Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan

Summery

At last, the breathtaking, action-packed finale of the #1 bestselling Trials of Apollo series is here! Will the Greek god Apollo, cast down to earth in the pathetic moral form of a teenager named Lester Papadopoulos, finally regain his place on Mount Olympus? Lester’s demigod friends at Camp Jupiter just helped him survive attacks from bloodthirsty ghouls, an evil Roman king and his army of the undead, and the lethal emperors Caligula and Commodus. Now the former god and his demigod master Meg must follow a prophecy uncovered by Ella the harpy. Lester’s final challenge will be at the Tower of Nero, back in New York. Will Meg have a last showdown with her father? Will this helpless form of Apollo have to face his arch nemesis, Python? Who will be on hand at Camp Half-Blood to assist? These questions and more will be answered in this book that all demigods are eagerly awaiting.

Thoughts

It has been a real hot minute since I wrote a review, so this one may be short and how just how rusty I am.

The Trials of Apollo series is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and I genuinely sad to see come to an end. The way that Rick Riordan writes Apollo aka Lester Papadopoulos makes me laugh every time and is filled while such entertaining and consistent wit. It feels true to how the god would of been in all the myths.

Throughout the series we have seen characters from across the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series grow and evolve getting glimpses into where their lives have headed since the end of their respective stories. As a reader that thrives on character connection this is something that I absolutely love seeing.

The overall plot of ‘The Tower of Nero’ ties together all the loose ends from the previous 4 books of the ‘Trials of Apollo’ series. Allowing characters, readers and listeners the closure that is needed after such a saga of events.

I am honestly sad to see the end of this series and really hope for more Lester Papadopoulos in the future.

What are your thoughts on the series?

The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan

The Tyrant’s Tomb
by Rick Riordan
#4 in the Trials of Apollo Series

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Date: 2019
Pages: 439
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Mythology
Days to Read: 4
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks

In his penultimate adventure, a devastated but determined Apollo travels to Camp Jupiter, where he must learn what it is to be a hero, or die trying.

It’s not easy being Apollo, especially when you’ve been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. On his path to restoring five ancient oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) has faced both triumphs and tragedies. Now his journey takes him to Camp Jupiter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Roman demigods are preparing for a desperate last stand against the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Hazel, Reyna, Frank, Tyson, Ella, and many other old friends will need Apollo’s aid to survive the onslaught. Unfortunately, the answer to their salvation lies in the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler . . . someone even worse than the emperors Apollo has already faced.

By the second last book in The Trials of Apollo series, so much has happened and The Tyrant’s Tomb is no exception. ‘The Burning Maze’ ended with the death of a beloved character that honestly rocked me as a reader. During the events that take place in ‘The Tyrant’s Tomb’ we also see characters grieving this death and how each individual deals with thr repocussions of this.

Throughout all the Rick Riordan series so many important themes are dicussed, especially for the age bracket that they are intended for. I find that Rick Riordan broaches topics such a gender fluitity, death, sexuality, race and religion in a manner that allows readers to understand concepts, ideas and even themselves in a deeper way. This also allows for everybody to be represented in a large range of books.

The way that Apollo is represented in the stories is one of my absolute favourites. I love that his personality is the same regardless of where he is represented. He is definitely very self confident and has a humerous way of expressing himself. I found myself laughing out loud at some of his lines.

The plot as a whole was enjoyable to read. We spent a lot of time with the heroes from the Roman camp and watched as they battled these ancient villains, always the self sarcrificer to save others. We also see more of the importance of every charcaters in the story with all of them developing so fluidly that the changes aren’t really visable in each individual book.

The Tyrant’s Tomb gave me another of the mythology stories that I live for. It is an important addition to the Trials of Apollo series. As readers we have been set up well for the finale to Apollo’s story of redemption.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Overall: 4.5/5

Review: ‘The Dark Prophecy’ By Rick Riordan

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‘The Dark Prophecy’
By Rick Riordan
Book #2 in the Trials of Apollo Series

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publish Date: May 2017
Pages: 414
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

Synopsis

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon.

Thoughts

This is the second instalment in the 5 book series ‘The Trials of Apollo’ (3 of which are out) and we follow Apollo as he travels to the next Oracle to help take them back under his control. In this book we are based in Indianapolis and Calypso and Leo head out with Apollo.

Throughout the mission we are met with other characters we have met through out the ‘Percy Jackson’ series and the ‘Heroes of Olympus’ series. Both with Apollo and against him. I really enjoyed seeing these different characters come back into the picture and learn a bit more about Apollo’s back story.

I found of difficult to get into the book to begin with but by about 50 pages in I was completely into the story and desperate to find out what was going to happen in the story.

We were also introduced to some magical creatures and I am all about that. With the Griffins being an important aspect of the story.

This book is filled with action almost from the very first page and really sets the scene for the next 3 books.

Rating

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 8/10
Quality of Writing: 7.5/10
Stars:  3.5/5

 

 

Review: ‘The Hidden Oracle’ By Rick Riordan

The_Hidden_Oracle

‘The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle’
By Rick Riordan
Book #1 in the Trials of Apollo Series

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publish Date: May 2016
Pages: 361
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

‘Wait. I’m mortal. Murder would kill me. Never mind.’

Synopsis

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

‘Check your spam folder
The Prophecies might be there
No? Well, I’m Stumped. Bye’

Thoughts

This has to be one of the most well written books by Rick Riordan (and if you know me at all you know I love Rick Riordan’s writing) It really incorporates an amazing amount of humour which is perfect for a book narrated by Apollo.

After reading ‘The Heroes of Olympus’ series, I’d kind of gotten used to reading multiple perspectives but this book brought me back to my Percy Jackson reading days – I know I made that sound like a long time ago even though it was literally last year – and really got me feeling the Rick Riordan books again.

Reading another book in the same Percy Jackson universe really increased my ease of reading. I already knew about demigods, camp half blood and that strange things always happen when demigods and Gods are involved.

I found the plot completely engaging from the first page I wanted to see where the story was going to go. The development of the plot really goes at the appropriate pace and I never felt like the story was moving to fast or to slow.

‘The Hidden Oracle’ has really encapsulated the Apollo myth and taken his attitude and self appreciation to an amazingly comical level.

‘Kayla muttered an ancient Greek curse. If I had been a proper godly father, I would have washed her mouth out with olive oil.’ 

Rating

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 9/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 7/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  5/5

Review: ‘Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold’ By Stephen Fry

mythos

Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold
By Stephen Fry

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 410
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: History Mythology
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

Synopsis

The Greek myths are the greatest stories ever told, passed down through millennia and inspiring writers and artists as varied as Shakespeare, Michelangelo, James Joyce and Walt Disney.

They are embedded deeply in the traditions, tales and cultural DNA of the West. In Stephen Fry’s hands the stories of the titans and gods become a brilliantly entertaining account of ribaldry and revelry, warfare and worship, debauchery, love affairs and life lessons, slayings and suicides, triumphs and tragedies.

You’ll fall in love with Zeus, marvel at the birth of Athena, wince at Cronus and Gaia’s revenge on Ouranos, weep with King Midas and hunt with the beautiful and ferocious Artemis.

Thoroughly spellbinding, informative and moving, Stephen Fry’s Mythos perfectly captures these stories for the modern age – in all their rich and deeply human relevance.

My Thoughts

I feel as though I am biased towards this book. Not only do I LOVE Greek Mythology an insane amount, but I also love Stephen Fry, so I pretty much knew I was going to love ‘Mythos’. I was not wrong.

Not only are the myths fantastically re-written with additional dialogue and great character building – I don’t even know if that’s actually possible, but still – and amazing depth of information.

I started reading my physical copy of the book, however as soon as I saw that Stephen Fry was narrating his book on Audible I knew that I needed to listen to it. I decided to save to for my travels in Greece, just to get more of a feel of the book – completely unnecessary, but also totally worth it – which was an amazing choice. I listened as we drove all over the mainland on a tour of ancient sites, many of which are mentioned throughout the myths and it was amazing to see these places as I was experiencing the story.

Fry adds great depth and detail, as well as opinions to his retelling to really give the gods and their stories incredible depth and dimension.

This is a book I will be revisiting again and again, listening to the stories of the Classical period in Greece’s history. (When I’m not devouring the Rick Riordan series that is)

My Rating

Plot: 9/10
Ease of reading: 5/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 8/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  5/5

 

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