Published By: Disney-Hyperion
Series: The Trials of Apollo #1
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Rick Riordan never seems to disappoint (well, with Blood of Olympus being the only exception). Anyway, this book had an amazing cast, plot, pace, and narration. Also, the cameos from Rick’s previous series (Percy Jackson and the Olympians + The Heroes of Olympus) made the book that much more enjoyable.
Let’s start with talking about the characters. Apollo was a very fun character to follow throughout this book. Similar to Percy, he cracks countless jokes during serious times. However, the type of humor is definitely different. Along the 10 books Rick has published about Greek/Roman mythology, he depicts the gods as arrogant and naive people and we definitely get a sense of that through Apollo’s voice – in a funny way, of course. I also appreciated how Rick made Apollo so comfortable with his sexuality. Throughout this book, Apollo mentions feelings for both guys and girls and does it so nonchalantly. Yay for diversity in middle grade! 🙂
Apollo does have a sidekick named Meg. She really intrigued me and I enjoyed seeing her relationship with Apollo grow as it brought out more selfless qualities in Apollo. I definitely can’t wait to see how she grows in the story as well.
Nico and Will were super fun to see both together and alone in this book. Seeing them finally being in a relationship just made me so happy! I also liked to see how Will, and Apollo’s other children Austin and Kayla, interacted with their dad. Though they were reluctant at first, it was nice to see them accept their godly parent so easily compared to other demigods.
On to the plot. Rick once more changed it up by not having a quest in this one. The characters mainly stayed in Camp Half Blood during the whole book. However, I found that I was still as enticed as I was when reading Rick’s other books. It was super interesting learning about the different oracles and more about Roman history. The plot was fast paced and I ended up finishing the last 150 pages all in one night.
The only thing that bumped this rating down was the fact that there were some unnecessary events that didn’t make sense at all. The camp hosts a ‘3 legged death race’ when demigods have been disappearing from camp. AND Chiron approves it? It just didn’t make sense to me. Those few chapters were not needed in my opinion but did give some more action I guess. Another thing was that the details behind the main antagonist was blurry and seemed so open ended that I got confused on how they managed to do what they did. (I’m trying to be super vague but hopefully those who have read the book know what I mean.)
Lastly, I loved how the chapters started with haikus. They were just the perfect addition to be honest. It felt so much like Apollo.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD, GO READ THE BOOK FIRST!
The only thing I really want to talk about in this discussion is Meg. I honestly didn’t see her betrayal coming. I so badly wanted to be mad at her but I just couldn’t. There’s no doubt in my mind that she did actually care for Apollo so I think she’s going to end up helping him in the long run. I do feel terrible for her and the way she was brought up though. Another example of Rick Riordan’s amazing attempts to tackle social issues.
I’m also super excited to see more of Leo and Calypso next book! Though Percy and Annabeth are my two favorites from the Heroes of Olympus, Leo is definitely a close third. I also kind of want to see the rest of the Heroes of Olympus squad just to see how they’re doing. I’m just not anticipating it as much as Percy’s short cameos. Also looking forward to the banter between Calypso and Apollo. Cannot wait till The Dark Prophecy!