Yes, he did it. I knew he was going to do it, but I'm still disappointed. Riordan did shove a completely unnecessary romantic triangle in this story. Why did it have to be like this? For that matter, why did there have to be romance at all? It was obvious, from their actions throughout the series, that Annabeth and Percy weren't romantically attracted. Why did this awkward, bizarre, damn near grotesque display of artificial feelings have to happen? And Annabeth in love with Luke? Oh my God
. It doesn't really surprise me that, in the end, she says she didn't know Luke was what the prophecy meant with "a love". Nobody knew she was supposed to "love" him. Maybe an infatuation, but love? Where did that come from?
I HATE PHONY COMPULSORY ROMANCE!!!
Other than that, this book is fun, fast-paced and action-packed. But it has many problems. The characters' feelings and motivations are still too obvious. They don't have to be mysterious, but if you keep spelling everything out, it gets condescending and feels forced.
Percy is fast becoming one of my most despised main characters. How can a boy be so dumb? It's not the ADHD, that does not result in a learning disability. He's just stupid, he always takes forever to understand things and needs to have everything spelled out for him. If that is actually not part of his characterization, but just a trick so the author can explain what is happening to his readers, then it becomes downright offensive. Nobody needs that much coaching to get to the conclusion.
Also, he didn't develop at all
. He's still exactly the same boy he was in [b:The Lightning Thief|28187|The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)|Rick Riordan|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1400602609s/28187.jpg|3346751]. He didn't get wiser, he didn't get smarter, he didn't learn how to control his powers better (or even try to), he didn't get more emotionally mature... How exactly is he supposed to save Western Civilization? Any other character in the books would be more adequate at that job. Literally.
The last three chapters were very weird, too. So rushed! They had more things happening than the whole rest of the book. It kinda feels like the deadline was approaching, so Riordan didn't have enough time to finish the book properly and only wanted to make sure all the facts that he wanted were included. Some scenes felt like an anticlimax, like they could have been so much better if only they were written with more care.
I did enjoy reading this, but I expected so much more. Now, I don't even know what to expect from the rest of the series... (and I was planning to keep reading on to The Heroes of Olympus series) I suppose I will keep reading, as long as I'm still entertained by it. But this is definitely not
my favorite series. It doesn't even make it to the top 100.