The Blood of Olympus

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The Blood of Olympus,
Heroes of Olympus, book 5

Rick Riordan

Disney-Hyperion Books, 2014

The story so far:
War is looming closer and closer and our valiant demi-gods are needed on two fronts. The giants are gathering in Greece, the ancient and original home of the gods, to sacrifice a male and female demi-god so that their blood might raise Gaea, evil earth mother. On the other side of the, Octavian is gathering his forces to attack Camp Half-Blood in retaliation for the attack on Camp Jupiter two books (but really about a month in demi-god time) ago. Octavian wants power and if a war between the Greeks and the Romans is what it takes then so be it. The demi-gods make the decision to split into two groups: Nico, Reyna and Coach Hedge take the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood to stave off war and get the gods back into one mind (they’re sort of schizoid right now since their Greek and Roman children are at war); and the rest are headed to Greece to stop Gaea from waking.

Main Characters & Narrated by:
• Jason Grace, son of Zeus/Jupiter, gravely wounded in battle, with a poison eating him from inside out, may not survive to the end but he is essential to Hera’s plans
• Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite/Venus, was told by her mother that one of the 7 would probably die in the defeat of Gaea
• Leo Valdez, son of Heapatus/Vulcan, still love-sick over Calypso and is determined to get back to her
• Nico di Angelo, son of Hades/Pluto, uses shadow travel to get Reyna, Hedge and Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood. He almost kills himself in the process.
• Reyna, daughter of Bellona – Roman goddess of war, in order to bring peace between the two camps it is necessary for Reyna (a Roman) to deliver the Athena Parthenos (a Greek statue stolen eons ago by the Romans) back to the Greeks; Gaea doesn’t want this to happen because if it does the gods won’t be schizoid anymore and they will return to full strength and be able to assist the demi-gods in defeating her

Continuing & Returning Characters:
• Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon/Neptune, takes more of a back seat role here, which I was sorely disappointed it, but still is essential in battle for his water-mastery capabilities
• Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena/Minerva, still using her wits to defeat her enemies as best she can
• Frank Zhang, son of Mars/Ares, much more confident in his abilities and has lost his fear of fire
• Hazel Levesqez, daughter of Pluto/Hades, uses her magical-Myst-manipulating skills to protect her friends and get them closer to beating Gaea
• Coach Hedge, satyr, travels with Nico and Reyna as a “chaperone” but really to get back to his cloud-nymph-wife who is ready to give birth to their child (too weird to even think about too hard)
• All the Greek/Roman gods, schizoid in personality, they are largely unable to help the demi-gods but occasionally they center themselves long enough to give cryptic messages to their children
• Octavian, son of Apollo, and agur, thirsty for power, seizes control over the Legion from Reyna and goes headlong into war with Greek demi-gods, refusing to believe the truth about the rise of Gaea
• Gaea, evil earth mother who has been asleep since the dawn of humanity and is very close to waking up and remaking the earth to her own satisfaction
• All the giants we met in the other books are back, as well as Lycaon, the first werewolf

New Characters:

• Victory/Nike, goddess of victory, is somehow essential in their quest so Percy, Leo, Frank & Hazel set out to capture her to keep her from making things worse
• Orion, a giant and for friend of Artemis until he fell in love with her and sent him to Tartarus. When he reformed he started hunting down and killing any female demi-god or Hunter or Amazon he could find. Here he has got his tracker mojo working overtime on hunting down Reyna.
• Mimas, a giant who is the antithesis of Hephaestus, as he says “nothing goes right in my presence”; Annabeth and Piper face off with him in the Temple of Fear
• Kymopleia, Greek goddess of violent sea storms and Percy Jackson’s sister (on the godly side, as Percy puts it). He and Jason have to deal with her – all twenty feet of her. She turns Percy over to the giant Polybotes, the anti-Poseidon but before he can kill Percy, enlists the help of Kymopelia and makes a deal with her to save Percy’s life.
• Bryce Lawrence, Roman demi-god and son of Orcus, god of broken vows and eternal punishment, was helped into ghosthood by Nico’s pain and torment
• Pegasus, immortal lord of horses, leads a rescue party to help Reyna, Nico and Coach Hedge get the Athenos to Camp Half-blood
• Asclepius, god of medicine and his daughter Hygeia, the goddess of good health (she is only mentioned; we don’t actually get to meet her); through Piper’s charmspeak, they are able to obtain the Physician’s Cure, a potion that will bring anyone back to life after death.
• Kekrop, first and eternal king of Athens – a man’s torso and a snake’s body – weird, huh? He tries to trick the demi-gods but he’s no match for Piper’s charmspeak!
• I think that’s all the new characters – I may have left out one or three – but if I did you will have to read the book to find out!

So, Rick Riordan threw out all the stops in this book and anybody and everybody involved in any Greek or Roman mythology is included in this jam-packed book. There are so many characters – so many enemies that our demi-god heroes have to fight off – it’s really hard to keep up with. But that’s what keeps it exciting! The end – oh boy! It was so-o-o-o-o good! I’ve already told you too much about the book – there’s no way I’m going to tell you the end!!!

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because, well, it’s just a darn good book!

cropped-toby-the-great-plus.jpg Reviewer: Toby

 I like this UK cover better than the U.S. one!

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