Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series that embodies many of enjoyable aspects of YA fiction and fantasy.
The difference between this volume and the first is pretty vast in my opinion. The development of the author is clear throughout the series, more so than in similar sagas. Writers don’t often find their feet and then run a marathon in the way Riordan has done for the length of his career.
The only back-step was the second volume. Now at the finish line of this influential series, this book is marked by spectacular action, great stakes, good characterization, and payoff for all of the set-up. The Last Olympian provides a satisfying conclusion. Some characters are redeemed and others have to turn over the spotlight. The whole thing was tense and interesting, with a few unexpected turns.
From the beginning, the strength of the series was in its characters and the choices they make in the final volume continue to keep them relevant. The lessons from the last few volumes trickle over and you’re not always sure what is motivating them. The tone is dark, but it makes for cinematic set pieces.
The theme of sacrifice is well-explored and memorable gods and titans paint a vivid backdrop for thematic elements.