The Trials of Apollo: Camp Jupiter Classified: A Probatio's Journal

The Trials of Apollo: Camp Jupiter Classified: A Probatio's Journal
Age Range
Release Date
May 05, 2020
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It's the February after Gaea's defeat, and mysterious incidents are wreaking havoc throughout Camp Jupiter. If the Romans don't figure out who--or what--is behind the episodes soon, the Twelfth Legion could implode.
Suspicion falls on Claudia, the Fourth Cohort's newest probatio. After all, the mischief started shortly after she stumbled into camp. Plus, she's a daughter of Mercury, the god of thieves and tricksters.
To find out whether she's guilty or innocent, readers can delve into the pages of Claudia's personal journal. Through her eyewitness accounts, they will visit the crime scenes--a row of seats in the Coliseum, an underground aqueduct tunnel, the strange staircase at the back of the principia--and see the bizarre events unfold. They'll be right alongside Claudia when she discovers a secret so ancient that not even the lares know about it . . . a secret that holds the key to Camp Jupiter's safety.

Editor review

1 review
Claudia's Journal
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
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Claudia, a legacy of Mercury, is looking forward to being in the fourth cohort at California's Camp Jupiter. She struggles a little with roommates, is awed by the Via Praetoria, and is ready to uphold the memory of her great-grandfather. There are a lot of unpleasant chores that need to be done, like cleaning out the aqueducts and pooper scooping for the elephants, unicorns, and giant eagles, but even the worst jobs have unexpected surprises, like getting to ride on an eagle! She makes a few friends, like Blaise and Janice, and is worried when she gets several mysterious notes that seem to align with dreams she is having. When odd things start to happen at the camp, the counselors suspect that she has something to do with them, and watch her even more carefully. Could the vagrant centaur, Elon, have anything to do with these occurrences? Who is leaving her notes? And how will an ancient set of shields figure in the mystery that Claudia must solve?
Good Points
For readers who are eagerly awaiting the next book in Riordan's Trial of Apollo series, The Tower of Nero (9/29/20), this is a fun trip to the world of those stories. While there is plenty of mystery and action, the pace is slower and the scene limited to the camp Jupiter grounds. While reading Claudia's journal, I found it was much easier to pretend I was a camper, and was able to revel in the details about cabins, chores, shops around camp, and the mythology behind Claudia's family. There was a helpful glossary of terms and Latin words at the end of the book.

Claudia was trained in Wolf House and has solid engineering skills, although Janice does have to give her some hints when building an arch. It's great to see girls represented in this field, and Riordan's work treats all genders equally, which is good to see.

These short books can be read out of order, since they focus so specifically on one character, and would make a great gift for young readers are smaller occasions, if they are getting the main books for birthdays and major holidays. Really, any occasion is a good one for adding more Riordan books to a collection of die hard fans, since all of the books begged to be reread as "comfort reads".
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