The Last Olympian
Cover of first edition
|Cover artist||John Rocco|
|Series||Percy Jackson & the Olympians (bk 5)|
|Genre||Fantasy, Greek mythology, young-adult novel|
|May 5, 2009|
|Media type||Print (hardcover), audiobook|
|LC Class||PZ7.R4829 Las 2009b|
|Preceded by||The Battle of the Labyrinth|
|Followed by||The Heroes of Olympus|
The Last Olympian is a fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology by Rick Riordan, published on May 5, 2009. It is the fifth and final novel of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and serves as the direct sequel to The Battle of the Labyrinth. The Last Olympian revolves around the demigod Percy Jackson as he leads his friends in a last stand to protect Mount Olympus. The title refers to Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, who refers to herself as such in a conversation with Percy on Mount Olympus.
Upon release, the book received highly positive reviews from various critics. It was also the #1 USA Today bestseller, the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller, and #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller.
While on a drive with Rachel Dare, Percy is approached by Charles Beckendorf, who informs him that it is time to enact their surprise attack on the The Princess Andromeda. However, Kronos, still possessing Luke Castellan, is not caught off guard because of a spy at Camp Half-Blood, and Beckendorf must sacrifice his life to destroy the ship, while Percy escapes with a heavy heart. Percy is awakened by his half-brother Tyson, in his father Poseidon's underwater palace, which is under siege by the forces of the Titan Oceanus. Percy wants to stay and help fight with his father, but Poseidon sends Percy back to Camp Half-Blood to hear the "Great Prophecy".
Percy informs the camp that there is a spy among them, learns the gods are fighting Typhon, and reads the Prophecy. Percy is emotionally distraught by his confused feelings for Annabeth, Beckendorf's death, the Prophecy, and the fact that the Ares and Apollo cabins are at "war". That night, Percy leaves again with Nico di Angelo, son of Hades, to find out Nico's plan for Percy to defeat Kronos, as mentioned at the end of The Battle of the Labyrinth. After visiting Luke's mother in Westport, Connecticut, and talking with Hestia, Percy procures a blessing from his mother, which will allow him to descend into the Underworld to bathe in the River Styx and take on the curse of Achilles. Once there, Nico betrays Percy to Hades for information on his past, but then helps Percy to escape from confinement. The two boys then follow through with the original plan and the son of Poseidon becomes invincible, except for a small area "just opposite [his] navel". Percy uses his newfound powers to defeat an attempt by Hades to recapture him.
Percy emerges from the Underworld in New York City, leaving Nico behind to convince his father to join the fight against Kronos. Percy calls the campers (minus the children of Ares, who are still angry with the Apollo cabin) to battle. Chiron appoints Percy as the leader. They enter Olympus through the Empire State Building and meet Hermes, who informs them that the gods can not help them defend Olympus because they must defeat Typhon. Just before the battle begins, New York City is affected by a powerful spell from Morpheus, the god of dreams, that puts all mortals to sleep. Kronos, with the help of Hecate, slows down time around New York City, all to avoid mortal interference. Despite being joined by Thalia's Hunters of Artemis; satyrs and nymphs; Chiron's centaur cousins the Party Ponies; and automaton-statues fashioned by the late Daedalus; the Olympian army struggles to hold back successive assaults by the Titan army. The Titan Prometheus offers Percy the chance to surrender (which he refuses) by opening Pandora's Pithos to release the spirit of Elpis, goddess of hope. Kronos is not without losses, however, as Percy and the satyrs defeat the Titan Lord's brother, Hyperion. Camp Half Blood suffers approximately 16 casualties, out of an original 40 campers. Annabeth is badly injured when she saves Percy from a poisoned blade thrown by Ethan that would have hit Percy in his Achilles point. Percy has dreams of Kronos questioning Ethan about where Percy's Achilles spot was.
Rachel Dare, who has been experiencing inexplicable moments of prophecy, flies from a family vacation to tell Percy that he is not the hero of the Great Prophecy, and that it will influence his choice when he turns 16. She also informs Percy that the Titans have a monster on their side that only a child of Ares could destroy. After nearly suffering a panic attack when he finds his mother and step-father asleep in a car just blocks from Olympus, Percy gives Pandora's pithos to the goddess Hestia, the last Olympian left on the mountaintop. The monster of Rachel's vision then arrives, and the campers learn that it is a drakon. Silena Beauregard arrives disguised as Ares's head counselor Clarisse and leads the Ares cabin. She tries to slaughter the drakon but is badly wounded. The real Clarisse arrives on a flying chariot and kills the drakon by herself. The campers crowd around the dying child of Aphrodite, who admits that she pretended to be Clarisse to trick the Ares cabin into fighting, because she wanted to right the wrongs she had brought about by being Luke's spy all along.
Percy contacts his father and explains to Poseidon that Kronos was playing on their divisions, that Oceanus was merely a distraction. Percy tells the god that the only way to survive was to abandon the undersea war and concentrate all his efforts on Typhon;Poseidon reluctantly agrees. Driven back to the blocks surrounding the Empire State building, Percy and his friends fight in a last stand to protect Mount Olympus from the gargantuan army Kronos has amassed. Even when Hades arrives with his son and army, Kronos still manages to break through and enter Olympus.
Percy and Kronos, in Luke's body, battle in the throne room of Olympus, without either side gaining a significant advantage. In an Iris message-vision, the combatants are able to see Typhon approaching New York, only to be defeated with the aid of Poseidon and his cyclops army. Ethan Nakamura also rebels against Kronos's expectations, but is killed by his own sword. With his dying breath, he tells Percy that minor gods deserve more respect. Luke is shocked back into his non-evil self when Kronos uses him to attack Annabeth. The "Great Prophecy" is fulfilled by Percy's decision to give Luke Annabeth's dagger rather than attempt to kill Luke himself. Luke injures himself at his mortal point and successfully banishes Kronos to the void. As he dies, Luke tells Percy that Ethan had the right idea: it was unclaimed children and unrecognized gods that really brought this war upon them. Annabeth tells Luke, and finally admits to herself, that she loved him as a brother. Luke dies peacefully, saying he will try for rebirth rather than staying in Elysium, and the Fates themselves carry away the son of Hermes's body.
King Zeus grants rewards to several heroes who were instrumental in defeating the Titans. Artemis gives her blessings to Thalia to recruit girls to join her hunt; Athena promises Annabeth that she will be the architect that redesigns a decimated Mount Olympus; Grover becomes a Lord of the Wild and a member of the Council of the Cloven Elders; Tyson becomes general of the Cyclopes' army and being given a new "stick" (i.e. a club); and even Nico is recognized and accepted by his father. Finally, Percy is called forward. Zeus offers him the greatest gift of all time: immortal godhood. Percy is tempted, but remembers how he felt when he thought Annabeth was going to become an immortal Hunter of Artemis (in The Titan's Curse). Much to the Olympians' shock, he instead asks the gods to swear on the River Styx that they will claim all demigods by the time they turn thirteen (Luke's dying wish); have cabins and thrones built for all the minor gods (Ethan's dying wish); and reevaluate the punishment of innocent Titans and their former allies, such as Calypso and some of the minor gods who turned (a personal wish). Percy also relieves Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades of their oath to not have demigod children, as it never worked in the first place.
After the meeting, Percy meets with several gods, including Hermes and Athena. Upon hearing that Rachel plans to become the new Oracle, he rushes to camp with Annabeth and Nico. He fears that a curse placed on the Oracle's spirit by Hades (in revenge for Zeus's murder of Nico and Bianca's mother) is still in place. At camp, he finds out that Rachel has the gift of prophecy and that Apollo has chosen her. To his relief, Rachel successfully becomes the new Oracle and speaks the next Great Prophecy:
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call.
To storm or fire, the world must fall.
An oath to keep with the final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.
Afterward, Annabeth celebrates Percy's birthday with him and officially begins a romantic relationship with him. On his last day at Camp, Percy is surprised to meet his father on the beach. Poseidon personally thanks him, and jokes that he might send Percy some brothers and sisters to keep him company. Percy and Annabeth run into the mortal world with Percy narrating, "For once, I didn't look back."
The Great Prophecy:
A half-blood of the eldest gods
Shall reach 16 against all odds
And see the world in endless sleep,
The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap
A single choice shall end his days,
Olympus to preserve or raze.
- Percy Jackson is the son of Poseidon, one of the three eldest male Olympians.
- Percy reached sixteen despite several dangerous quests and mythological threats.
- Morpheus put a spell under Manhattan that made every mortal fall asleep.
- When Luke and Annabeth first met, he handed her a knife with the promise that they would always be a family and be there for each other. However, when Luke betrayed her, the promise was broken. Percy gives this cursed blade to the hero Luke so that he may commit suicide and free the world from Kronos.
- Percy had to choose whether or not to give Luke Annabeth's knife, a choice that would end Luke's life but stop Kronos.
- Luke Castellan sacrificed himself to save Olympus.
- Percy Jackson: The main protagonist and narrator of the first series. His status as a son of Poseidon, the apparent subject of the Great Prophecy, and yearly quests bring him to Olympus time after time. Like Luke has done, and Achilles before them both, he bathes in the River Styx and become invincible before he leads the Olympian-aligned forces in a defense of Manhattan, fighting on varied fronts the entire time, even bringing down Hyperion, Lord of the East. For his heroism, particularly in saving Olympus from destruction, he is offered godhood, though he declines it in favor of his friends, whom he values before all else. His relationship with Annabeth increases when she kisses him underwater in an air bubble, in the lake of Camp Half Blood. Like his girlfriend Annabeth Chase, he is 16 years old.
- Annabeth Chase: Daughter of Athena and Percy's girlfriend who fights alongside him in the battle. In the end, she and Percy start dating.
- Grover Underwood: Percy's best friend, a satyr, and a new member of the Council of Cloven Elders after Leneus dies. He sets out to restore the Wild at the end of the series.
- Luke Castellan: A 23-year-old demigod son of Hermes, as well as his father's pride and joy. Although he is an antagonist throughout the series, he sacrifices himself to destroy Kronos at the end of the book and is, in a way, the actual hero of the Great Prophecy.
Another Camp Half-Blood series has been released, titled The Heroes of Olympus. The Lost Hero is the first book in this series by Riordan, and was released on October 12, 2010. Though it is not directly related to Percy and friends, there are many references and appearances of these characters and it still serves as a sequel. Its sequel, The Son of Neptune, portrays Percy as one of the main protagonists. The Son of Neptune is followed by The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, and The Blood of Olympus which was released October 7, 2014.
- "The last Olympian" (first edition). LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress (lccn.loc.gov). Retrieved 2015-11-05.
- "The Last Olympian" (starred review). Kirkus Reviews. May 15, 2009. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
- "Percy Jackson children's book series ending next year". The Seattle Times. September 5, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
- Riordan, Rick (May 5, 2009). The Last Olympian. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Disney-Hyperion. ISBN 1-4231-0147-2. OCLC 299578184.
- Riordan, Rick. The Last Olympian. Disney Hyperion Books, 2009, p. 55.
- Rick Riordan Myth Master at publisher Penguin Books (UK)
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians at publisher Disney-Hyperion Books (US)
- Rick Riordan at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database