Those who have been following my other blog knows that I am a mythology freak. Every book that has mythological touch is devoured by me. Indian, Greek, Roman, Egypt, Norse... give me anything and I am happy with it. That's the reason that Rick Riordan is one of my favourite writers. He mixes mythology so well that it is a treat to read his book.
So when he came up with the third series on Greek-Roman mythology, The Trails of Apollo, it was like visiting a family. The familiar anticipation and life lessons that usually accompany Riordan's writing made me happy. So, what are we waiting for? Let us embark the journey of these demigods of Greek and Roman mythology.
If you have read Riordan earlier and can place his Greek-Roman mythology with the name Percy Jackson, then let me warn you. This is NOT a Percy Jackson story. Here Percy is a side character although he is in the first chapter to greet you. This is the story of Sun God Apollo who is disgraced and discarded to the earth as a mere mortal. As the last book of the Heroes of Olympus told us that Apollo made a mess and zapped by Zeus, the story starts exactly after the great war.
This is the story of the fallen God, stripped off his godly powers and how he managed to save his oracles from his greatest enemies. As titans and Gaia are gone case in last two series, Riordan has brought up some of the notorious persons from Classical history to take the place of villain. (How vivid can a man's imagination be?) As usual, Apollo, at the end, gets a quest and is ready to save his oracles.
Well, the central character here is Apollo, God of sun, music, poetry, archery and what not. He is hilarious! Be it his self-talk or his dialogues, Apollo is the killer just like his haikus. But Riordan has so successfully developed his character from arrogant, big head Sun God to a compassionate, self-analytical and sacrificing mortal that you could not help but love him.
As I told that reading the book was visiting a family. But as the series is of Apollo's trail, most of the major characters from last two series are either studying in various colleges or missing in action. I missed Annabeth, Hazel, Piper, Frank, Jason, Clarisse. But as Apollo is about to start the quest, I will meet them in consequent books.
Nico was there and I am so happy to find him happy with Will. Though he has come out of his melancholy, he still passes out from shadow travel (Don't ask!)
However, the biggest surprise and treat reading this book is to get Leo Valdez back. As I read the lines of his coming, I could not stop grinning for two full minutes before turning the page. And I wish to join the long queue to kick his rear to scare us like that. I am glad that Leo has found his way home and he is happy with Calypso.
There are certain new characters like Meg Mccaffery, Rhea but I will leave them for you to read the book and know them personally.
What I liked
The story is excellent and I am sure to know more about the mythology centring the oracles from the coming books.
The pace is good and you never get bored with it.
The cover and editing is good and suits the book.
The book is just hilarious. You have to stop reading at some places to laugh out loud.
I love how Riordan managed to give us a God as the central character without hampering the Percy Jackson fans.
What I did not like
The book is a treat for the readers of Riordan's last two series. However, it would be difficult for new readers to connect the dots sometimes. I wished Riordan should have given a subtle introduction to the past events. At some places, it was like laughing at some inside joke that you may not understand properly.
P.S.- Why do I have an intuition that Reyna is going to end up with Apollo? (See, what did I mean in the above line?)
4.7 out of 5. Highly recommended to read.