Title: Apollo: The Brilliant One
Author: George O’Connor
Publisher: First Second
Check this book out on Goodreads.
Mighty Apollo is known by all as the god of the sun, but there’s more to this Olympian than a bright smile and a shining chariot. (Source: Chapters)
In the eighth book of the Olympians series by George O’Connor the muses, or mousai, tell 7 tales of Apollo, all displaying his faults and his humanity, which O’Connor presents as a way of showing that Apollo, the most Greek of the gods, was also the most human, and it is this humanity that enamors to many to him.
You may have seen my review of Ares last year, where I basically prattled on about how amazing George O’Connor is, and if you haven’t you really ought to read that review (and the whole series) because I don’t want to repeat myself too much. O’Connor has taken on another kind of difficult god in this book because Apollo doesn’t have this massive overarching story we can follow, and he doesn’t have one, big, famous story, he has a bunch of lesser known stories. I didn’t know a lot about him going into this book, but by the end I was just thinking “jeez this guy’s kind of an asshole”, true of all gods, but there was something pretty extraordinarily interesting about this particular brand of asshole that makes this book really great still.
Apollo is incredibly human, all of his stories are just depressing, nothing good seemed to happen to this guy at all. His lover’s all died, women he pursued ran off in fear, he was vengeful and murderous, he was jealous, just an all around asshole. But that’s so astonishingly human it makes you care about him in a weird way. I wasn’t a huge fan of the stories, except the story of Daphne which I already knew, but I think O’Connor really accomplished something amazing in the way he presented the stories. He made me care about a god had no interest in, and he tied together a bunch of seemingly random stories to make a really compelling narrative through the muses.
The art was of course on point as well. I am excited to see more of this series in the future and highly recommend the series!