The Heroes of Olympus
The logo for The Heroes of Olympus series
|Cover artist||John Rocco|
|Genre||Fantasy, young adult fiction, mystery, adventure, Greek and Roman mythological fiction|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book|
|No. of books||5|
|Preceded by||Percy Jackson & the Olympians|
|Followed by||The Trials of Apollo|
The Heroes of Olympus is a pentalogy of fantasy-adventure novels written by American author Rick Riordan. The novels detail a conflict between Greek and Roman demigods and Gaea, the earth goddess. The series is a sequel to Percy Jackson & the Olympians, which dealt with Greek gods. Riordan introduces Roman mythology into his sequel series as well as several new characters. The first book of the series, The Lost Hero, was published on October 12, 2010. The final entry in the series, The Blood of Olympus, was published on October 7, 2014.
The Heroes of Olympus is centered around a prophecy, introduced in The Last Olympian, that predicted seven demigods would unite to protect the world from an awakened Gaea. Demigods from both the Greek camp, Camp Half-Blood, and a newfound Roman camp, Camp Jupiter, work together to save the world from being destroyed by Gaea. The prophecy reads:
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire, the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.
Seven demigods—Annabeth Chase, Leo Valdez, Percy Jackson and Piper McLean from Camp Half-Blood, with Jason Grace, Frank Zhang, and Hazel Levesque from Camp Jupiter—join forces. A storm or a fire will destroy the world (Leo destroys Gaea with a fire). One of the seven will make an oath that is kept until their last breath. Leo vows to return to Ogygia. Leo dies in the explosion that kills Gaea. He is revived thanks to the Physician's Cure. (This also could have been to bring back Festus.) The last line details how demigods, a giant, and a titan will free the Doors of Death.
The novel begins by introducing Jason Grace, Piper McLean, and Leo Valdez, three newly discovered demigods who travel to Camp Half-Blood. In response to a prophecy, they set off on a quest to prevent the rebirth of the giant king Porphyrion and rescue Piper's father, who has been kidnapped by another giant, Enceladus (Leo called him Enchiladas). Jason, who has amnesia, also begins to remember pieces of his past throughout the book - most importantly, that he comes from a Roman camp for demigods called Camp Jupiter. Camp Half-Blood resolves to seek out this other camp both to gain allies in the fight against Gaea, the giants' mother and commander, and to locate the missing Percy Jackson.
The novel opens with Percy Jackson (struck with amnesia) discovering Camp Jupiter and meeting several Roman demigods. After a prophecy from Mars, he, Frank Zhang, and Hazel Levesque travel to Alaska to stop the rise of the giant Alcyoneus and free the god Thanatos, whom the giant has captured. After successfully completing their mission, the group returns to Camp Jupiter to defend it from yet another giant, Polybotes, and his army. After repelling this invasion, the demigods from Camp Jupiter go to meet the delegation from Camp Half-Blood arriving in the flying ship known as the Argo II.
Giants become stronger
After the Argo II unintentionally fires on Camp Jupiter, the seven demigods of the "Prophecy of Seven" - Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Hazel Levesque, Frank Zhang, Jason Grace, Piper McLean, and Leo Valdez - rush to escape the angered Roman campers. They travel to Rome following the Mark of Athena, a magical talisman designed to lead children of Athena (like Annabeth) to the missing Athena Parthenos. During their journey, they hear that Nico di Angelo has been captured by the Aloadae, and go to rescue him. Although they successfully free the son of Hades and locate the statue, Annabeth and Percy are pulled into Tartarus and the rest of the group resolves to find some way to save them.
In Tartarus, Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase travel towards the "Doors of Death" (the only exit to the mortal world) with help from Bob the Titan, hoping to escape and simultaneously stop more monsters from getting through. In the mortal world, the remaining demigods search for the mortal side of the Doors to help open them. They also meet with Reyna Avila Ramírez-Arellano, a Roman demigod; she, Nico di Angelo, and Coach Hedge leave with the Athena Parthenos for Camp Half-Blood. Once reunited, the original seven sail for Greece, where they expect Gaea's main force will gather.
While Reyna Ramírez-Arellano, Nico di Angelo, and Gleeson Hedge travel towards Camp Half-Blood (where the Romans are preparing to attack the Greeks), the seven of the quest travel to Athens. With help from the gods, the demigods defeat the giants in Athens. They then return to the fight on Long Island and Leo Valdez sacrifices himself to defeat Gaea and restore peace. In the final pages, Leo is resurrected by his bronze dragon Festus and goes to find his girlfriend Calypso. Unaware that he is alive, Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter mourn his loss, determining to become allies and prevent such a deadly war from happening again.
The Demigod Diaries
Released August 14, 2012, The Demigod Diaries is a collection of short stories. Similar to The Demigod Files, it contains some new stories with character interviews, illustrations, puzzles, and a quiz. The four stories include:
- "The Diary of Luke Castellan": Thalia Grace and Luke Castellan meet Halycon Green, Luke receives his knife, and the pair encounters Annabeth Chase. The events of the story take place roughly five years before The Lightning Thief, the first book of Percy Jackson & the Olympians.
- "Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes": Percy Jackson and Annabeth are sent by Hermes to retrieve his caduceus from the fire-breathing giant Cacus. The story takes place between The Last Olympian and The Lost Hero.
- "Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford": Jason Grace, Leo Valdez, and Piper McLean confront a group of Maenads while searching for Buford the table, who has run off with an important piece of the unfinished Argo II. The story takes place at Camp Half-Blood between The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune.
- "Son of Magic": Alabaster Torrington, a demigod son of Hecate who fought on Kronos's side, finds himself in a fight to the death with Lamia. He is alone after being banished from Camp Half-Blood following Kronos's defeat in The Last Olympian and asks the mortal Howard Claymore for help. This story was written by Rick Riordan's son Haley Riordan.
- Perseus "Percy" Jackson: The 17-year-old son of Poseidon from Camp Half-Blood, Percy is the narrator and main protagonist of the preceding series Percy Jackson & the Olympians. In The Son of Neptune, he is depicted fighting amnesia, during which his only memory is his girlfriend, Annabeth Chase.
- Annabeth Chase: Annabeth, 17 years old and a daughter of Athena, is credited as "the smartest girl in camp" by Percy Jackson, a comment that is true and well-deserved. She is a gifted and dedicated architect as well.
- Piper McLean: A 15-year-old daughter of Aphrodite. She is one of the few children of Aphrodite who has the rare heriditary gift of "charmspeak" (the ability to magically convince people to do what the person in question says) and is described as beautiful by Jason Grace. She carries a knife called Katropris (previously owned by Helen of Troy) that shows her visions of the future. She begins dating Jason Grace (son of Jupiter) during the series.
- Leo Valdez: A 15-year-old son of Hephaestus who can control fire (a very rare ability). He is famous among his cabinmates for repairing the automated bronze dragon Festus gone wild, whom had given more experienced campers life altering disabilities. He leads the building of the Argo II. Leo begins dating Calypso in The Blood of Olympus after being stranded on Ogygia earlier in the series.
- Nico di Angelo: A 15-year-old son of Hades who has power over the dead and the ability to “shadow travel” long distances. He is the only demigod who knew about both Camps before the war. Nico begins dating Will Solace during the time period encompassing the end of “The Blood of Olympus” and the beginning of “The Hidden Oracle,” the first book in the next series.
- Gleeson Hedge: An old satyr, formerly a coach at the Wilderness School. Hedge's first child is born during the final book of the series.
- Thalia Grace: Thalia is Jason's biological sister, but a daughter of Zeus rather than Jupiter (Jupiter and Zeus are the same god in different aspects, making Jason a child of Rome and Thalia a child of Greece).
- Tyson: Tyson is a cyclops, the half-brother of Percy
- Rachel Elizabeth Dare: Camp Half-Blood's oracle. Rachel is not a demigod or a legacy; she is a regular mortal human who was born with the gift to see through the Mist. She is the current Oracle, being a vessel for the Spirit of Delphi.
- Grover Underwood: Percy's best friend, a satyr; he and Percy have an empathy link that allows them to sense one another. Also Grover Underwood is gifted by the lord of the wild, Pan.
- Jason Grace: A 15-year-old Roman son of Jupiter who can fly, control winds and lightning, and create storms. He is a natural leader and was praetor before Hera took his memory and sent him to Camp Half-Blood.
- Hazel Levesque: A 13-year-old daughter of Pluto. She originally lived in the 1940s before dying to stop the rise of Alcyoneus and later being revived by her half-brother Nico di Angelo. She can control precious metals and stones, navigate underground, and manipulate the Mist.
- Frank Zhang: A 16-year-old son of Mars and a descendant of Poseidon on his mother's side. Frank can shapeshift.
- Reyna Avila Ramírez-Arellano: A 16-year-old daughter of the Roman goddess of war, Bellona. Reyna can lend her useful abilities (like her courage, strength, and leadership ability) to other demigods.
- Octavian: An 18-year-old Roman descendant of Apollo, he serves as the Camp Jupiter’s augur. Octavian is power-hungry and seizes control of the camp after Reyna goes looking for the Athena Parthenos. He is largely responsible for the Roman Camp attacking Camp Half-Blood.
Inspirations and origins
After realizing how many Greek and Roman myths he had left untouched as well the immense success of the original series, Riordan began writing a second series, using inspiration for his storyline from experiences that he and his children had while playing video and role-playing games such as World of Warcraft and Scion. After creating the storyline, Riordan created three new main characters—Jason, Piper, and Leo—but continued to use the previous main characters such as Annabeth and Grover as secondary characters.
Unlike the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series which uses first-person narration solely from Percy's point of view, the second series is told in third-person, with the point of view alternating between various main characters. In The Lost Hero, those characters are Jason, Piper, and Leo. Although initially uncertain how fans would react, Riordan later found that they enjoyed the new format, as it allowed them to learn more about each character.
Riordan says that "it was my way of letting them revisit that world in a fresh twist, but also to catch up with Percy and Annabeth and the rest of the gang from the first series". He also decided to include the Roman gods after many readers requested that Riordan write a new series on Roman gods, who are the Roman equivalent of the Greek gods, with some minor changes in personality. He pondered on how the Roman aspect of the gods would be after moving from Greece to Rome to America. After a while, "playing with that idea gave me the idea for the new series".
The Lost Hero, the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series, was released on October 12, 2010 as a hardcover, audiobook, and ebook. The initial publishing run consisted of 2.5 million copies. The book's official publication was preceded by several "sneak-peek" releases by Disney-Hyperion. A graphic novel version, adapted and illustrated by Orpheus Collar, was released October 7, 2014.
A sequel pentalogy series titled The Trials of Apollo is currently in-development, with the first installment, The Hidden Oracle released on May 3, 2016. The second installment, The Dark Prophecy, was released on May 2, 2017.
The Lost Hero was a number one bestseller on the lists of The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly. Many critics praised the novel as a good follow-up to Riordan's previous series. A review by The Epoch Times commented, "If anyone was afraid that Riordan couldn’t top his Percy Jackson series—they can quit worrying. This new series, even though in the same genre as the Percy Jackson group, has fresh ideas, more mystery and magic and keeps the reader engrossed from start to finish." Despite this praise, some reviews were more mixed. Vicky Smith of Kirkus Reviews wrote, "[there are] far too many pages of stretched-out action, telling not showing and awkward dialogue...Unless Riordan tightens things up considerably by number five, [readers] may find themselves hoping that it does not end with a third Great Prophecy".
The Lost Hero won the Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2010 award and was a Massachusetts Children's Book Award Honor book for 2014, among other honors. Rick Riordan was named "Author of the Year" for the novel at the 2011 Children's Choice Awards. The book was also recommended by the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults list of 2012.
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