June 27, 2018
“Remember what it’s like to be human,” ― Rick Riordan, The Burning Maze
SO. THIS BOOK HAPPENED.
Again, another late book review, but hey better late than never, right? Well, I am not exactly sure how to make this spoiler free, but I am going to try my hardest. I will say this, it was one hell of a ride.
I remember when I decided to continue on with Riordan novels after Heroes of Olympus and now I am questioning that decision. Not because they aren’t great books, but I should not be getting this invested in Middle-Grade novels at twenty-one years old. These books are destroying me in good and bad ways. Okay, so book three of the Trials of Apollo series, I actually had to look up recaps of books one and two as I barely remembered what happened in them. You can read my reviews for those Here: Book 1 and Here: Book 2
The synopsis for The Burning Maze is as followed: “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. . . .”
Just a reminder: I still can’t stand the character of Meg. She irritates me so much and reminds me of the kids that would drive me crazy in school as a kid. She is so nonchalant about everything and while that sort of worked for Nico when he was first introduced, it just makes her character irritating in my opinion. However, I do like her and Apollo’s interactions throughout the book and she did have a very important arc in book 3.
That being said, I think they could lose Meg and it wouldn’t really make much of a difference to me. Yes, I know they need her because of the prophecy and all that, but, you know, DETAILS. As for the rest of the characters, I was thrilled to have returning characters such as Leo and Grover as well as a few others join the quest. That is what I love most about this universe that you just never know when one of your favourites will show up. I am still waiting for Nico and Will to come back.
The whole of the story was a bit slow for me. It took me a while to get into it and eventually I had to buy the audiobook in order to finish it. Now that could have been mostly because I was in a massive reading slump and just couldn’t be bothered to read anything. I am very glad I managed to finish it though as those last one hundred pages or so…woah. I will not spoil it, but let me tell you this: I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. I haven’t been this shocked since I think The Last Olympian or the end of The Mark of Athena. If you are a fan of Riordan you may hate it or you may love it, not sure.
I think Apollo’s character is really growing on me. I loved him in the previous series and while I miss him as the cocky divine charmer, mortal Apollo or rather Lester is okay too. And while I am enjoying most of the characters and all the additions of the Roman Emperors, I am still a bit lost while reading the story as a whole. Apollo needs free all these oracles while fighting off the emperors and fight to help the demigods, it’s all the same issue, but I’m losing it a bit. That may just be my poor connection skills though.
I can’t really see where the story is going at the moment and I can only hope that our heroes don’t lose too much. I can’t even try to imagine what Rick is going to do with the fourth book. I have a lot of theories, but none of them make sense as I did not see book 3 coming at all.
I will say this, before reading this one you need to think back to moments of Heroes of Olympus because there are a few references that I had to look up to refresh my memory. That is one of the downfalls when one of your favourite authors write SO MANY books! Then there is the whole thing about how Riordan never seems to run out of mythology to add into his books. I don’t know where he finds all of it. With these new books I have been reading stories that I had never heard before and I am a huge Mythology nerd. So that’s amazing.
I feel like I am majorly losing my train of thought with this review. I feel like this needs to be way more basic. I liked the book, the end was a crazy rollercoaster of emotion, and I need book four as soon as possible. I kind of wish this was only a trilogy as I am just anxious to know the end. Sort of how I wanted Magnus Chase to have five books but instead got a trilogy. But that’s just me being greedy I suppose.
As for the villain of book 3 which is an emperor, I found him to be great. You don’t get as much as you did with the previous two, but it’s pretty intense. He is actually my favourite emperor from Roman history to learn about, so I am a bit biased. The villains in this series are so twisted it makes me love them so much. And they are smart which is always fun to read when it comes to villains. I am trying not to think about how the next two books will pan out as I am trying to be surprised, but I can’t help it, you know?
Overall I give this book 4/5 stars. It would be five if certain things like pacing and Meg, were changed. But hey, still a great book and I think if you are a fan of Riordan then you will enjoy it regardless.
Have you read The Burning Maze? What were your thoughts on it?