THE BURNING MAZE
SERIES: The Trails of Apollo. #2
REPRESENTATION: Bisexual MC
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA, Urban Fantasy, Mythology
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 is another fast-paced, action-packed Rick Riordan adventure. While I do like Apollo as a protagonist, I think this series might be my least favourite in this universe (not including the Heroes of Olympus which I’ve yet to finish). I far prefer the Magnus Chase trilogy, which I finished not so long ago.
That being said, Riordan always writes genuinely entertaining stories, and even my least favourites are top-reads in the grand scheme of things.
A few things I liked about The Burning Maze:
- The plot was engaging and the moved quickly.
- It’s as funny and snarky as you’d expect from Apollo and there were definitely a few spots where I laughed out loud.
- The desert dryads, like Aloe Vera and the Ash dryad warriors. I hope we get to see them all again.
- The threat level felt higher than the other Apollo books – Caligula ain’t playing.
- For me personally, the best part of this particular instalment was the maze itself. It was a fun and different to have the heroes work their way through the crossword-style challenges.
I think Riordan are all going to love it (or at least really like it the way I did) but I probably wouldn’t suggest this series as an introductory point to the universe. I think the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard are far stronger. I know the book will be much more impactful to fans of The Heroes of Olympus, especially Piper and Jason, who show up here. So, maybe if I’d read that last book?