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…
Epic ugly sobbing! I do not think there’s a way to discuss this book without talking about the horrible spoilers elephant in the room, so I have marked for spoilers, though I will (as always) try to leave it mild.
So. I don’t really know where to begin, as I just finished listening to this and I’m still in shock. But as much as one can, with the spoilery occurrence, I loved the ending. I also liked the structure of the fights, in the way there’s two things that could end the book – I actually even checked to see how much more I had left!
However, I didn’t get on with the beginning as much – I still love the tone of this series and Apollo’s character, but the structure of moving from place to place, from people to people is beginning to jar. I guess Riordan is trying to give us a story to finish up everyone’s tale, so we’ve had a few and he’s trying to get to the rest, but he should have stuck with the larger cast plan that worked so well with Heroes of Olympus. The burning maze concept, all the dryads, the whole first third – half was a bit drawn out for me. Especially the Piper and Jason back story, as there’s a bit of an info dump. Though that’s a bit later really.
I do still love Apollo and Meg (especially Meg!) and their relationship. Caligula is coming over a bit too powerful, but I’m sort of hoping they’ve broken the back of that, given some of the blows they managed to deal in this book. However, I’m not sure that’s the case as there’s still two books left! So we shall see. He’s certainly been built up as powerful and evil and scary in a really effective way, which I always appreciate in a bad guy!
I also wanted more Leo! A glimpse at the end is not enough!! I feel that’s it for his character too, though I hope not. 💙
Now on to impatiently wait for the next installment!
Buy The Burning Maze at Amazon UK (affiliate link)