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

 The Burning Maze

By Rick Riordan

I was a little late to the Apollo party – I figured I could read them at my own pace, and I would never have to wait for a book to be published. But then I started reading them and I enjoying them and soon enough I had whizzed through the first few books. So I bought the third one, and I promised myself I would be patient and take it slow, and read at a slower pace, because I knew I would have to wait for next instalment like everyone else. Unfortunately/Fortunately, however you want to see it, I really, really enjoyed the book again, and read it over two days! Two days, which means I have to wait for the next book, just like everyone else and I cannot wait!!!!! 🙂

I still LOVE Apollo! Even though, you can see him growing and his humanity is making him a better person, he still has enough of his attitude and character to make him amusing and almost hopeless. I hope he remembers some of the lessons he has learnt, when he becomes a God again, but then again I kind of like when he is narcissistic and selfish.

As much as I am loving the story, a few parts have bothered me a little, I understand Gods have treated demigods appallingly for centuries, and I know Apollo has sometimes been terrible, but generally, Rick Riordan has shown demigods to be caring, altruistic and generally forgiving; but in this case, Apollo is trying; he is trying to fix things, even going as far as to put himself in danger for his friends. But they a lot of the characters are still blaming him for some of the bad things happening and I don’t believe it is all his fault. I think he started the cascade of bad omens/oracles, but Demigods get swept up in prophecies all the time. I think Apollo got a hard rap in this book, and didn’t necessarily deserve all of it.

Character Development is a huge part of reading a book for me, I like to get to know a character and move along the story with them. This instalment has really moved the characters on and I have really gotten attached to them. I have always loved Percy Jackson, Grover and Annabeth, but it took a little longer for the second set of heroes to grow on me. But Apollo and Meg are like old friends I have reconnected with, and as I read it, I’ve cried and rejoiced with them, screamed at them and with them. Apollo may be one of my favourite characters!

As for the story, it kicks off as always just after the end of the previous book, and all the characters are still suffering from the things they learnt or did in the previous books, and they all have a lot of baggage to carry around with them. Meg is still suffering from PTSD from her sad upbringing, Apollo is starting to understand that humans/demigods should not just be used just for the Gods own purposes or like pigs to the slaughter, and although he hasn’t quite fully learnt this, you can see his personality changing and adjusting the longer he stays mortal.

Again, the main storyline behind the book, is Apollo and company seeking out another Oracle to save from on the Triumvirate and facing an endless assortment of baddies and traps. In this section we visit Piper and Jason, whom appear to be having some trouble with their personal lives as well as demigod lives, and this some how ties in with Apollos adventures. Whilst Grover acts as their guide, they have to stop the Burning Maze, save the many plants and Dryads and find and save the oracle, all whilst trying to figure out the different prophecies they have heard on their journey. The crux of the book is always the same kind of format – find somewhere nearby to locate the oracle, face a few baddies, somehow manage to come out mostly unscathed, defeat but not completely defeat the big bad guy and save the Oracle, receive another clue/prophecy and find out they know someone who can help. I love the story and enjoy it for what it is, but the style makes it quite predictable, not in a way that makes it really easy to guess every little detail but to sort of know where the story is heading.

I loved the new characters introduced and it was wonderful catching up with Grover, although I miss Percy and Grover antics, it was good seeing how he has been getting on as a Lord of the Wild. It was nice and surprising seeing Piper and Jason again,  although they weren’t my favourite characters from the older series, I quite like Frank and Hazel, so I cannot wait for the next book!

I don’t want to go into too much detail as I am not a fan of spoilers but I really enjoyed the third book, and it has made me eager for the next instalment. I think it would be a really good book for children, or anyone like me who loves the classics, Ancient Rome and Greek myths or just an adventure book.

Overall, I was happy with this book and would happily recommend it to anyone, and if you enjoy an easy uncomplicated read, that makes you feel like you know the characters, this is a good book to start with.

Rating: ★⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 stars) Loses a star because sometimes the tried and tested/same old same old could wear a little thin.

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