The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
“There was that word again: human, which not long ago I would have considered a terrible insult. Now, every time I heard it, I thought of Jason Grace’s admonition: Remember what it’s like to be human.
He hadn’t meant all the terrible things about being human, of which there were plenty. He’d meant the best things: standing up for a just cause, putting others first, having stubborn faith that you could make a difference, even if it meant you had to die to protect your friends and what you believed in. These were not the kind of feelings that gods had . . . well, ever.”
I could probably just put a whole bunch of quotes here and be done with this review. But I won’t. This was a great ending to a great series that I really, really enjoyed. If you want to read my review for the first 4 books in the series, click here. I listened to the audiobooks for the other books which are marvelous and something I highly recommend. Unfortunately I could not get my hands on the audiobook from the library for this one, so I ended up reading it, but that was okay too. It was just as much fun.
Apollo, aka Lester, showed such growth through out the whole series, but he really came into his own with this final showdown with Nero and the Python. There were some nail biting passages, when I had my doubts about his making it through, but he does and he of course does it in style, albeit with a bit of whimpering and self doubt along the way. The ending, without giving it away, was perfect and made me want to cry with tears of joy.
“When he’d told me to remember being human, he’d meant building on pain and tragedy, overcoming it, learning from it. That was something gods never did. We just complained.
To be human is to move forward, to adapt, to believe in your ability to make things better. That is the only way to make the pain and sacrifice mean something.”
Meg also comes into her own in this final book, although I still kind of wish that we could have seen part of the story from her point of view. She was a great counterpoint to Apollo and really kept him focused when he needed it. She also did a great job of facing her fears when the have the showdown with Nero.
The next five minutes weren’t just chaotic, They were what Chaos is like when Chaos wants to let her hair down and go nuts. And believe me, you never want to see a primordial goddess go nuts.
It was great seeing Camp Half Blood again. Plus Nico, Will and Rachael all had more significant roles in this book. I really enjoyed the relationship between Nico and Will, and it was always so weird when Will would call Apollo ‘dad’. Rachael actually gets into some of the action and has a pretty important part to play, which was awesome.
Of course you can’t have a Rick Riordan book without lots of amazing mythological animals in them. There were some good ones this time, like murderous cows called Taurus Sylvestre, that will hunt them down no matter where they go. Then there were the Troglodytes, who lived under the ground in tunnels and were the fastest diggers. They also had a thing for hats, which was hilarious. They end up being good guys though and help to thwart Nero’s plans. There was also a gaul by the name of Luguslusa, who I often had my doubts about, although Meg trusted her, which should be good enough for anyone. She also comes through in the end, even with some major hardships.
“No story ever ends, does it? It just leads into others.”
So, if you are a fan of Camp Half-Blood you may have heard the rumors, that this is the last series from that world. I certainly hope they are false, although I think I first heard of it in an interview with the great man himself, and I don’t mean Zeus. There were some hints through out this last book, though, of where things might go. I certainly wouldn’t mind a story featuring Nico, or the one about where Chiron was, that had to do with a cat and a severed head? Anyways, no matter which mythology he chooses to take up next, I will be there and you know it will be awesome!