Thursday, October 22, 2020

Tower of Nero

Riordan, Rick. Tower of Nero (Trials of Apollo #5) 
Published October 6th 2020 by Disney-Hyperion
Library copy

Lester (aka Apollo) and Meg, after a number of tragedies and a few significant triumphs, and back in New York, and know that they somehow need to deal with Nero, Meg's evil stepfather. There is also the little problem of the Python, who has encroached upon the Oracle of Delphi and needs to be dispatched. The only problem? The prophecies seem to indicate that in order for the Python to be dealt with, a god has to give up divinity. Apollo doesn't want to do this, but there are an increasing number of things he will do to protect humans, since he has warmed to them, especially Percy Jackson's family and his baby stepsister Stella. There are a few stops on the way to Nero's place in Manhattan, notable Percy's family's home and Camp Halfblood, where Lester is glad to see Nico and Will, but soon the two are on the subway in New York, dealing with (literal) snakes in suits as well as an imposing Gallic warrior named Luguselwa, who was also Meg's nanny/guardian. Lester does not want to trust a Gaul, especially since he's not sure if the woman is, in fact, trying to kill him, but he doesn't have much choice. Nero wants to set fire to the city and destroy as many humans as he can, but Lester is determined to stop him. Will he be able to stop the mad emperor, unseat the Python, and regain his godhood?
Strengths: When it comes to consistently delivering a well written, funny, adventurous tale, Riordan cannot be beat. My favorite part of the book was when Lester and Nero are battling it out, and Nero is trying to find the remote that will dispatch the fallen god, to the tune of the BeeGees Stayin' Alive. These books are SUPER popular with my students; when the shipment came in, I immediately had two students who were rereading the series who wanted it. I was granted one day to read it before handing it over! The students remember the details far better than I do, and dissect the characters and their motivations with a passion no less keen than what Rowling's fans have.
Weaknesses: I love these, but really struggle to keep things straight. This wasn't my favorite volume; there wasn't as much travel, humor, or funny incidental characters as the other books. 
What I really think: Riordan seems to be working on a series with Celtic mythology, which would be great, but the Camp Halfblood Saga doesn't seem to be finished. Before Percy and Annabeth get too comfortable at college, there should be one more volume that ties together the various series into a nice gift bow! I feel like there have been hints of the characters in different series seeing each other. Apollo's story is finished, and the only opening here is for Will and Nico, who seem to have a prophecy they are not sharing, but I didn't find their characters compelling enough to pull off a book on their own. (Although many other readers are quite looking forward to this idea.)

Ms. Yingling

No comments:

Post a Comment