My niece (she's almost 11) and I have decided that we like Percy Jackson better than Harry Potter. This book arrived on the day it was released and she had to read it first, and it will go back to her as a keeper. It's an action packed battle with a satisfying conclusion to the series as well as leaving an opening for another series, maybe featuring different heroes. Percy makes some very adult decisions and really is a good role model. If you haven't introduced your preteen to this series, they are missing out.
This is the final book in the "Percy Jackson & the Olympians" saga (there is another series scheduled for release in Oct. 2010, also about Greek mythology but it starts a new story arc with mostly new characters so it's a different series). This book sees the Great Prophecy made in the first book brought to its conclusion. While the gods are busy fighting the Typhon (which they see as the bigger threat), Percy and his friends are left to defend Mount Olympus from Kronos and his army. This will difficult since Luke (who houses Kronos's entity) has somehow become invincible and Percy must find out how to defeat him. Also making things difficult is the fact that all the mortals in NYC seem to have been put to sleep and Percy & co. must try to protect these bystanders as well during the battles that follow. Finally, Percy must juggle the feelings he's developing for Annabeth and Rachel Elizabeth Dare (hey, it can't all be battles to save the world).
This book brought the series to a satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed reading it. This one doesn't seem to focus on parallel myths as much as the others did, but new gods are still introduced. My favorite was Hestia; I really enjoyed the way Riordan brought her into the story. I also liked seeing a side of Percy's mom that we haven't had the chance to see before (you'll know it when you get to that part). This is a great series for YA readers, and reluctant readers will probably enjoy this series since it's very fast paced and doesn't have a lot of downtime to get bogged down in. I didn't want to like this series (I only started it to see what all the fuss was about), but I'm really glad that I read it! :-)
Good reading, definately geared to a younger reader. Passing this on on to my two nephews.