Here we are again, at last, the very end of the Percy Jackson stories. I have to admit I’ve been readying myself for this moment for a while now, ever since Rick Riordan announced that this book would be the last. But I think that in between the deathly quests and ominous prophecies, I forgot the most important thing: the end is just the beginning.
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication date: October 6th, 2020
Main characters: Lester (AKA Apollo), Meg, Nico Di Angelo, Will Solace
POV: Lester Papadopoulos (AKA Apollo, the Sun God)
Sequel, number in series, or stand-alone? Fifth and last in the Trials of Apollo series
Previous book: The Tyrant’s Tomb
Following book: –
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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.
Lester Papadopoulos. Apollo. The sun god. Alive for millennia, our protagonist has seen whole civilizations rise and fall at the hands of evil emperors, his brothers, and sisters, or even himself. He has seen his greatest loves turned to dust, Zeus’ tyranny, young Demigods marching towards death openly and unafraid. He suffered, and he implied that same suffering on others.
Apollo though he knew the ways of the world, thought he had lived all there was to live. It only took his immortality to be stripped out and to become a scrawny seventeen-year-old to understand just how wrong he was. Because for all the Greek Sun God thought he knew, he failed to understand what matters the most. How to be Human.
Our protagonist starts this series considering his time on Earth as a punishment. However, in the end, he realizes that being Lester was not damnation, but a journey and it’s one of the most beautiful and well-built character arcs I have ever had the pleasure to read. Just when I thought Rick Riordan had no more surprises to tell, he pulled out this masterpiece, I think that this series is the fruit of his life’s work and it can be seen on every page. The last four books were all about life teaching Apollo in the harshest and most lovely of ways but The Tower of Nero, is his final test, it’s the time to put all his learnings into practice. And in the end, he realizes that out of everything he has learned as a mortal, the most important one is that we never stop learning.
“Remember what it’s like to be human.”
“He’d meant the best things: standing up for just a cause, putting others first, having stubborn faith that you could make a difference, even if it meant to die to protect your friends and what you believed in.”
This is what Jason Grace meant.
This is what Apollo swore to never forget.
This is his arc, how he grew, what he learned, and what he must remember once he’s a God again.
But will he be strong enough to keep his promise?
This story is led by the most unusual of friendships: Meg and Apollo. From the young Demeter’s daughter’s life, Rick Riordan embarks the troublous waters of psychological abuse in not only a real but hopeful way too, he doesn’t romanticize it. Not even a bit, but he teaches us that it can be overcome and for me, that means light at the end of the tunnel, something to fight for, something to tell us that our story is not over yet.
“I considered that perhaps courage was a self-perpetuating cycle, like abuse. Nero had hoped to create miniature, tortured versions of himself because that made him feel stronger. Meg had found the strength to oppose him because she saw how much her foster siblings needed her to succeed, to show them another way.”
“All any of us could do was try, and hope that, in the end, the virtuous cycle would break the vicious one.”
Nico Di Angelo and Will Solace, a force to be reckoned with.
I think that this pair of Demigods is one of the greatest gifts Rick Riordan has given us over the course of the years A young, gay, couple with nothing else in front of them but a future with endless possibilities. There is not much canon about them, I know, but I think that just leaves the reader thousands and thousands of miles to explore, create our own stories, to make our own canon. I think Solangelo is a relationship that belongs to the fandom in a way (sorry, Rick) and I had never seen an author do something like this before.
As for each of them individually, I must say that I am so very proud of how much Nico has grown, the young man he has become, and even then when there are still dark days, he is working to overcome them and it is a powerful way to treat mental health, I was pleased that the author recognized and addressed what Nico was going through, it was given a name. After that, only comes recovery.
And Will Solace? Well, he is the glowing sun, isn’t he? He bears its warm light. And its fierce fire. He often comes underestimated but let me tell you, he is just as powerful as the very all mighty.
Now, I think the Elephant in the room must be addressed so, SPOILER SECTION. PROCEED UNDER YOUR OWN RISK.
What was that thing about the Tartarus voices and Rachel’s prophecy at the end? I know that Rick promised no more series and that he doesn’t like epilogues but, this is far too open to be a “the reader must imagine what happens next” right? Does this mean a Solangelo book? Because I’m so up for that. Leave your theories down in the comments!
END OF SPOILER SECTION
All in all, this was a good finale. We got a rough idea of what our favorite characters were up to, and some well waited moments.
Even if sometimes it didn’t feel like it, overall at the beginning, I had some issues with the pacing as if everything was passing too fast but too slow at the same time. The air doesn’t smell like endgame right from the start, but once it settles in… prepare yourselves, demigods, welcome to the last trial of Apollo.
I think that is all I have for you today but, if you are interested in my rants, you can follow me on Goodreads, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, where I like to get a little goofier. And if you want more content about books, stay tuned to the blog!
And remember, even if sometimes feels like it, you´re not alone, there´s always something rooting for you. But if you feel that no one out there is, I would happily be that person, here´s my email if you ever need someone to talk to, I will respond. firstname.lastname@example.org