3.5 out of 5 stars
I love Rick Riordan. The Trials of Apollo isn’t my favorite of his series, but it’s more than enough fun.
Apollo, cast out by Zeus and trapped in the awkward, unfortunate body of teenage Lester Popadopolous, must again enlist the help of demigods and spirits in the next phase of his quest to return to Olympus. His colorful cast of friends, including surly tween greenthumb Meg McCaffrey and optimistic satyr fave Grover Underwood, always deliver – and with more ability than a formerly all-capable Sun God.
The Trials of Apollo is a totally satisfying, Percy Jackson-lite romp through Greek and Roman mythology. It reads young, but the books are sold in the kids’ section, after all. There are still plenty of laughs for adults, as well as memories cast back to high school for the names/gifts/wraths of various God. It doesn’t have the delight of discovery the Percy Jackson series’ had (5 stars), nor quite the emotional punch. It forgoes the teen angst of Heroes of Olympus (4 stars). The humor isn’t as grown-up as Magnus Chase (4.5 stars). But it’s no Kane Chronicles – far from it! This series, including The Burning Maze, is joyful, fast-paced fun.