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Review: Greek mythology takes a modern turn in Rick Riordan's 'Last Olympian'

Everybody knows that Hermes, the Greek god of messengers, wears winged shoes, but few know that they're winged Reeboks.

In The Last Olympian, Rick Riordan mixes Greek mythology and the modern day to create a contemporary tale. It is the fifth and final installment in Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, aimed at readers ages 9 to 12.

Perseus, or Percy to his friends, is the demigod son of Poseidon, one of the "big three" gods who swore never to have children. He attends Camp Half Blood every summer to train and hone his powers.

No longer anchored in Greece, Olympus is in New York City's Empire State Building and is the center of Western civilization. Kronos, the evil time Titan, wants to destroy Olympus and all the gods. Percy and his usual gang of demigod friends must stop the "human bodied" Kronos and save Western civilization.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has always been sprinkled with humor, and The Last Olympian continues to serve laughs. Percy, the first-person narrator, often describes monsters and what they're thinking in a comical way. To boost the comedy level, Riordan has given every mythological creature a personality, from the overembellishing Apollo to the spirits of the East and Hudson rivers, who are as foul as their pollution levels. Each creature has a clever description so even readers unfamiliar with mythology will understand what monsters Percy faces.

Sometimes, the plot twists are predictable, so you may find yourself ahead of the story midway through. As the final book in the series, this one should be read last; it is not a standalone book. Despite this, The Last Olympian is a read worthy of Zeus, king of the gods, or for any other fan of Greek mythology.

William Harvey begins eighth grade this week at Liberty Middle School in Tampa.

The Last Olympian

By Rick

Disney Hyperion, 381 pages, $17.99

Review: Greek mythology takes a modern turn in Rick Riordan's 'Last Olympian' 08/21/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 21, 2009 1:20pm]
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