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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review: The Blood of Olympus

The Blood of Olympus
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There is nothing like the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from finishing another Rick Riordan book. Technically it's a 2.5, but I didn't want to round it to 3 because it wasn't.
My major complaint (among other things): who edited this thing? Missing words and minor (and stupid) grammatical errors galore. It ruined the rhythm of the book- when you're reading a scene that you think is sweet or sad or whatever, you don't want to have to reread sentences to figure out which word was supposed to have been there. The writing also needed some serious polishing. There were way too many similes, and most of them were terrible Take this one: "He kissed her, and... okay, they had kissed before. But this was different. Piper felt like a toaster. All her coils heated to red-hot. Any more warmth and she'd start smelling like burned toast." Not only did Rick Riordan miss an excellent opportunity to say burnt toast, but this isn't even the worst of them.

Plot: The truth is, I remember almost nothing from the last two books in the series, so the plot kind of lost me a bit (it didn't really matter, though... that probably says something about the book). It's the same old "save the world" sort of thing. Bring the giant statue, discover ominous messages (is it just me, or does Piper never tell us what horrible thing Aphrodite had told her in her dream?), etc. They're all paired off now, of course (except Nico, who's been manhandled into the role of "token gay character", and Reyna, who is for some reason doomed not to find love or something). The old Jason/Piper (creepy- it's all based off of nonexistant memoriess), Annabeth/Percy (never liked that pairing, and if anyone says Percabeth I may vomit), Frank/Hazel (cute, but I don't buy it), Leo/Calypso (she's like thousands of years older than you. Can we all say ewwww?)

Jason: How not to be a hero: 1) Wear glasses (and don't even complain about them! Jason Grace, I sentence you to an eternity of opening dishwashers and then trying to see to take a plate out). 2) Hide behind a woman's skirt when in combat (not kidding, he literally does this). He failed. I really don't have anything else to say. Oh, and I count point one as a non-spoiler because you can clearly see the glasses on the cover. Did Rick Riordan's son get glasses or something?
Piper: Can we just say Mary Sue? Not only does everyone love her (and hey, if they don't, she can just magic them into it... feelings of remorse sold seperately), but she deserves their love! Plus, she's totally epic and can fight and all that, and she has long deep talks about people's feelings. She goes with her gut, but that's okay, because it's always right! She kind of sickened me, but she wasn't actually a bad character.
Hazel: Did she even get POV? She played pretty much zero role in this book.
Frank: Ditto. Except he's developed abs and can wear tight t-shirts. That was totally a necessary plot point, Rick Riordan.
Leo: He got very odd, that's all I can say (and his attempts to bring in popular culture are about ten books too late). Secret plots (seriously, who didn't figure it out as soon as he started plating the ship?), magical tables (which appear to share characteristics with that goat in Hoodwinked- "I was prepared!"), and a very odd use of slang in the narrative. I can buy Leo saying something hurts his feels. When Rick Riordan says Leo's feels are hurting, I burst out laughing. He was still kind of cool, but I didn't like him as much as I did in the previous books, which was a pity. Plus, he gives away a perfectly good Valdezinator in exchange for a daisy.
Nico: For a guy with as much pain and misery as Nico de Angelo is supposed to have, he sure acts happy, even in his POVs. And he has a totally pathetic crush on Percy (thank you for your attempt at being inclusive, Rick Riordan. How about you try some foreshadowing next time, okay?) I did NOT like the way he ended. It's all happy and mushy and ugh (I also really, really, really don't like the way Will acts toward him. It felt aggressive and not at all a good start to a relationship. Plus, isn't Nico like 14? The kid should be in middle school, not dating and killing monsters.) Nico was completely destroyed by an attempt to make him a sympathetic character, which is a pity, because at one point he was awesome.
Percy: I have a theory that Rick Riordan is Xed Alpha, because nobody else could write Percy that badly. He's an idiot! He doesn't have a character! Sigh. I mourn you, Perseus Jackson.
Annabeth: I think Percy's catching. That's all I can say.
Reyna: (Ahem, Praetor, you're not part of the prophecy, what are you doing in my book?) This was my major reaction to Reyna. She also had some weird backstory and in the end was probably supposed to be awesome but just got on my nerves (listen, Praetor, I like Blackjack a lot more than you, got it? If it's down to one or the other...) I also developed a habit of yelling at her, as you can see in the parenthetical comments. She and Nico got a little too touchy-feely for me. Couldn't they have had their deep discussions and cute little hugging moments off-screen? She was also just kind of... Roman. The Greeks were never so into the whole "the Ancient Greeks did this, I did something different, now I must fall on my sword" kind of thing (probably because it was the Romans who fell on their swords). Even Jason is okay with being a bad Roman once in a while. Reyna kind of overly obsesses about that. (Seriously, Praetor, you're not even Roman, okay? Rome is dead and gone.) Wow, didn't mean to rant like that. I didn't think I had much to say.

And yet I still feel ridiculously happy at the end of it. How does Rick Riordan do this to me?

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