Author Rick Riordan has added another book to his vast bibliography with “Trials of Apollo: Tower of Nero.” Not only is “Tower of Nero” the 5th book in the “Trials of Apollo” series, but also the 15th and last book in the Percy Jackson world. Everything following 2005’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” has led up to this final installment.
Before the “Trials of Apollo” series, Rick Riordan started the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series in 2005 following the adventures of Percy Jackson. The series introduced the readers to a world where the Ancient Greek gods exist in the modern world. After the events of the Percy Jackson series, Riordan begins the “Heroes of Olympus” series, implementing the Roman gods in this fantasy world. Then comes the “Trials of Apollo” series which switches the focus from Percy Jackson to the now-disgraced god Apollo, who has been made mortal after the events of “The Heroes of Olympus: Blood of Olympus.” Apollo, now Lester Papadopoulos, must prove that he is worthy again to reclaim his spot on Mount Olympus.
Throughout the “Trials of Apollo” series, Apollo has shown how his long and trivial journey has affected him, a god that has been alive for millions of years. No longer is he boastful and overconfident like in “The Hidden Oracle,” Apollo now understands how his actions affect the people around, something that “The Tower of Nero” reminds the reader of not only from the plot of this book but events that have happened in the previous releases. “The Tower of Nero” shows the reader the very best of Apollo as he faces the final task to reach godhood again. The original Percy Jackson series will always be the best story—witnessing Apollo humbled by his past actions is satisfying to read.
“The Tower of Nero” as a book is no different than any other book in the Percy Jackson world. It does not lack Rick Riordan’s humor and quirky characters while keeping the sense of urgency for what is at stake. Riordan uses a mixture of older characters from past series and new characters introduced in this series. Nico DiAngelo and Will Solace (from the “Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus” series) play an integral part in this series. While Nico’s and Will’s relationship is enjoyable to read, establishing the two as a romantic couple, Will’s relationship with his father, Apollo, is more interesting. While most demigods, the offspring of the gods and humans, feel neglected by their parents, Will continuously reminds Apollo what being human feels like, especially with his interactions with Nico. Apart from Apollo’s journey, “The Tower of Nero” also marks Meg McCaffrey’s journey as a character. Introduced in “The Hidden Oracle,” Meg is a victim of emotional and mental abuse suffered from the main villain of the series, the former Roman emperor Nero. “The Tower of Nero” highlights how strong Meg has grown to overcome the lasting effects that abuse can have on children and adults. Rick Riordan continues to create diverse and unique characters that allow anyone to feel included in his stories.
“The Tower of Nero” was a solid way to put a close to the Percy Jackson world. “The Tower of Nero” is one of the stronger books in the “Trial of Apollo” series, not missing a beat from the previous installments that feature the Percy Jackson characters. The book is filled with plenty of suspenseful and humorous moments, continuing at a fast pace throughout the story. Rick Riordan has spent the past fifteen years of his life writing about the world where the Greek myths exist within the real. While this ending may be bittersweet for many fans of Percy Jackson, there was no better way to say goodbye to Son of Poseidon and his world.