Book Review: Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus

Posted February 23, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Middle-Grade readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus

The Blood of Olympus


Rick Riordan

fantasy on October 7, 2014 and has 528 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian, The Red Pyramid, The Lost Hero, Cold Springs, The Throne of Fire, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, The Serpent's Shadow, House of Hades, The Hidden Oracle, The Sword of Summer, The Hammer of Thor, The Ship of the Dead

Fifth in the Heroes of Olympus fantasy series for middle-grade readers and revolving around a small group of demi-gods and -goddesses.

In 2014, The Blood of Olympus won the Goodreads Choice Award for Middle Grade & Children’s.

My Take

It’s a great blend of fun, myth, adventure, and problem-solving with teamwork an essential.

There are hazards every step of the journey for those shadow-traveling with the statue as well as those aboard the Argo II. Octavian’s actions only makes things worse. The thieving, backstabbing little tyrant. Prophesying is on the fritz, and Apollo can’t be bothered.

Riordan has built a tease in about Leo, so pay attention to those hints at the early part of the story. More tease is in the conflict between the Greek and Roman sides of the gods and goddesses. That encounter with Nike/Victoria is especially fascinating. I love how Hazel, Frank, Leo, and Percy resolved this one! It’s also a great example of how silly and obsessive the gods were.

There are some positive moments for fathers and sons, as a few of the gods appear to their kids and give their excuses, their praise. Zhang’s experience in meeting his long-lost Pylos cousins isn’t so great.

There’s a definite appeal to middle-grade readers with that comment about Piper being able to pelt her enemies with ripe mangoes. Ooh, sticky! And, lol, it’s not the only fun bit that will appeal to the kids. Yep, I’m an overgrown kid myself, and I sure enjoyed it!

Hmmm, I’d not heard this one before about Plato’s belief that humans used to be a combination of man and woman. And too powerful for the gods to ignore. More hmmms find me wondering why Apollo is always characterized as behaving like a temperamental child.

Oh, man, I want that tent!!

We get the background — secrets and all — on Reyna. Poor thing. Nico too has some disturbing thoughts and worries, moments when he wonders the why of his life.

A good lesson on underlying meanings, keeping an open mind, and being tricky as hell. It is tempting to consider using the kids’ approach to doctors’ waiting rooms, lol.

The Story

It’s a desperate race to return the Athena Parthenos statue, for the feud between the Greeks and Romans must be ended if our heroes are to win against Gaea and her monsters. And I don’t mean just the campers…!

The Characters

The Argo II team (and the Prophecy of 7)
Jason “Sparky” Grace‘s dad is Zeus/Jupiter. Beryl Grace is his dead mother, a television star, and sweetheart to the king of Olympus who rejected her in both his Greek and Roman guises just as she rejected Jason. Piper McClean‘s weapon is a cornucopia, the knife, Katoptris, and charmspeak; her mother is Aphrodite. Her dad is a famous actor: Tristan McLean, who pretends to save the world in his movies. Deimos and Phobos are Piper’s brothers.

Annabeth Chase is ticked at Juno for events in Son of Neptune, 2. Percy Jackson is a son of Poseidon.

Leo Valdez, a son of Hephaestus, loves to tinker and has done quite a bit to enhance Argo II. Wait until you read about the Valdezinator! The multi-talented Festus is the bronze dragon Leo fixed up and befriended and whom Piper woke up with her charmspeak. Calypso is the girl with whom Leo fell in love. Buford the Wonder Table is a crack-up as well as back-up.

Hazel Levesque is Nico’s half-sister with the power to sense metals and jewels from the earth. Arion is her horse. She’s with Frank Zhang, a son of Mars, who can change into any creature.

The team transporting the statue of Athena Parthenos includes:
Nico de Angelo, a son of Hades/Pluto, is using his ability to shadow-travel to transport the statue. His power does have limitations. He travels between the camps and doesn’t tell either camp about the other. Bianca is another sister besides Hazel, except that she died. His dad gave him a zombie chauffeur named Jules-Albert; Dad had heard that fathers drove their kids around so he thought this would make up for his not doing it.

Reyna Ramírez-Arellano, the Roman leader and praetor, can impart strength to others. Aurum and Argentum are her metallic greyhounds. Julian was her paranoid father. Coach Gleeson Hedge is a satyr and anxious about the impending birth of his and Mellie‘s child (she’s a cloud nymph). A good thing he has to chaperone our heroes; it’ll keep his mind off it.

Argo II is the magical ship in which some of the heroes are sailing.

Camp Half Blood (the Greeks)
Clovis is the head counselor for the Hypnos cabin, and he’s a powerful dreamer. Chiron, a centaur, is the Camp Half-Blood director. Clarissa LaRue is from the Ares cabin. She’s been supportive of Mellie. Rachel Dare is human and the oracle. Will Solace is the head counselor for the Apollo cabin — and a combat medic. Ella is a harpy who has memorized the Sibylline Books; she’s dating Tyson. Butch Walker is a son of Iris. Tyson is a giant and Percy’s half-brother. Connor Stoll, Lou Ellen, and Jake Mason (he’s with Hephaestus) are all demigods. Grover Underwood is a satyr. Katie and Miranda are with the Demeter cabin. Malcolm is the acting head counselor for Athena. Cecil is from Hermes. The Aphrodite cabin includes Lacy, Mitchell, and Piper’s second-in-command, Drew Tanaka.

Camp Jupiter (the Romans)
The warmongering Octavian, the teddy-bear wielding augur, has usurped Reyna’s place. Mike Kahale is a centurion of the First Cohort whose sponsor is Octavian. Jacob is the legion’s eagle bearer. The psychopathic Bryce Lawrence, a descendant of Orcus, was exiled from the Legions for his actions. Part of the team that confronts Reyna, Nico, and Coach Hedge includes Leila from the Fourth Cohort, a daughter of Ceres, and Dakota of the Fifth, a daughter of Bacchus.

The Hunters of Artemis are…
…allied with the Amazons. Thalia is Jason’s sister and leads Artemis/Diana’s hunters. Phoebe, Naomi, Celyn, and Zoë Nightshade are some of the Hunters.

The Amazons are…
…ruled by Hylla, Reyna’s older sister. Both girls are daughters of Bellona. Kinzie is one of the Amazons.

The Pegasi are…
…flying horses, and Pegasus is their immortal lord. Fellow pegasi include Blackjack (Percy’s usual ride) and Guido who chooses Reyna to ride him.

Penelope’s suitors…
…are part of the tale of Penelope waiting for her husband, Odysseus, to return home. Antinous was one of the leaders; Iros was a beggar who ran messages; Eurymachus was a coward; Hippias is a former tyrant of Athens; Hadrubal of Carthage is ticked off at Rome; and, Michael Varus, a former praetor has joined their crowd with his own grudge.

Kekrops is the first and eternal king of Athens. And he is not a friend to Piper, Leo, Frank, Jason, Hazel, Percy, and Annabeth.

Porphyrion is a giant king; Periboia is his daughter.
Otis and Ephialtes are the giant twins from Rome. Polybotes is as disgusting as ever and eager to kill Percy. Enceladus, Porphyrion’s counselor, is the giant who had kidnapped Piper’s dad. Hippolytos. Thoon is set to kill the Fates. Mimas is born to slay Hephaestus.

Orion is the hunter giant Gaea has sent to find Reyna. He sounds like a too-typical caveman type and needs to learn that no means no. Lycaon is the first werewolf. The very scary and vengeful Kymopoleia is Percy’s sister, a daughter of Poseidon, and the goddess of violent storms. Huh. I just can’t imagine why her parents would find her disruptive…*eye roll* Briares is her husband, the man Percy freed from Alcatraz.

Brother Paloan is Nico’s guide in Évora in Portugal. Dylan is the wind spirit Jason raises.

Demigods are the offspring of a union between a god and a human. Camp Jupiter is the home of families of Roman demigods; Camp Half-Blood is the Greek demigods, but more of a summer camp. Tartarus is a hell dimension in the Underworld built of this Titan’s body. Lemures are unfriendly ghosts. Zeus has harnessed the four wind gods to pull his chariot, including Boreas, Notus, and Zephyrus.

Gods and Goddesses
Greek Roman Patron(ess) of…
Zeus Jupiter king and father of the gods
Hera Juno queen of the gods and wife to Zeus; a patron of women, marriage, and maternity
Athena Minerva wisdom
Ares Mars war
Enyo Bellona war
Aphrodite Venus love
Artemis Diana hunting
Poseidon Neptune sea
Hades Pluto dead
Hephaestus Vulcan blacksmithing
Dionysus Bacchus wine
satyr faun patron
Nike Victoria patron
Apollo Phoebus sun
Demeter Ceres agriculture
Lupas Lupa wolf
Hermes Mercury messenger
Deimos Formido (or Metus) fear, dread, and terror; fear of loss
Phobos (Deimos’ twin) Timor panic, fear, flight, battlefield rout; fear of loss
Hecate Trivia witchcraft
Bythos sea-depths
Aphros sea-foam
Akhlys Letum? misery
Asclepius Aesculapius healers
Leto Latona mothers??
Nemesis Invidia revenge
Orcus eternal punishment and broken vows

The Cover and Title

The cover is an interpretation of the attack on Gaea’s giants and other monsters as Frank, Jason, and Hazel jump in on a lightning bolt through the middle of a purple cyclone of wind to attack the waiting monsters below.

The title is what Gaea seeks, The Blood of Olympus.