The Last Star and The Countdown and the final books in trilogies about aliens coming to Earth but that’s really where the similarities end. The Last Star is the finale to The 5th Wave, which follows a few teenage survivors after first four waves of an Alien invasion. Billions have people have already died, leaving Cassie, Zombie, Sam, Ringer and Evan as humanities last stand. Meanwhile, The Taking Trilogy, explores alien abductions and the possibility that those responsible are on their way. The 5th Wave is far more epic in scale and more ambitious but not necessarily as entertaining. The first book I thought was fantastic but was underwhelm by the follow The Infinite Sea. The Taking was okay but as the series went on it got better. Not the best series I’ve read but entertaining. Reading both series so close together gave me a chance to read different views on Aliens. Are they hostile? Do they come in peace? How do they go around getting a foothold into Earth. They both have a very different approach to those questions as the The 5th Wave also piggybacks on the latest trend of YA Dystopia as well as sci-fi. The Taking is really more of your standard YA fare with aliens in the background. It still explores the trials of youth and romance and of course a love triangle.
If you haven’t read The Blood of Olympus, the last book of the Heroes of Olympus series, then stop reading now!
Now that we got that out of the way. Rick Riordan’s new series, The Trials of Apollo we follow the God Apollo who is being punished for his role in the rise of the Giants in the last series. What’s his punishment? Zeus has made him mortal. This is something that Zeus has done to Apollo before so once again, Riordan has taken directly from the myths and created his own world. We first meet the mortal Apollo in an alley in New York in January, a couple months after the end of the The Blood of Olympus. (For those who’ve read, Riordan’s Norse series with Magnus Chase, the first book in that series also took placed in January. So both of his current series are happening at the same time which may mean there may be some crossover coming) Apollo is as you expect him to be. He’s vain, arrogant and totally can’t believe that Zeus would turn into a human. Again. He is quickly introduced to a new demigod, named Meg who he is now pledge to serve until he completes his trials and Zeus says he can be called a God again. Things are rough for Apollo. 1. His mortal name is Lester. 2. He has none of his godly powers. In archery he only hit the dead center. He only made one person cry when he played the guitar. 3. He has acne. 4. He has no idea of why he’s being punished for one of his son’s role in the rising of the Giants and Gaea. That’s totally not fair but then again when has Zeus ever been fair. With the help of some familiar faces, *cough* Percy Jackson *cough* Apollo is taken to Camp Half Blood where he finds that the sins of his past are coming back to haunt him and also it turns out that not everyone loved him before. With the help of the demigods, Apollo must face the trials to prove his worth and take down probably the biggest threat to humanity so far. No big deal. For those who miss characters from previous books, some show up here and we get updates on a few others and hints that others will be making appearances in later books. But what I like the most about Riordan’s writing is how he incorporates tough subjects into his stories without be heavy handed. Like how he handled Nico’s coming to terms with his sexuality. Here, we have one character deal with emotional abuse. It was heartbreaking to read and I feel it will only get worse before it gets better but no less important to talk about. I also love his sense of humor. Apollo isn’t as sarcastic as Percy or as sassy as Magnus but he is not without a sense of humor. Even when he isn’t in on the joke. All in all, this was a very promising start to the series and I can’t wait to see what happens next when Apollo aka Lester takes the show on the road.