The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)by Published 01 May 2018
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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. . . .
"The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)" Reviews
all the emotions
"It's been my observation," I said, "that you humans are more than the sum of your history. You can choose how much of your ancestry to embrace. You can overcome the expectations of your family and your society. What you cannot do, and should never do, is try to be someone other than yourself."
*screams into the void*
Whelp. Rick's done it. Not since The Mark of Athena have I felt so destroyed by a Rick Riordan book.
IT'S NOT FAIR I TELL YOU.
*swings back wine bottle*
Okay. I think I'm ready to talk about this.
The Burning Maze is the third book in The Trials of Apollo series, and Rick Riordan's nineteenth demigod book. I've read every single one of this man's books, and I'm never disappointed. So it shouldn't be a surprise that I absolutely loved this.
I sound like a broken record at this point, but I don't care. This series is just...so special. I love all of Rick's books, sure, but there's something about The Trials of Apollo that just gets me. This series centers around Apollo, the shining Greek god of archery, music, medicine, and the Sun, among other things. At the beginning of the first book, Zeus casts Apollo out of Olympus as punishment for his failures, and traps him in the body of a 16 year old boy named Lester Papadopoulos. Cursed with mortality, acne, and flab, Apollo must complete five trials in order to restore himself to his godly glory.
Apollo is still one of the funniest Rick Riordan characters ever put on the page. His voice is biting, self-absorbed, and utterly hysterical. He's not your conventional hero. He's not selfless, or brave, and he has absolutely no qualms about it. And that's what makes him great.
But, Apollo has gone through a lot since the beginning of the first book, and he has much more to lose.
What surprised me most about Apollo's character is how much growth he's experienced since book one. Our main character has lived for millennia, and he carries quite a bit of baggage from his past. On top of his past failures, Apollo is consistently confronted by his own mortality, and becomes all too familiar with the pain and love that comes with being human. Seeing his growth has been so powerful, and incredibly emotional.
The relationships he forms in this series are also wonderful. I'll continue to harp on the fact that Meg and Apollo have the most adorable friendship ever. Yeah, you heard me. Who knew the friendship between a former all-powerful god and a twelve-year-old girl would be so goddamn beautiful?
Our cast of side characters bring a ton to the story as well. I loved seeing more of the nymphs and dryads in this installment, and there were some amazing cameos in here. I've missed Grover so much. What a delight he was! Coach Hedge, Piper, and Jason were also welcome additions to this cast of characters.
I LOVE EVERYONE.
On top of all that, The Burning Maze has the best villain this series has seen so far. I won't name the crazy Roman Emperor that makes an appearance in this installment, but he was...disgustingly evil. Quite the fitting villain, and a terrifying foil for our characters.
The story constantly kept me on my toes, and this was definitely a lot darker than the previous two books in the series. There was this feeling of constant dread interwoven throughout the narrative. The emotion was heightened to astronomical proportions, and I freaking cried my eyes out at one point. Sobbed.
The Trials of Apollo is an all-time-favorite for a reason, guys. It's that good.
With just the right balance of laughs and emotion, wonderful characters, a batshit crazy villain, and an exciting story set in the depths of the Labyrinth, The Burning Maze succeeds on so many levels. I absolutely adored this book. How, oh how will I wait for the fourth book?What must I do to get my hands on it?!
The wait might just kill me, but I'm so ready.
Hey folks! It's that time of year when I write a really incoherent screamy review about Rick Riordan's books and I get told to chill, but I have no chill when it comes to Rick Riordan. And believe me when I say that this time, Rick Riordan is not fucking around.
Don't get me wrong - for a lot of the book, we've got the same fun adventure romp that many readers have come to love about Rick's books, even if it is somewhat formulaic. We've got Apollo in all his melodrama, with soooooooo many references to pop culture and history, for both modern teenagers AND their parents. So many. SO. MANY. Apollo, as always, is such a horrifying delight to read, because he's a disaster, and he's so conceited, but it's all very endearing. That being said, I believe that Apollo's a lot more sympathetic than he was in the first or second books - he's learned some humility. His earlier adventures have stuck with him, and it was great to see so much character development.
It was really exciting seeing Grover again, and seeing how much he's matured. I'm so proud of him. And the Hedge family - I really grew into loving the three of them in this book, even though I didn't really pay them a lot of heed in the Heroes of Olympus. We also got some old villains, like Medea, which was really cool to see.
Spoilers from this point on.
So to sum it all up, in one non-spoilery sentence: Rick Riordan does it again - a fun adventurous romp through mythology, history, Roman emperors, and a bit of emotional turmoil thrown in, just for funsies. I'm really anticipating the next book.
Thank you Penguin Random House for a full copy. All thoughts are my own
YOU CAN ALSO FIND MY REVIEWS FOR ALL THE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES ON MY BLOG! CLICK HERE
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.
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WE ALL KNOW THAT YOU DONT KILL ONE OF THE ORIGINAL SEVEN DEMIGODS. YOU JUST DON'T!!!!!!!!