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REVIEW: The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan

This is the last book in the Trials of Apollo series and that really makes me sad. I have truly loved this series and I can’t wait to see what this concluding novel has for us so let us dig in.

So we continue our story with Meg and Apollo heading onto the Amtrak in order to head to New York City. Whilst on the train an Amphisbaena recites the prophecy that Tyson and Ella gave them but when Apollo turns around, he finds that a germani and a gaul are holding Meg at sword point. Turns out though, that the Gaul, Luguselwa and Meg know each other and they are taken to the concessions car where many Germani are waiting, they are plonked into a booth but just before entering, Lu tells meg and apollo to use the bathroom when entering new York. She explains that Nero used the oracle of delphi to see when they would reach the city and put teams on every train station, bus and airport to catch them when they do. Lu reveals that she is indeed helping them escape and so Meg and her must fake a duel. Whilst avoiding the cameras, Meg and Apollo walk through the maintenance tunnel where Apollo realises that Meg was actually trained by Lu. After finding a manhole cover, they escape the tunnels and realise where they are, so they go to seek Percy Jackson for help.

When arriving at Jackson family apartment, they find that Percy, Annabeth and Grover have already gone up to the West Coast. Sally and Paul invite them to stay for dinner and they do, they have lasagna and talk about their next move. Lu suggests they form a raid team of demi gods and use Apollo and Meg surrendering as a distraction. They agree and Meg asks Lu how she will convince Nero that she is truly on their side, Lu says that Apollo will push her off a roof. So they plan to do so. Lu and Meg plan a fake fight and they fight each other on top of a ten story building when it looks like Lu is about to kill Meg, Apollo will push her off the building and so it happens. Apollo and Meg call the Chariot of Damnation and the gray sisters take them to camp half blood and on their journey they give the next three lines of the prophecy.

They arrive at Camp and Dioynsus is pretty smug that his brother got a worse punishment than him. It is revealed that Nico has PTSD after Jason’s death as he was still processing his own sisters death at the time. It is here that they recuperate from their battles and truly decide on a plan of action. Will and Nico gather supplies to meet their new friends and then they head to see Rachel Elizabeth Dare altogether. When they arrive, Rachel tells them that the Cattle are watching eventually Python speaks through Rachel and recites the last couple of lines of prophecy. Nico comes rushing in saying that the cattle are attacking the house and that they must move. Apollo realises that the cattle are the Tauri Sylvestres and that they are the natural enemy of the troglodytes so they go to find the troglodytes for help with the aid of Nico’s shadow travel. Whilst meeting the troglodytes, they mistake the rest of the gang as sacrifices but Nico corrects them saying that they have something better for them, a five lined skink. They are interrupted by the cattle who they have unintentionally bought into the hiding place of the troglodytes and they have to run away thus separating the gang.

Meg and Apollo are lead by Grr-Fred to a subway tunnel that will take them to Nero’s tower. Once there, they hand themselves in and find that it is like any other building wherein there is a receptionist and they are just directed to an elevator to take them to Nero. Nero realised that Lu was helping them all this time and guesses their plan of attack where Camp Half blood raids the building. Nero calls upon one of the 12 imperial children known as Cassius to take Meg’s rings from here and then cut Lu’s hands off. He does so and Lu’s wounds are tended to so that she doesn’t die easy. Apollo and Lu are taken to the prison whilst Meg begins rehabilitation back into a child of Nero.

Apollo and Lu eventually escape their prison cell using their cunning skills by tricking a guard to come into the cell themselves. Apollo and Lu split ways so that Apollo can go find Meg. Apollo finds himself nearly being brutally killed but is saved by Nico who leaves the guy trying to kill him as nothing but a skeleton. They part and the raid is going on in full force. When he gets to Meg’s room, he finds a laptop and on that laptop is Nero. Apollo asks where Meg is and Nero says that she is with him in the throne room. So Apollo gives himself up to Nero and goes to the throne room. Meg is being manipulated by Nero and Apollo reminds her that she is stronger than he is.

Chaos ensues but Lu eventually comes into the room and Nero says that she couldn’t have stopped or defeated the leontocephaline, she says she didn’t, she gave the guardian what he wanted, immortality. It finally dawns on Nero what she has done, she doesn’t have immortality but he does, and since they have been linked for centuries, she technically did and the leoncephaline found it amusing and took her up on the offer. Nero orders his followers to attack and more chaos goes on. Apollo takes the fasces and starts to gain his godly powers again and declares himself the God of the Sun and revokes Nero’s divinity. The fasces breaks into and Nero starts to crumble away. The battle is not over yet and Python still has power. Python reminds Apollo that he isn’t a God and he is simply Lester. Apollo says he is neither a god or lester, he is something else. The two fight and stumple into the River Styx. Python and Apollo are dissolving with Python hanging onto Apollo over a ledge. Apollo kicks him in the chin and Python plummets down into flames. Apollo feels himself leaving but the River Styx comes to him and the river styx reminds him of all the promises he made especially the one to Meg. The Styx gives him another chance and he becomes a ball of light.

Apollo wakes up on Mount Olympus and gives his sister, Artemis a hug. He takes a moment to himself where he realises that mount Olympus doesn’t feel like home but neither is camp half blood or camp Jupiter because he isn’t a demigod. They talk about who won the betting pool and it’s revealed that Athena did. They welcome him home but Apollo says he has somewhere else to be.

Apollo splits himself so that he can be in multiple places at once. He sends one piece of himself to take the daily ride across the sky. The second arrives at Camp Half-blood and is welcomed back with open arms. His children tell him that Meg went back to her fathers old house in palm springs to be with Lu and her foster siblings. Rachel Dare tells him that she can see visions again. Another part of Apollo goes to the waystation and sees that the hunters of Artemis are there after a recent mission and he talks to Georgina about the doll that she gave him and admits that he lost it and asks for another one. Camp Jupiter is the next stop, Hazel and Frank being the most efficient praetors in recent history by building New Rome in record time. Hazel’s curse has been broken and she can summon jewels and precious metals without any curses on them. He meets up with Percy and Annabeth who tell him what they have been up to as well. Apollo meets up with Piper as well to check in on her and to see how she is doing without Jason, she says she is coping the best that she can. The final reunion happens with Meg. Meg is ecstatic to see him and takes him to see Lu who is as equally happy to see him. Apollo and Meg talk and she asks if he will always be her friend, he agrees so long as she is his but Meg soon realises that he must go but tells the reader if they need him, you can call on him and he will be there.

This fantastic finale was filled with excitement and absolute chaos. I’m so happy that I loved and read this series whilst also being sad that it’s now over. This series was truly amazing and filled with wit and humour that would make anybody laugh. I really liked how this book wrapped everything up but also leaves it open for more adventures with Apollo and Meg. Apollo’s character has grown throughout this series and it is absolutely great to see him realise that his true potential can also be in a human form, not just in his godly form. I want more from Rick Riordan! I actually can’t wait for the Disney+ series now.


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