’s messages of loyalty and faith and friendship and family and trust are applicable to all (even mortals).

By the way. NO LOVE TRIANGLE. So often the love triangle is the hallmark of a YA novel, and Riordan does not fall victim to it. Thank the gods.

By the way (2). A cliffhanger at the end of the fifth book! Leo! Which was killing me, until last week, when Riordan announced a new series, The Trials Of Apollo. Set in the Percy Jackson universe, Apollo is in deep you-know-what with Zeus… The first book is set for release in spring 2016.

Again, even though the characters are now older, it is still appropriate for middle-grade readers, but any age will enjoy the series.

The Heroes of Olympus series (The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades and The Blood of Olympus) is published by Disney Hyperion Books.

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