Marshmallow reviews The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first four books in Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series for the book bunnies blog. This week she reviews the fifth and final book, The Tower of Nero. Below she shares her thoughts on this epic end of Rick Riordan’s fifteen-book series about Greco-Roman gods and their children who live among us. 

For reference, Marshmallow has already reviewed:

You might also enjoy reading Caramel’s reviews of the graphic novel versions of the first two books of the first series: The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel and The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel.

Marshmallow reviews The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you enjoyed reading the first four books of Rick Riordan’s Trials Of Apollo series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Apollo has been stuck as a mortal for the last four books, and now he is coming to the end of his adventures on Earth. But he has a long list of enemies. He has been fighting the Triumvirate, three evil emperors from Rome’s past who have been trying to all become gods, as well as his archenemy Python. Python is a large and evil snake who has been Apollo’s enemy even when Apollo was a god.

The book starts with Apollo and his demigod master Meg returning to New York. You might recall that Meg is a daughter of Demeter, but she is a particularly strong one. She has unusual powers, even for a half-blood. She is able to summon a karpos, which apparently means “fruit” in Greek, but in this universe, it is a fruit or grain spirit. She names this karpos Peaches, because he is always saying “Peaches”. She can transport using plants and can make them grow faster.

On their way into New York, Apollo and Meg are attacked by Nero’s henchmen. We already know from the earlier books in the series that Nero is one of the main antagonists of the story, so you can guess that his people are not coming to greet Apollo. However, one of them, a Gaul woman named Luguselwa, turns out to be Meg’s trainer. Meg was one of the demigods that Nero had “adopted” and raised to be his minions. Luguselwa, Lu as Meg calls her, had been a role model for Meg.

Even though in the beginning it seems like Lu is on Nero’s side, she has a plan to help Apollo because she really cares for Meg. But they first need rest, so they stop by Percy Jackson’s home. (For Percy’s adventures, click here.) But Percy is not there. (However, his new baby sister is.) After staying with the Blofis-Jacksons for a little bit, Apollo, Meg, and Lu leave to go to Camp Half-Blood. At the camp, Apollo sees his half-brother Dionysus and his children. But they have to leave soon, and when they do, they go to find Rachel, who currently embodies the Oracle of Delphi. When they meet Rachel, they are faced by Tauri Sylvestre, which are basically monster cows.

Apollo and his friends will have to face the monster cows and more before they can finally hope to defeat Nero and Apollo’s archenemy Python.

Marshmallow is reading The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: I really enjoyed reading The Tower Of Nero. I think that the plot of this book is very well-written, and it is a great finale for the whole series. The new characters are all amazing, they are realistic and relatable. As always, Apollo is a hilarious narrator, and he gets more and more likeable through the series.

This particular book of the series might be slightly scarier than the earlier books. There are some moments where the reader will probably get scared or grossed out, like Lu’s punishment. I’d say that most of Rick Riordan’s books are for ages 8 and up, so this one might be for 9 (or 10) and up.

The Tower of Nero can be a great read if you are reading it alone, but it is also great if you read it to someone else or someone reads it to you. I recommend it as a perfect ending for this fifteen-book saga.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Marshmallow reviews The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first three books in Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series for the book bunnies blog. This week she got her paws on the fourth book, The Tyrant’s Tomb, and read it in lightning speed. Below she shares her thoughts on this 400+-page book, published in paperback only this month.

Marshmallow reviews The Tyrant's Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you have enjoyed reading Rick Riordan’s other books or if you like mythology, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): In the first book of the Trials of Apollo series, Apollo, the god of music, prophecy, and archery, was transformed into Lester, who is described as the “most worthless of teens,” by a mutual friend in one of the past books. Now he is carrying the body of a deceased friend who was killed in the last book. (I will not say who died. I am not spoiling that much!)

While on the road to Camp Jupiter, a training camp for Roman demigods, or half-bloods as they are also called, Lester and his master Meg McCaffrey are attacked by ghouls. They are rescued by a group of campers from Camp Jupiter, led by a pink-haired girl named Lavinia. They are taken to Camp Jupiter, where they are welcomed by the praetors Frank and Reyna. Lester sees in a dream that an evil Roman emperor is now working with the Triumvirate. (We learned about the Triumvirate earlier. It is made up of Caligula, Commodus, and Nero, three evil Roman emperors who are enemies of Apollo/Lester and his friends.) Now the Triumvirate is working with a new ally, and Apollo has a new deadline: in four days an evil army of undead will be unleashed upon the Camp. 

Marshmallow is reading  The Tyrant's Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: The Tyrant’s Tomb is a good book. However, I think that if you want to read The Tyrant’s Tomb, you need to have read the first three books in the Trials of Apollo series. I would also highly recommend reading Riordan’s earlier books in the Heroes of Olympus series and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series to give you the full context of the story and the backstories of the characters.

Rick Riordan does a good job of “interacting” with the reader and being funny. Lester is a hilarious narrator. His haikus are funny and it is always amusing to try to guess what they mean: they are sneak peeks of the chapter they start. Here is a favorite, from page 114:

I now have a plan
To make a plan concerning 
The plan for my plan 

I think that The Tyrant’s Tomb is a good book for almost everyone, though it might be too complicated or scary for younger readers. (It is not really horror. It is scary more around the level of the Harry Potter books, possibly less than the later books of Harry Potter which turn quite dark.) The plot is well thought-out and everything is all tied up at the end, though the next book, The Tower of Nero, is the true end of the series and I can’t wait to read it.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates The Tyrant's Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan 95%.
Marshmallow rates The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan 95%.

Marshmallow reviews The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first four books of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series: The Lost HeroThe Son of NeptuneThe Mark of Athena and The House of Hades. Today she shares her thoughts on the fifth and last book: The Blood of Olympus.

Marshmallow reviews The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about mythology or if you have enjoyed reading other books by Rick Riordan, then this might be the book for you. (But again, if you have not read the first four books of the Heroes of Olympus series, you will not get too much out of it.)

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): After spying on their enemies, Jason, Piper, and Annabeth summon Juno, who tells them that they must find Nike, and then they must find Artemis and Apollo, both of whom were banished by Zeus. The crew of Argo II finds the place that Nike should be, and sends Frank, Hazel, Leo, and Percy, since their godly parents don’t have any rivalries. (Nike is all about victory, and she gives off an aura of fighting that leads to fights among people with any underlying conflicts between them. If they had sent Annabeth, Athena’s daughter, with Percy, Poseidon’s son, the two might have fought and killed each other since their parents are rivals, even though Percy and Annabeth are friends.)

Nike tells the four friends that one of them will die and that they will need the Physician’s Cure to survive. They take Nike hostage to stop her from giving off her war aura, which is making the Romans and Greeks fight. They start to look for the ingredients needed for the Physician’s Cure.

Meanwhile, Leo is starting to make a plan to defeat Gaea. Remember the prophecy: 

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire, the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Leo is sure that he is the one meant to die, since Argo II’s crew thinks that the “To storm or fire” line in the prophecy means that one of the storm or fire people will die. Jason, being the son of Jupiter, is storm and Leo, who as a child of Hephaestus, has the power to create fire, is fire. But Leo is the only one that overlaps both of the groups, storm or fire, and the people who captured Nike.

Meanwhile, Reyna, Nico, and Coach Hedge are trying to get Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood as a peace offering to stop a full-on war between the Romans and the Greeks.

Marshmallow is reading The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book to finish a great series. And I think that this is one of the best books in the series. Rick Riordan satisfyingly ties up the story about Greek and Roman gods and goddesses.

An interesting thing about this series is that the story in each book is told from more than one person’s point of view. And sometimes the narrators following one another are not in the same place, so we switch from one scene to another when we change narrators. For example, in the chapters told by Reyna, my favorite character, she is not in the same place as the crew of Argo II because she is with Nico and Coach Hedge, trying to bring Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood.

The narrators in The Blood of Olympus are Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Jason Grace, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, Hazel Levesque, Nico di Angelo, and finally Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano. So we do read the point of view of each of the seven belonging to the prophecy but also two other characters, Nico and Reyna, who are not part of the seven but turn out to be very important to the quest and the story.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Marshmallow reviews The House of Hades (Book 4 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first three books of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series: The Lost HeroThe Son of Neptune, and The Mark of Athena. Today she shares her thoughts on the fourth book: The House of Hades.

Marshmallow reviews The House of Hades (Book 4 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The House of Hades (Book 4 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about Greek or Roman mythology and have liked some of Rick Riordan’s other books, then this might be the book for you. However you will definitely need to have read the first books in the  Heroes of Olympus series to be able to dive into and get something out of this one.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): The Mark of Athena ended with Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase falling into Tartarus while trying to save the Athena Parthenos. Right before he fell, Percy had Nico promise that he would go to Greece and meet him and Annabeth when they escaped so they could all close the Doors of Death. Nico is a half-blood, a son of Hades, who is not part of the seven trying to fulfill the prophecy of seven, but he is also very important. We first meet him in The Titan’s Curse, the third book of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and he will play a very important role in this book.

The crew of the Argo II moves toward Greece. They face many challenges, but they overcome them. A lot of excitement is unleashed. In the meantime in Tartarus we also read about Percy and Annabeth’s adventures. Some old friends and enemies show up.

Hazel, one of the seven, meets Hecate, the goddess of magic, who tells her that she should start to learn how to control the Mist, a magical mist that blocks mortals from seeing gods and monsters. If controlled, it could give one the power to create images that would appear real but they are really fake. Hecate leaves her polecat with Hazel to oversee her test. As they travel towards Greece, Hazel knows that she will meet an enemy who can control the Mist to make it look like anything. 

Marshmallow is reading The House of Hades (Book 4 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The House of Hades (Book 4 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: The House of Hades is a great fourth book for a great series. And at over 580 pages and in 78 chapters, it is also a big book, in size!

Though it is a great book, The House of Hades should not be read unless you have read the previous books in the series. Reading the first series is a good idea too, since then you would know more about the characters.

I think that Rick Riordan does a great job of writing this book in multiple people’s views. He is also good at creating great characters, like Bob, or Iapetus. His character’s backstory was from a short story Rick Riordan wrote, Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades from The Demigod Files.)

My favorite character is still Reyna, as I already said in my review of The Son of Neptune. One reason I like her is because she is probably one of the strongest female characters, and she is good at fighting. Every character is well thought of, and they are developed in a consistent way, so you could guess what they would do in a given situation. You can also pity them too, since some of them have sad pasts: some of the characters have lost family members or people that they cared about. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates The House of Hades (Book 4 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 95%.
Marshmallow rates The House of Hades (Book 4 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 95%.