With more Mel Brooks–ian flare than a fourth wall could hope to contain, Riordan presents another expansion to his modern pantheon.
Punished by his father, Zeus, sun god Apollo falls from grace—literally—first landing painfully in a dumpster and then, humiliatingly, into the service of a streetwise, 12-year-old, presumably white demigod named Meg McCaffrey. The now-mortal Apollo seeks help from Camp Half-Blood and its resident heroes only to find that there’s been a plague of disappearances among the demigods, the camp has been cut off from the Oracle of Delphi and its quest-granting prophecies, and a sinister conspiracy is working tirelessly to destroy everything the former sun god holds dear. In his narration, Apollo alternately waxes poetic about his godly virtues (including his open bisexuality) and gripes about his current awkwardness and servitude to the enigmatic Meg. Egocentric to the point of rollicking self-deprecation as he tries to reconcile millennia of personal history as an immortal with his sudden fragile finitude, his voice overpowers any sense of his new 16-year-old white, acned form, and he continuously disrupts the narrative to remind readers of his dissatisfying appearance. Nonetheless, the wearying negotiation of inner and outer self will ring true for (im)mortals of any age as Apollo desperately works to save himself and everyone else.
A clash of mythic intrigues and centuries of pop culture to thrill die-hard and new fans alike. (glossary) (Fantasy. 12-17)