Thank you so much Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of The Burning Maze in exchange for honest review. All thoughts on the book are my own and receiving a copy of the book did not impact how I felt about it.
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia
Genre: middle grade, urban fantasy, mythology, adventure, young adult
The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.
With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . .
R E V I E W
Dare I say it? I may just. The Burning Maze is one of Rick Riordan’s top five books of all time. This book had it all. Character development that didn’t fade away, action, death, drama and the inclusion of past characters didn’t feel forced. Oh, I forgot to mention the best part! The Burning Maze brought back Grover. I honestly feel as if Grover is one of the most underappreciated characters in all of Rick Riordan’s series. That satyr deserves a heck of a lot more recognition for what he’s gone through and the fact he was here in The Burning Maze? You bet I screamed.
The Burning Maze kicks off almost hours after the end of The Dark Prophecy. Meg, Apollo and Grover are travelling through the labyrinth (yes, the labyrinth is back) and are facing some complications, obviously. The trio goes through so much and at times even has to spilt up. However, I notice Rick Riordan always makes sure to use the Camp Half-Blood rule of three people going on a quest together. In The Burning Maze, we learn more about Meg’s biological father and see her interact with dryads of where she used to live. Piper and Jason even appear, characters from one of Rick Riordan’s other series, and they didn’t make me want to die (these two were my least favourite of Rick Riordan’s).
This story just seems to flow so much better than the previous one. It was honestly so exciting and I am so happy that I can passionately tell everyone to pick it up. If you’re into middle grade and Rick Riordan’s books this is so worth it.
Rick really changed up the game in this one is all I’ll say without spoiling anyone. I’m just so excited for people to read it so I have people to scream with.
Anyway, I’m babbling, let us jump into what I liked and didn’t like about The Burning Maze.
L I K E S
✗ RICK CHANGED IT UP IM THRIVING
It’s not that Rick changed it up, it’s that he finally did things he was too afraid to do in previous books. I really can’t say much here without spoiling it and I want everyone to be as shocked as I was, so I’ll leave it at that.
✗ I ACTUALLY ENJOYED JASON AND PIPER I AM SHOOKETH
I despise Jason and Piper. I think they’re an Annabeth and Percy remake and I just didn’t like that in life and death situations the only person Piper cared about was Jason. It was annoying. However, finally, six books later I like them. Wow, that was hard to say. I think what I enjoyed the most was a) lack of Jason and b) Piper getting real about their relationship. Their relationship had been forged on lies – shout out to Hera, you bitch – and in such a high intense situation as war it is difficult to go back to normal life in which you can relax. I feel that this pair really showed the struggles of something like that and I am so happy Rick included it in the book.
✗ GROVER IS BACK HAIL GROVER
I said it earlier but Grover deserves more love. Grover goes out of his way to saves everyone’s butt and protect the world. I honestly can’t even express my excitement at getting his humour back in the books and seeing his dedication towards his friends, both old and new. He’s seriously Percy’s best friend and y’all sleep on him too much.
✗THAT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT ON APOLLO FINALLY STUCK
I complained in my last review, The Dark Prophecy, about how Apollo took backward steps. Finally in The Burning Maze we see Apollo start thinking about others. He goes through so many emotions and has a general empathy that shocks even him. It was seriously enjoyable to see a god shocked at feeling something like empathy towards a mortal. I feel if Apollo had kept up with the same level of douchebaggery as the first book I would have had to put this book down but I was very pleasantly shocked by what Rick Riordan chose to do with this story.
D I S L I K ES
✗ I DON’T HAVE ANY LMAO BYE
I’m as shocked as you are. I don’t know what happened. I always have something I disliked about a book. I mean, The Burning Maze isn’t a perfect book either but I honestly just can’t pinpoint one thing I hated or that even irked me in this book. I had such a fun time reading it and I really can’t say anything negative. I’m speechless, for once. If you know me, you know this is a shock.
Overall, The Burning Maze shocked me in the best way possible. I truly can’t put in words how much I did enjoy this book. I clearly tried and reading over this review made me cringe because I literally can’t express my enjoyment. I probably wouldn’t recommend this series to someone who hasn’t read Rick Riordan’s previous series, but if you want to give it a go I do still recommend it! The pacing was beautiful and the intensity of some of the characters emotions was intense. We finally got a sense of grief as well, that Rick has shied away from in previous books.
Happy reading everyone!
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