Friday, June 1, 2018

Book Review: The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo #3)

Release Date: May 1, 2018
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Length: 442 pages
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

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....



Protagonist: After two adventures Apollo and Meg are joined by Grover as they take the Labyrinth west to Southern California and the next Oracle. When they arrive at their destination they find out that a massive heat wave is affecting the area, and the only way to disperse it is to find a specific part of the Labyrinth, defeat the evil growing there, and free the Oracle. Which of course is easier said than done. As always I loved reading more from Apollo's POV, though in this book things really start to get serious as the dangers they face are greater than they have before. Apollo's humor is sort of tempered in this installment, that humorous ego is still there, but Apollo is also growing after millennia of living and learning what it means to be human, and what mortality really means.

World Building: Once again our heroes, Apollo and Meg, are joined by some of your favorite (or maybe not so favorite) characters from Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series, and again Apollo's (immortal and godly) life touches every little aspect of the story as we're introduced to our villainous new emperor, who, unlike Commodus, I have actually heard of and when his name is revealed it sent shivers down my spine. This book is by far the darkest installment in this series so far, seemingly matching up with the third installments from the other Camp Half-Blood series, The Titan's Curse and The Mark of Athena, which isn't a spoiler to tell you as Apollo pretty much tells you exactly that at the beginning of the book. This book also delves into Meg's backstory quite a bit and I loved learning more about where she came from and her "ancient roots." Honestly, there's a whole freaking lot packed into this book and by the end of it, you may be an emotional wreck waiting for the next book.

Predictability: Like I said, this book is the darkest installment so far, full of twists and turns I didn't see coming. Honestly, I'm not sure if I should even write more than that. Riordan has done an amazing job with his foreshadowing in recent years and this installment really proves that as I can't think of a single twist or turn I saw coming, yet when they happened, everything made sense, everything just fit.

Ending: So, much like the previous installments in this series, there isn't really a cliffhanger for this installment, mainly there is a fantastic and intense final climax, that in all honesty may have made me shed a tear or two, once the dust settles, then it's time to set up the next installment, though there are clues all throughout the final chapters, including the final climax, but it's when almost all is said and done that we get some crucial intel on what's coming next and more importantly, who will make an appearance in the next installment, well, it's pretty freaking amazing. The cooldown period really just ties up most of the lingering threads of this installment while showing that there is more to come and more challenges to face head-on.


Yeah, like this rating is much of a shock. I love this book so much, even though it hurt me in irreparable ways, but still, I cannot wait to continue Apollo's tale and hopefully, he'll catch a lucky break one of these days, I doubt it though.


1 comment:

  1. Great review! I love finding twists to surprise me and I can't wait to read this!