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The Tyrant’s Tomb is the fourth book in the Trials of Apollo series, which is a sequel series to the massively popular and critically acclaimed series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. For years I have been voraciously reading Rick Riordan’s books for children and young adults because he has a way of weaving stories that are instructional (he makes learning tidbits of history fun), exciting, and impactful. The Tyrant’s Tomb does not disappoint and has left me excited for the next installment due to come out in Fall of 2020. Though intended for younger audiences, like middle-grade and teens, the story does not shy away from tough topics like death and violence and actually treats it respectfully and in ways that are respectful towards the readers (meaning it doesn’t dumb down these important concepts). However, because of the slightly more graphic details of violence and the more gruesome creatures/characters in the book, The Tyrant’s Tomb may be more appropriate for middle school and up.
I also love this particular book series because you, as the reader, get to see a great progression of character development in the main character of Apollo, who has been cursed to inhabit the body of a teenaged boy and lose his godly powers. The only way he can regain his powers and his original form is to earn it, and The Tyrant’s Tomb shows his gradual progression from being an arrogant god to a humbler human. While he retains much of his personality that makes him the likeable character that he is, Apollo has come a long way from the arrogant and cruel god he once was. I would recommend this fast-paced, engaging, and emotionally impactful book because it is an adventure that shows the importance of friendship, responsibility, and teamwork.
Recommended by Miss Caitlin.
Summary: As a child, Jacob loved to hear the fantastic tales of his grandfather’s adventures. Tales of an extraordinary home full of children with fantastic powers; tales of escaping from, and then hunting, monsters. Jacob is told that these tales are simply his grandfather’s wild rendition of the horrors witnessed in World War II. Jacob’s grandfather on the other hand vouches that each tale is true, though no one believes him. When a family tragedy leaves Jacob traumatized at sixteen however, he finds himself compelled to investigate the past of a grandfather no one in his family seemed to really know. Jacob’s findings lead him to the same island where his grandfather escaped Nazi persecution as a child. There Jacob begins to discover that the fantastic elements of his grandfather’s stories may have been true. Both the part about children with unbelievable abilities, and the monsters made from the stuff of nightmares…
Why I like it: I find Jacob’s determination to uncover the truth about his grandfather an admirable quest, and found myself feeling both excitement at his discoveries, and disappointment whenever he met an obstacle. The strange vintage photographs used throughout the book help create the atmosphere and makes the reader feel as though they are taking this journey of discovery with Jacob. The aura of fear and confusion that flows throughout this book, causing the reader to question which events within Jacob’s world are real and which are imaginary, lend themselves to an unforgettable reading experience. These aspects create a story that is as much about self-discovery as it is about finding the truth about others.
Three words or phrases to describe this book: Mysterious, Suspenseful, Self-reliance
You might want to pick up this book if you: Enjoy books that use photographs to help tell their story, books concerning time travel and history, and stories that contain elements of horror and the supernatural.
If you liked this book you may also like: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (the second book in the series), The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld, and Asylum by Madeline Roux.
Recommended by Bill Schell