Of course, my view on this book is heavily influenced by my students’ reactions: a LOT of enthusiasm from the 4th – 7th grade crowd. Many of them have been waiting impatiently for the launching of this series for a LONG time. (Yes, it’s only a year and a half — but to the current sixth graders, the Last Olympian came out when they were mere babies: in 4th grade!) (And, for my 9th grade students, they read the last of the Percy Jackson when they were, *gasp,* still in 7th grade!)
Like these young readers, I really enjoyed the book. Many of them think that it is the strongest first book by Riordan; and although some of them are a bit sad that the book is not as humorous (what, no funny chapter headings?) as The Lightning Thief, they feel that the sheer inventiveness and the coolness of the heroes and the battle scenes more than made up for the slight lack of levity.
We all agree that Leo is the most interesting and cool character to read about and can’t wait to see their next adventures: where traditional and Riordan-made story lines, characters old and new, and the worlds of Gods and Humans will all converge.
Are there some flaws in this book? Sure. It would have been great to me if Riordan does not repeat the same information more than once in several places and did a bit self-editing to tighten up the pacing a bit. (So instead of more than 550 pages, perhaps a 400+ pages would have made the book better… for me.) However, for the eager young readers who wanted so badly to read more adventures inspired by Greek and Roman Myths, I imagine, the MORE stuff the better! So, in the end, I say, Bravo, Mr. Riordan, for staying true to what you set out to do: writing fun and gripping adventurous stories for young readers and making the publication and reading of your books a huge excitement in their life.