What else is better than Apollo running around smacking things with his combat ukulele and essentially becoming Ant Man all while being faced with the existential inevitability of death? Apparently not many things I tell you.
Rating: 4 stars
I do think this is one of Rick’s best books. And yet it didn’t get a full 5 stars.
Now, you see, I am still mad that the last book in the Heroes of Olympus series had to suffer for this book to exist.
It ties in all the loose ends in the Blood of Olympus. Loose ends that made that book less enjoyable and less conclusion-y for me. It’s still my lowest rated Riordan book for this very reason. So yeah since I’m still pretty salty about that and I couldn’t put the bitterness aside. Sorry, but this is a subjective review (that subject obviously being me…OH GODS I’M STARTING TO SOUND LIKE APOLLO) -these things still affect my feelings. And my feelings were hurt. (poor feelings)
Despite all that, I am begrudgingly admitting that I really enjoyed this book. And I’m glad. It surprised me and now I’m sad that I waited this long to actually read it.
Do I want Uncle Rick to STOP publishing books in the same world? Honestly?…No. The myths are my JAM (seriously you’ve got no idea how many times i looked like an intellectual child while using my impressive knowledge of the Greek myths) and I think he really brings important and diverse books to younger children. So yeah Uncle Rick keep going you’re doing amazing sweety.
My blurb: Since the chapter headers all haikus seems only fair that I compose one myself. Ahem, here goes:
Apollo becomes mortal
Oh no! Emotions
Welp, here we go again
(please note I don’t really know what a haiku is exactly so this might be completely and irrevocably wrong and i cannot be held accountable for any wrong haikus that might result)
This takes on Apollo’s story and it’s actually quite touching, showing his struggles with the newfound insecurities that come with mortality, essentially being forced to face the consequences of his godly actions. Yeah, welcome to the real world spoilers: it’s not great!
He is selfish, egoistical, narcissistic (these may just be synonyms that I listing).
The idea is: He. Is. Flawed. And that is what makes him able to grow. Character development was on point (if a little rushed). He realizes how wrong he’s been and by spending time with the campers and his children he starts caring about them (also he was such a DAD. honestly. I loved every single interaction he had with his children. I think Rick is very self aware that he’s trying to “be a hip dad” so he wrote some of that into Apollo to make fun of hismelf). Being able to make Apollo, one of my LEAST favorite Olympians, my FAVORITE character may seem like an impossible feat but Uncle Rick managed to do it and then some.
Also his weapon is a ukulele, essentially making truly punk rock. (PETITION TO GIVE HIM A FLOWER CROWN NEXT)
In the end mortality might not be great but we make it ok. Together. And he starts realizing that.
List of positives
- Bisexuality REPRESENTATION!!!! Apollo, THE MAIN CHARACTER, is bisexual and that is a big part of his personality. A big part of his personality was shaped by the loss of his two biggest loves: a male and a female. And that is stated. No arguing about it, no “interpretation”. No more erasure by the old dudes that studied those original myths and decided to just not mention tiny tiny aspect. Now we only find out about those things in 2 sentences on Wikipedia. And it was damn beautiful to see that bit represented.
- Will & Nico. They are incredibly cute. Even though their relationship WAS jammed in at the last second in BOO (see I told you I didn’t like that book) I accepted it well…because NICO DESERVED HAPPINESS DAMN IT!! And I had hopes to see them develop more.
- Rachel Elizabeth Dare makes a comeback. Of course the cameo of one of my favorite characters in this universe makes the “This is awesome” list. (I mean in the original series she was snarky, arty and then she swore off boys forever…basically I related so hard)
- The jokes. The book was hilarious…I mean it IS Rick Riordan we are talking about after all his books are guaranteed to make you laugh ’till you snort.
Low and behold, some of my favorite quotes:
” “We won’t need any help making this a dangerous challenge. Let’s have a good clean three-legged death race. And another thing campers, given the problems our test group had this morning, please repeat after me: Do not end up in Peru.”
“Do not end up in Peru.” everybody chanted. “
“Oh gods-bacon! I promised myself that once I achieved immortality again, I would assemble the Nine Muses and together we would create and ode, a hymnal to the power of beacon, which would move the heavens to tears and cause rapture across the universe.
Beacon is good.”
List of negatives
- I would have liked to have more Meg . She is an interesting and bold awesome character but she felt a bit 2 dimensional. There are obviously 4 more books in which I am sure I will grow love her, but, as much as Apollo cared for her by the end of the book, I would have liked to have felt the same.
- The jokes. But how? Haven’t you just listed them as a positive? you might be wondering. And while yes ,for the most part, they were the best thing…at the end…especially in fights were it’s SUPPOSED to be serious and tense…the kind of took me out of the story. And that’s not good. It all just sometimes feel like a big joke and you can’t bring yourself to care.
- The return of a certain character (SPOILERS! AVERT THY INNOCENT EYES) Leo It felt rushed and really not satisfying. I loved loved loooved Leo in the Heroes of Olympus but in BOO his whole character got ruined (I TOLD I DID NOT LIKE THE BOOK). And sadly this book did not fix it. I would have liked his relationship with Calypso a lot more if we got anything other than “babe”.
The storyline also touches on abusive parents and I think that’s really important. Your heart breaks when you hear the full story and you can’t help but sympathize. At the end of the story everything isn’t just magically ok, the years of abuse forgotten for plot convenience.
And in the end it becomes a full on Attack on Titan fight. I couldn’t possibly be the only one that tough of the Colossal Titan and started singing the theme song right?
Overall: I really liked it and I will read anything Uncle Rick puts out. I am trash and he knows that I’m in too deep to stop reading his books any time soon. Just…please don’t make other books suffer just to make rooms for spin-offs.
I respect Rick a lot as an author. He’s including more diverse characters in his books so children can see themselves be represented as heroes. Whether you are black, gay, a muslim, or just simply lactose intolerant, you CAN save the day. And I think that it’s so important for his demographic to grow up reading these kinds of stories. I linked his acceptance speech for the Stonewall Award HERE if you want to check it out. It’s amazing.
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.
What do YOU think? Should some authors stop writing in the same universe? Are YOU going to keep buying books in never ending franchises?? What are YOUR opinions on beacon (i am a vegetarian sorry to disappoint you haha)?
LET ME KNOW!
This is the first book I finished in a while so of course I wrote a review. Sorry for the lack of bookish post recently- the blog reflects my life and it’s been kind of lacking books these past few months.