Zeus has punished his son Apollo – god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more–by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo/Lester do anything about them without his powers? After experiencing a series of dangerous–and frankly, humiliating–trials at Camp Half-Blood, Lester must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships–with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along with Apollo and Leo for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride.
Rick Riordan announced that he would be creating a new series on his The Sword of Summer tour, where he announced the title of his new book.
| Then there was the little one...
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Apollo reveals that he actually made Emmie and her sister, Parthenos, goddesses, but then they both joined the Hunters of Artemis. However, Emmie lost her immortality when she fell in love with a woman named Josephine. There is a kids room filled with sinister drawings on the wall, it belongs to Georgina, Jo and Emmie's adopted daughter. The cheese ghost turned out to be Agamethus, brother of Trophonius, the next oracle. He had his head cut off by his brother and is now forced to communicate with a Magic 8 Ball. Suddenly, Britomartis, goddess of traps, appears. She announces that the middle emperor has kidnapped her pet griffins. Britomartis insists for Leo to stay behind, so Apollo decides to take Calypso to the zoo tomorrow.
He has dream in the headquarters of the emperor: Commodus. He chews out his Germani for letting Meg McCaffrey get away. His new prefect, Lityerses, slices their heads off and takes their place. Leo is not happy that Lit is back, recalling the last time he encountered him with his father, Midas. Apollo and Calypso reach the zoo and avoid all the germani Commodus sent. But they are spotted and encounter Lit, only to be saved by Meg.
Meg still believes Nero but she helps Apollo anyway. They escape on the train and find a lot of captive animals, including Abelard and Heloise. Unfortunately, Commodus appears and sends combat ostriches to attack the trio as a rehearsal for his naming ceremony. While they hold everyone off, Festus arrives to save them. Lityerses betrays the emperor so he beats him up, prompting Apollo to take him along.
Apollo has a flashback where he pretended to be Commodus' trainer, Narcissus, and killed the emperor. When he wakes, he takes Meg and Leo to the sewers where Commodus resides. Near the only entrance, they are attacked by a Carthaginian Serpent. Deep in the sewers, they obtain the Throne of Memory and free captives: a Yoruba demigod named Olujime AKA Jamie, a Scythian Dracaena named Sssssarah, a hunter named Hunter Kowalski, and Georgina.
Returning and regrouping, Apollo and Meg decide to go to The Oracle of Trophonius. The entrance is guarded by Yales, beasts who literally can't be killed because they are endangered. Apollo drinks from the Fountains of Memory and Forgetfulness but Meg skips it to get away from the yales. Inside, Trophonius mentally tortures Meg, much to Apollo's horror and distraught. When they leave they see Nanette and some other Blemmyae getting ready to blow up the oracle. Per Trophonius' request, Apollo allows it but also tricks them into killing themselves as well.
The Waystation is under attack by Commodus's forces. Lityerses actually helps everyone, Commodus then jumps out the window and disappears. Meg is placed on the throne and recites a long prophecy regarding Camp Jupiter. Leo leaves on Festus to warn the camp but Calypso decides stays at the Waystation. As the prophecy states that "the cloven guide alone the way does know," Meg summons Grover Underwood.
The prophecy (which was given in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet) was given from The Oracle of Trophonius through Meg while at the Waystation:
The words that memory wrought are set to fire,
Ere new moon rises o'er the Devil's Mount.
The changeling lord shall face a challenge dire,
Till bodies fill the Tiber beyond count.
Yet southward must the sun now trace its course,
Through mazes dark to land of scorching death
To find the master of the swift white horse
And wrest from him the crossword speaker's breath.
To westward palace must the Lester go;
Demeter's daughter finds her ancient roots.
The cloven guide alone the way does know,
To walk the path in thine own enemy's boots.
When three are known and Tiber reached alive,
'Tis only then Apollo starts to jive.
Unraveling The Prophecy
- Line 1 claims that The Sibylline Books (which held the original prophecies of the Cumaean Sybil), currently being reconstructed by Ella and her eidetic memory, are going to be burnt.
- Line 2 means that this attempt would happen at the new moon, five days from the day of the prophecy, at Mount Diablo, San Francisco – near the location of Camp Jupiter.
- Line 3 refers to Frank Zhang and a dangerous challenge he would be facing.
- Line 4 hints towards the consequences of failure being dire and brutal; uncountable dead would fill the Little Tiber that flows at the outskirts of Camp Jupiter.
- Line 5 urges Apollo, God of the Sun, that his destiny lies in the South, where he must recover his Oracles.
- Line 6 means his path would be through the Labyrinth, and towards somewhere in the Southwest that has extremely high temperatures.
- Line 7 refers to the third member of the Triumvirate, master of an extremely fast, white horse. This does not narrow it down. The horse may perhaps be an immortal one; a gift from the Gods, even. This may refer to Alexander the Great's white horse, named Bucephalus. However, Bucephalus has a black coat with a white star.
- Line 8 refers to freeing the Erythraean Sybil – who liked to use word puzzles and acrostics in her prophecies – from the captivity of third Emperor, who also owns said horse.
- Line 9 declares that Lester, Apollo's wayward mortal form, must go to a palace in the West.
- Line 10 is a reference to Meg finding her "roots"; what they are is unclear.
- Line 11 claims that only a satyr – who later turns out to be Grover Underwood – knows how to traverse the way and can guide them.
- Line 12 is, as of yet, unclear. Perhaps, though this is only conjecture, Apollo must do what his foes (The Triumvirate) have done before him; walking down the path they have.
- Lines 13 and 14, the last of the couplets, proclaim that only when Apollo knows who his three God-King foes are and manages to reach Camp Jupiter alive can he find his path to glory – and dance to the noble acoustics of victory. These will probably take him to his greatest triumph, facing the Python at Delphi.
- Lester (Apollo)/ Still human; thanks for asking/ Gods, I hate my life
- Headless guys and gals/ Not loving the Midwest vibe/ Oh, look—a cheese ghost
- My last performance/ Some old lady drops the mic/ And kills everyone
- No building should be/ A secret from Apollo/ Or drop bricks on him
- Tell you a story?/ Or I could just, like, pass out/ And twitch on the couch
- Oh, Magic 8 Ball/ Epic fail at prophecies/ Leo's ear's on fire
- I chopped those onions/ With my own ex-godly hands/ You'd better eat them
- Lovebirds arguing/ Trouble in Elysium?/ I'll just scrum these plates
- Of course it's a trap/ With her, it always is one/ Trappy McTrapface
- Scrubbing toilets now/ At least there's a great reward/ Leftover tofu
- Four beheaded dudes/ Are too much for one nightmare/ Why me? Sob. Sob. Sob.
- I sing of taters!/ Chili, sweet potato, blue!/ Why? Ask my arrow
- Fast-food restaurant/ My life goal is realized/ Any fries with that?
- Yeah, we got the skills/ Fake hexes and shooting feet/ Teach you 'bout pancakes
- Drivin' the green train/ I'm all like, Choo-choo! Choo-choo!/ Can't catch me!— Oh, poop!
- Son of a Midas/ You, sir, are a stupid-head/ Here, have an ostrich
- To the Waystation/ Meg McCaffrey eats my bread/ I cry godly tears
- My dear Commodus/ Commode is named after you/ Hail, Toilet Caesar
- Call me Narcissus/ Today I'll be your trainer/ I'll also kill you
- Pedaling in style/ Leg irons are fashionable/ Cue the screaming god
- Get me a legion/ And about six tons of rocks/ Need to kill a snake
- I wax poetic/ On the beauty of sewers/ Real short poem. Done
- So amaze! Such name!/ Sssssarah with five s's is/ Still two syllablessssss
- Science can be fun/ Squirt those toxic chemicals/ Anywhere, really
- Big birds are evil/ They charge me with razor legs/ I die and it hurts
- I tip my hat to/ The excellent elephant/ Let's be besties, 'kay?
- Destroy me a roof/ Bring with wenches with winches/ We're so out of here
- Belching stinky smoke/ What gene pool did you come from?/ Wait. What? (Insert scream)
- Carrot-peeling god/ Tofu stir-fry is good, but/ Needs more ígboyá
- Lester, slap yourself/ Oh, for just one night without/ Looking like a fool
- Start with a C chord/ Not all the keys, Meg. C does/ Not stand for Chaos
- Pretty fuzzy cow/ So cute, so warm and vicious!/ Squee! Can I kill him?
- Feeling groovy, I'm/ Drowning, freezing, snake surfing/ Life is good, Batman!
- Meg takes a solo/ Scares away her audience/ Good job, McCaffrey
- Man, I hate my son/ A real arrogant jerkwad/ Nothing like his dad
- Mind your p's and q's/ When you are arming bombs or—/ SPLAT—trample jelly
- Your favorite fruit?/ I hope you didn't say grapes/ Or apples, or figs
- Waystation damaged/ Commodus will pay for this/ And I don't take cash
- During this standoff/ No flash photography, please/ Oops. My bad. Ha-ha
- Shakespeare, don't bring that/ Iambic pentameter/ Up in my face, yo
- Prophecies don't mix/ With Tofurky and biscuits/ Just give me dessert
- Pancakes for the road/ Need a guide for your journey?/ Check the tomatoes
- On December 22, 2016, an excerpt from the first chapter was released.
- Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford is included in the Indian version of the book.
- On page 241 of the paperback version, Apollo states that he had met Indra, the Vedic god of storms, at some point in his years of godhood, and were searching for vindaloo on a late-night road trip.
- On a page in the book, Apollo calls the grain spirits something that references to the three wise monkeys.
- Part of Chapter 23 is called ¨So amaze! Such name!¨ It is a parody of a Doge meme.