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YMMV / The Trials of Apollo

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Apollo's memories offer further perspective of the relationship between individual gods, it is debatable if Apollo is just looking through them with rose tinted glasses or not. Both with or without this perspective on Apollo's perspective, the bits and pieces leads one to consider the possibility the Greek Gods are a lot closer to each other overall than we first thought, with their worst behaviors coming from a single Toxic Friend Influence: Zeus.
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    • Hades using the helmet of darkness to spook Apollo, frequently, can lead one to wonder if he always as withdrawn and distant as we saw him in the series, or if something (like Maria di Angelo's death) drew him to become a lot more distant and withdrawn. Like his own son's views on the matter, it becomes a question of just how much of an outcast he ever was, and if it only really applies to certain members of the family (like Zeus, Demeter, and Hera) who particularly dislike him.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • A slight one for a goof in the first book of the franchise: but Apollo's comment about having a kid with a mortal man offers an explanation on why Grover would suggest Percy was the kid of Sally and the goddess Nemesis.
      • Although, it's not like Homosexual Reproduction is outside the realm of possibility for gods. Percy has a half-brother conceived from such a relationship. It had simply not been confirmed to be the case in the Riordanverse yet.
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    • The references to other series in the verse with Ra, Frey, and Annabeth being in Boston for family reasons are appreciated by those who felt like Heroes and Kane Chronicles felt disconnected from each other.
    • The Burning Maze could be considered by some who took issue with Jason and Piper getting romantic after being falsely led to believe they had already been so. This is implied to be part of why Jason and Piper have broken up by the events of the third book.
  • Broken Base:
    • On the villains being the emperors of Rome. Some feel like it's an Ass Pull, adding more characters when the Doors of Death plot has been done already (though these characters haven't explicitly died), and others feel that while a bit sudden, it follows Riordan's usual Shown Their Work quite well on something considerably less well-known. (spoilers on note) note 
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    • Apollo's speech in the first book about sexuality has divided fans who see it as appropriate and those who see it being forceful and uncalled for.
    • This series along with the Magnus Chase series has divide fans into three camps. Those who wish that Rick Riordan would stop forcing LGBT issues on fans and see his usage as preachy and unnecessary, along with the accusation that he is doing it for the attention and is pandering to his tumblr fanbase; those that view his inclusion of LGBT characters as brilliant and progressive; and those whose complaint is not that he's including LGBT characters but that he's doing so in a tone-deaf manner, ie, many queer fans feel the LGBT characters fall into a number of harmful tropes and worn-out, overdone plotlines. Needless to say debating LGBT issues in the fandom starts many heated discussion.
    • Jason's death has led to many a flame war on the internet, with some calling out Rick for the supposed Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, along with people defending the death of such a "flat character".
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: It's rather obvious to the reader that Meg's divine parentage is most likely Demeter simply because of the weaponised plant matter and the appearance of Peaches, a Karpoi/Grain Spirit. In-universe, nobody seems to be able to connect the dots.
  • Die for Our Ship: Paolo Montes, a new camper from Hebe Cabin, seems to be getting a mild version of this from certain Nico/Will shippers. There's a rising trend of fanfiction writers completely vilifying Paolo - who only appears in a few scenes in The Hidden Oracle - all because Will stared at his arms a little too long.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Carrying over from Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus, Nico di Angelo. Reactions on sites like Tumblr are disproportionately more about him than, say, Apollo or Meg.
    • Jaime as well from book 2 - a Yoruban Demigod who catches the eye of Apollo and is shown to be a good fighter.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A wicked stepfather who happens to be the sociopathic (Former) head of state? And the one responsible for their birth father's death? Funny coincidence.
    • This exchange from House of Hades. Turns out Octavian was only funded by this.
    Rachel: Octavian, son of Apollo, you should take this more seriously. Even Romans respected your father's Oracle of Delphi.
    Octavian: Ha! You're the Oracle of Delphi? Right. And I'm the Emperor Nero!
    Grover: At least Nero could play music.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Started with the previous series, but Apollo being bisexual and showing that, in-universe, they are actually accepted and oftentimes even treated as normal is another big step. The fact that Nico di Angelo and Will Solace are the franchise's first LGBT Official Couple also helps.
  • Memetic Badass: As a few comments on the Riordan wiki have noted, the third emperor, Caligula, did the thing that Gaea and the Giants couldn't successfully do. As a mortal, he scared a god so much just by meeting him that said god, Apollo, did not return to the empire for decades.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Without getting into anything age inappropriate, Apollo makes it absolutely crystal clear that not only is he attracted to men as well as women, but that he's perfectly happy about it. He's also perfectly happy that his son is in a relationship with another boy, so long as his son is happy. He's also perfectly happy to have children with another man. One need look no further than The Hidden Oracle's One-Star Amazon reviews to see the kind of prejudice LGBT+ individuals can be subjected to, so while Apollo might be going a little out of his way to emphasize non-heterosexuality is nothing to be ashamed about, it's also very timely. Several fans have expressed hope that LGBT+ youth will be able to see themselves represented in the books.
  • Values Dissonance: In-universe. Nico and Will sit at the same table at camp and are pretty obviously a couple. Apollo doesn't find this weird at all - instead he notes that Nico is sitting at his table and not at the Hades table. Apollo, however, completely understands why they would be so close to one another and doesn't find this odd at all - after all he does mention that he had a lot of boyfriends over the years.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Oh man. Oh man, oh man. Where to start. Well, first we've got Emperor Nero, AKA The Beast, AKA the least-likely-to-win-the-father-of-the-year award, because he is really, really damn abusive. Next we have the fact that that same emperor tied a bunch of kids to wooden stakes and intended to burn them along with the sacred oracle he wanted destroyed. And of course, in the most latest book, Apollo attempts to commit suicide to stop the Big Bad of that book from getting what he wants. Why isn't this series in the YA section again?
  • Win Back the Crowd: Many Grover fans were complaining about his status as Demoted to Extra in Heroes of Olympus, but at the end of The Dark Prophecy, he returns and becomes a major character in The Burning Maze.
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