Genre: urban fantasy
Length: 361 pages of text, 376 pages total
Setting: mostly around Camp Half-Blood, after the events in the Heroes of Olympus series.
Interest: It’s the first book in the Trials of Apollo series, Riordan’s latest series set in the Percy Jackson universe. The whole family reads all of Riordan’s books as soon as we can snag them from the library.
Summary: Apollo has been banished from Olympus and turned into a pimply 16-year old boy. He makes his way to Camp Half-Blood with the help of Meg, a demi-goddess daughter of Demeter, and Percy Jackson. He’s hoping Chiron will be able to help him, but Chiron is more concerned with the disappearing campers. Turns out, the Oracles are still blocked, so there can be no prophecies and no quests. However, the Grove of Dodana has reappeared on the grounds of Camp Half-Blood. A shadowy organization is trying to gain control of the Grove, the last free Oracle. The organization is run by the Emperors of Rome who never really died and are now making a play to control the world. Apollo has to use mortal efforts (with the occasional burst of godliness) to defend the camp, but he’s unable to defeat Nero.
Final thoughts: I didn’t like this book as much as the others, and it was all because I didn’t like Apollo’s voice. He was whiny and self-centered and couldn’t understand why more people didn’t drop down and worship him. Once the action and fighting got going, it was easier to ignore his tone, but I found him highly annoying. By the end, he did start to realize other people have their own perspective and rights (he’s kind of like a toddler in his self-centeredness). He even realized he liked Meg and was worried about her when she made a bad choice.
Since it is a new series, we get a new cast of characters, including monsters and bad guys, and even campers and Olympians. Meg is a daughter of Demeter, who is not a goddess we’ve really met before. Even the setting is different since we focus on the wilder part of Camp Half-Blood instead of where the campers live. The new parts do add a bit of freshness to the story. We still get a few old favorites showing up, like Percy Jackson, for continuity.
Title comes from: Apollo had to find the Grove of Dodana hidden on the grounds of Camp Half-Blood (which provided a prophecy in limerick form, so you know it must be dire!).
Reading challenges fulfilled: #49 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge and #4 in my New Books Challenge
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