Heroes of Olympus Series

Following the completion of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Rick Riordan started a new series, The Heroes of Olympus, continuing the adventures of Percy Jackson and adding new characters to the expanding universe they inhabit.  Since I enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, I decided to check this one out as well.  It was an enjoyable series and not one to miss for fans of the original series.

The Heroes of Olympus Series

The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan is five books as well but there is a lot more going on in these books than in the last series.  Rick Riordan also takes a little bit of a different approach with these books in the narration.  Instead of focusing on one character, we get several points of view with each chapter alternating.  Heroes of Olympus came about after Rick Riordan realized how many more Greek and Roman myths there were that he hadn’t been able to explore and adapt for his modern re-telling, as well as requests from fans to write about the Roman gods.  Below, I give a brief overview of each book, and at the end, I discuss the series as a whole.

The Lost Hero

Heroes of Olympus: The Lost HeroThe Lost Hero is the first book of the Heroes of Olympus series and the only book not to feature Percy Jackson, though he is mentioned several times.  Hera, in her infinite wisdom, decides to mess around with the demigods and drops Jason Grace into a life he doesn’t remember with a girlfriend, Piper McLean,  and best friend, Leo Valdez, both of whom he also doesn’t remember.  They are on a field trip to the Grand Canyon with their teacher, Coach Hedge.  While Leo and Piper try to help Jason remember the same memories they have of him, they are attacked by a storm spirit.  Coach Hedge reveals himself to be a satyr and helps them fight off the storm spirit.  During the fight, Jason loses a shoe.  The storm spirit takes off with Coach Hedge and Annabeth and another camper show up looking for a missing demigod and the guy with one shoe who is the key to finding him.  They all head back to the camp.  Leo is claimed by Hephaestus and is taken to his cabin.  Annabeth notices tattoos on Jason’s arms: a dozen straight lines, an eagle and SPQR.  Drew, one of the campers, takes Jason to Chiron while Annabeth gives Piper a tour of the camp.  Piper is draw to Hera’s cabin and Annabeth follows her and there they find Rachel Dare, the Oracle.  A goddess possesses Rachel and warns Piper of the fiery giant she kept seeing in her nightmares and commands Piper to free her.  A goddess also appears to Jason asking for help while he is talking to Chiron.  Annabeth and Rachel bring a weakened Piper to Chiron for healing and they all talk about what transpired.  They figure out that the mysterious goddess is Hera.  Jason later learns that his memories were stolen by Hera and that the gods, whether they are called by their Greek or Roman names, are still the same gods, just with slightly different personalities.  At the campfire later that night, Jason proves to be a son of Zeus and is given a quest to save and release Hera.  Leo fixes the bronze dragon, Festus, and is shown to a secret workshop, Bunker 9, where Leo finds wings and attaches them to the dragon.

Leo, Jason and Piper head to Quebec, Canada to talk to Boreas about where to find Aeolus, the master of the winds.  Jason and Piper speak with Boreas and are given information on where they can find the wind spirits that attacked them at the Grand Canyon.  The group heads to Chicago and they are led into the sewers by some wind spirits and discovery a mall owned by the Princess of Colchis, who actually is Medea.  They escape with Coach Hedge, who had been frozen in a fighting stance in her mall.

Hephaestus visits Leo in a dream.  Leo then wakes to find Festus malfunctioning under all of the weight.  Leo attempts to land Festus in a nearby yard, only to be shot out of the sky by lasers.  All that is left of Festus is his head and neck, which Hephaestus transports back to the secret workshop at the camp.  Piper reveals to Jason, Leo and Coach Hedge that her father has been kidnapped by a giant who wants her to sabotage the quest.  They promise to help her save her father and Hera.

The group is attacked by Lyceon and his werewolves but are saved when Thalia and the Hunters arrive.  Thalia and Jason talk about their mother and how after Zeus had left the second time, she took Jason to the Wolf House and left him there causing Thalia to run away from home.  They figure out that Hera is being kept at the Wolf House.  Jason, Piper, Leo and Coach Hedge meet with Aeolus and he tells them where to find the fiery giant.  Aphrodite appears to Piper and gives her some gifts to help her in her quest and revealing that the true enemy is Gaea.  She then transports the group to San Francisco.  They arrive at the mountain and free Piper’s dad and with Zeus’s help, Jason defeats the giant.  The group then heads to the Wolf House, joining the Hunters of Artemis, where they find Hera trapped in a cage by the giant Porphyrion, who is using Hera’s power to reform himself.  Khione, Boreas’s daughter, appears and reveals herself to be the reason Hera has been captured and behind the order to kill the demigods.  She also reveals a plan to start a war between the Greek and Roman demigods.  During the ensuing fight, they are able to free Hera and she destroys the monsters, but Porphyrion escapes.

They make it back to camp and  Leo reveals the location of Bunker 9 and his fire abilities to Chiron and the Hephaestus cabin.  He finds blueprints for an airship with Festus’s head as the masthead.  He and the Hephaestus cabin take on the project to build the airship and Leo names it Argo II.  At the council, Jason reveals to the camp that there are both Roman and Greek demigods and that during the Titan war the previous year, the Romans were the ones who stormed Mount Othrys and defeated the titan Krios.  The council comes up with a plan to rescue the missing demigod, Percy Jackson, who was traded with Jason, and probably has no idea who he is.

The Son of Neptune

Heroes of Olympus: The Son of NeptuneIn the second book of Heroes of Olympus, we finally find Percy Jackson, who has also been dropped into another life with no memory of who he his.  This book takes place six months after the first book of the series.  The only thing Percy can remember is a name; Annabeth.  When we catch up with him, he is being chased by the Gorgon sisters.  He comes across a woman named June who gives him a choice between carrying her across the Tiber River and regain his memories or he can retreat to the sea and live a long and happy life, but never remember who he was.  He makes the choice to carry her across, losing the Mark of Achilles in the process.  At the entrance to Camp Jupiter, he meets Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque.  Together they attack the Gorgons and he is taken to the camp after they are defeated, where he meets Reyna, the Praetor of the camp.  The old woman reveals herself to be Juno and reveals that Percy is the son of Neptune.  Percy is allowed to join the legion and joins the Fifth Cohort.  During the war games, Mars appears to Frank, claiming him as his son and presenting him with a quest.  Percy, Frank and Hazel are tasked with freeing Thanatos and they set out on the Roman ship Pax.  Frank feels like he is not as good as Percy, as he has more experience, confidence and skills, but Mars reveals that the seven of the prophecy all pull their own weight and to stop comparing himself to Percy.  Percy’s fatal flaw is revealed to be personal loyalty, but Frank has to discover his on his own and will need to make a decision that Percy cannot make.  While they are travelling, they discover Ella the harpy and take her with them on their journey.

The group makes their way to Alaska but leave Ella behind as she will not get on the plane.  Percy asks Tyson and Mrs. O’Leary to look for her in a dream.  During their journey, Hazel learns from Gaea that Nico has been captured.  They finally reach Hubbard Glacier and find Thanatos but cannot be broken except for by the fire of life (a stick that is connected to Frank’s life force).  While Frank is freeing Thanatos, Percy manages to retrieve the golden eagle standard, the pride of the Twelfth Legion.  During the fight, Percy falls into the void after striking Riptide into the Glacier, followed by the shades he had been fighting.  After defeating the giant, Frank and Hazel find Percy waiting for them.  They gather all of the armour and weapons made from Imperial gold from the Roman camp and race back to Camp Jupiter while Percy regains his memory.  When the arrive, they find the camp under attack.  The campers defend the camp with Percy’s help and he is named praetor.  Hera speaks to Percy in a dream about her plans to unite the two camps.  He relays the message to Camp Jupiter (even with Octavian trying his best to dissuade the campers) and earns their support.  At the end of the book, the Argo II arrives with Leo, Jason, Annabeth, Piper and Coach Hedge.

The Mark of Athena

Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of AthenaIn the third book of the Heroes of Olympus series, Annabeth, Leo, Jason, Piper and Coach Hedge arrive at Camp Jupiter.  Annabeth is a little distrustful of Jason, not sure if they are walking into a trap.  Annabeth is amazed at the size of Camp Jupiter as it is twice the size of Camp Half-Blood.  Terminus appears on their deck and will not allow any weapons inside the Pomerian Line.  He also finds Annabeth being daughter of Athena “scandalous” as the Roman version, Minerva, is a virgin goddess.  The ship is kept hovering over New Rome while the five descend into the city.  They join Percy and Reyna and she calls for the spirits to prepare a feast.  They all exchange stories from the past year and Octavian recites the Prophecy of Seven, with Annabeth finishing it, making them realize it is for the two camps to work together.  Annabeth and Reyna talk about the differences between Minerva and Athena while Leo shows Octavian around Argo II.  Annabeth also realizes she has met Reyna before on Circe’s Island.  While they are discussing Reyna hearing about something called the Mark of Athena, the Argo II starts attacking New Rome.  The Romans start setting up catapults outside the Pomerian Line to take down the ship.  Frank and Hazel agree to join the group on their quest and try to help them get away.  Annabeth and Percy board the ship and find an entranced Leo firing on the city.  Percy knocks Leo down and Annabeth takes control of the ship, flying away before any more damage can be done to either side.

The group of eight ends up on the run from the Roman eagles and they repair the damage to the ship.  During their travels, they learn that Gaea needs a male and female demigod for her plan.  Percy has a dream and discovers that Nico is being kept in a jar by two Gigantes, using pomegranate seeds to keep himself alive.  They also learn more information while visiting Keto and Phorcys, learning about a map that would show them where to find the Athena Parthenos.  Annabeth manages to retrieve the map and speaks with Reyna, finding out that Octavian is out for blood and will not rest until the camp has justice for the attack.  The group of seven head to Rome to find the Athena Parthenos and Nico.  Annabeth learns that she must finish her quest on her own and heads into the Roman underground.  Meanwhile, the rest of the six split up trying to find Nico.  Eventually Jason, Percy and Piper find him and rescue him with Bacchus’s help.  During her quest, Annabeth becomes trapped by Arachne but uses her hubris against her to free the Athena Parthenos.  The Argo II blasts a hole in the ceiling where Annabeth and Arachne are, managing to save the statue but Annabeth is pulled into the pit below the room by Arachne.  Percy grabs her hand but is unable to prevent her from falling, so he lets go of the ledge and goes with her into Tartarus.

The House of Hades

Heroes of Olympus: The House of HadesIn the fourth book of the Heroes of Olympus, it tends to bounce around between the two groups and their quests so I can’t promise that this will be in perfect order of events.  We first catch up with Hazel, Frank, Leo, Nico and Piper and find out the Argo II has been attacked relentlessly for days.  Hazel meets Hecate and learns that her mother was very gifted with magic and that she will be too.  Along their way to finding the Doors of Death, they learn some key pieces of information to help them along their quest.  They retrieve Diocletian’s scepter and leave a note for Reyna, knowing that she would be arriving there thanks to Jason’s dream of Annabeth getting a message to Reyna.  The Argo II is then attacked by Khione, and she sends Leo off to Ogygia

Throughout the book, we also find Percy and Annabeth in Tartarus.  They are attacked by Arachne, but are saved by Iapetus, who believes his name is Bob and has no memories his old life.  They run into many monsters and make their way to the Tartarus side of the Doors of Death.

What’s left of the Seven make it to Malta where they find Leo, having escaped from Ogygia, and a repaired Argo II waiting for them.  They make their way to the Necromanteion and are attacked by monsters.  Nico uses the sceptre to summon Roman warriors, but they will not obey Jason as he has committed to Camp Half-Blood.  Some will obey Frank but not all because he is only a centurion, so Jason gives up his praetorship to Frank and they defeat the monsters.

Back in Tartarus, Bob helps Percy and Annabeth board the elevator going up to the Doors and the pair escape the underworld.  On the other side of the doors, the group of six confront Pasiphae and Clytius who are guarding the Doors for Gaea’s forces.  They distract the two enemies so Percy and Annabeth can get out of the elevator and Hazel drops them back into Tartarus by opening a hole beneath them, then breaks the chains holding the elevator doors open.  They head back up to the surface and find Reyna with Coach Hedge on the Argo II.  Nico, Reyna and Coach Hedge take on the task of getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood to prevent the war.  The rest of the group continue on to Athens.

The Blood of Olympus

Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of OlympusThis is the final book in the Heroes of Olympus series.  In this book we are following two separate groups once again; the Seven heroes of the prophecy, and Reyna, Nico and Coach Hedge.  The Seven have made their way to Greece and infiltrated the ghosts/reanimated suitors of Odysseus’s wife, trying to get information on Gaea’s plans.  They gather some information but Jason is discovered and they are attacked.  Juno appears to them and tasks them with finding Victory and Artemis and Apollo.  Meanwhile, Nico, Reyna and Coach Hedge have managed to get the Athena Parthenos to Pompeii where they rest for the night.  Reyna dreams that a giant is following them and about what Octavian is up to.  The Seven meanwhile send four of the least competitive of them to wrangle Nike/Victoria as her Greek and Roman sides are pitted against each other.  They manage to trick the goddess and tie her up.

After Nico shadow travels, he passes out from exhaustion and dreams, attempting to find Thalia, but instead finds Clovis, daughter of Hypnos.  He relays a message to her to give to Chiron and she in turn gives him information on what is going on at the camp.  Hades meets with Nico afterwards and warns him that Orion is on their tail.  They make their way to San Juan and meet up with the Amazons and the Hunters of Artemis.  The Hunters and Amazons manage to delay Orion so that Nico, Reyna and Coach Hedge can escape with the statue.  They then finally make it to the United States.  After fighting with one of Octavian’s men and some undead soldiers, they ride pegasi, including the famous Pegasus, to Camp Half-Blood.

The group of seven demigods make a few pit stops on their way to Athens, gathering supplies for their quest.  They find Artemis and Apollo and learn that Zeus is angry with Apollo for his part in the current mess.  The group leaves and makes it to Athens after a few more stops along the way.  During battle with giants, Annabeth and Percy are both injured, spilling some of their blood onto the earth and thus waking Gaea.

Reyna, Nico and Coach Hedge make it back to Camp Half-Blood, returning the statue to the Greeks and healing the rift between them and the Romans, allowing the gods to aid the Seven in Athens.  Reyna, with help from Bellona and Athena, defeats Orion and the Seven defeat the giants they were fighting in Athens.  They still need to face Gaea, however.  Zeus gets the Seven back to Camp Half-Blood and Leo uses a rebuilt Festus to engage Gaea with Jason and Piper.  The rest of the demigods watch but Octavian reloads one of the onagers.  His robes snag in the machinery and he ends up launching himself to his death with the payload, which hits Gaea as Leo hits her with a fireball, destroying Gaea.  Jason decides to stay at Camp Half-Blood with Piper but frequently visits Camp Jupiter.  Annabeth and Percy finish high school in New York and attend university in New Rome.  It is also revealed that Leo makes his way back to Ogygia with Festus and picks up Calypso, flying off into the unknown.

The Heroes of Olympus Series

It took a little bit to get used to the different narration style of this series after being used to just Percy’s point of view, but when you look at it overall, it really made sense.  The prophecy was about the seven demigods, so ultimately, all seven of them were the main characters.  I also liked the incorporation of the Roman mythology, as the Romans borrowed a lot from the Greeks while making it their own, so it made sense that the gods were the same entities, just a bit different between the two versions.  I feel that with the Heroes of Olympus series, you definitely need to read the Percy Jackson series if you want the full background, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was required reading before diving into this series.  You get enough back story to be able to follow along with the Heroes of Olympus, but you may miss some of the little things that are explained in the first series.

I can thankfully say that Hollywood has not gotten their hands on these books yet, and for that I am thankful, especially after the disaster that was the first two movies of the Percy Jackson series.  I think that if they were to ever adopt the Heroes of Olympus into a visual medium, the best option would be to produce it as a television show, much like they are doing with The Mortal Instruments (look for that post at a later date), or even a mini-series like the BBC does with the Jane Austen novels.  There is so much going on in each of the books that trying to cram it all into even one movie per book would just be too much and there is a lot that may seem sort of trivial at the time but comes back into play later on in the series.

 

Jennifer Lewis

A Review of The Heroes of Olympus, sequel series to Percy Jackson and the Olympians

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