Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan - Book Review

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
Publication date: May 1, 2018
My rating: 3 stars

NO. I refuse to share this part of my story. It was the lowest, most humiliating, most awful week in my four-thousand-plus years of life. Tragedy. Disaster. Heartbreak. I will not tell you about it. Why are you still here? Go away! 

It took me way too long to read The Burning Maze.

The reason? Back in the day when it came out, I read about 25% of it... when I was spoiled about something major happening. I was so shocked, I literally dropped the book and didn’t pick it up more than a year later.

I’m honestly a little ashamed of myself considering my fan status of Rick Riordan. I mean I literally grew up on these books.

Still, maybe it’s also actually a good thing I waited until the 4th book was out? That way I could binge read it.

But anyway, since this is the 3rd book in the series, there are obviously going to be MAJOR spoilers below. If you haven’t read these books yet, what are you doing, go read them.

And if you haven’t read any of the Percy Jackson books yet (although I highly doubt you would be here, reading this review, if you hadn't), I highly recommend you start with The Lightning Thief. Go now, shoo, let me freak out about this book.
Because, boy, am I going to freak out

*Spoilers from now on* 

I’m so sad right now people. SO SAD.

And yes, this is the thing I was spoiled about before I finished reading the book – well technically it’s two things if you think about it.

Piper and Jason breaking up, and Jason FREAKING DYING.

*sobbing into eternity* 

Jason and Piper were the kind of characters that I didn't immediately scream "omg, favorite!" Unlike with my instant love to characters like Percy, Leo, Nico... Piper and Jason took a bit more time to grow on me during their adventures in Heroes of Olympus. And that's okay! Because when we left them, Piper and Jason were in a good place, beginning their search for their lost friend, Leo. 

But then we pick up where we left them and Piper and Jason are not in a good place. Piper and Jason are broken up. But Piper and Jason are also so much more awesome than I remembered? They've grown up so much (mentally, if not physically), they're awesome, they're heroic, they're wonderful.
I didn't even realize it, stupidly, before... how much I love them. Together and apart. 

In the previous books, I was so busy being in love with the rest of the gang that I completely neglected Piper and Jason.
And now...
And NOW. 

Jason took me by the shoulders—not out of anger, or in a clinging way, but as a brother. “Promise me one thing. Whatever happens, when you get back to Olympus, when you’re a god again, remember. Remember what it’s like to be human.” 

I just about nearly sobbed when I read that.  


I really admired Piper in this one. She was just so freaking mentally strong. And I loved how she was acting like this big sister to Meg at times.

It was just so jarring to hear that she and Jason broke up considering, as Grover almost said, that we always thought they would be like like Percy and Annabeth. Thinking about these heroes, that got together when you yourself were 16, as you were reading about them excitedly, after purchasing the next book in the series from the bookstore, and now you’re 21 and they’re broken up… it just makes me sad.

It’s logical, I suppose, considering Piper and Jason's fake history, considering what Piper told Apollo about her wanting to find herself. BUT WHO CARES ABOUT LOGIC when all I wanted was for them to be happy together. 

But that’s not the saddest thing. Nope. I could still hold out to hope that these two will be happy – whether it’s together or apart – UNTIL JASON SACRIFICED HIMSELF AND WAS STABBED TWO TIMES THROUGH THE HEART. 

“I can’t even…” Jason sat heavily on his bed. “I don’t know whether to laugh or yell.” “Don’t limit yourself,” grumbled Piper. “Do both.” 

I mean, yeah... why limit myself when I can yell and cry 😭 

It’s like Rick Riordan thought “You know what, since I didn’t kill anyone major in The Blood of Olympus, let’s like, kill one of them now, right? RIGHT?” 


It’s even worse killing Jason now that it would have been in The Blood of Olympus because we spent 6 books with Jason, we got used to the idea of Jason, we thought Jason was SAFE, and now what? Now we cry. And wonder if Rick will kill anyone else. 

He probably won’t. Thinking about Rick Riordan’s style, he doesn’t go overboard with character kills, so I’m thinking most of them are probably safe, at least the other main ones. 

Now before I start sobbing again thinking about Piper's reaction when they... with Jason... *taking a deep breath*, I should talk a bit about the protagonist of this book, Apollo. 

“Let my friends go,” I said. “All of them. Then you can have me.” The emperor’s eyes gleamed like a strix’s. “And if I don’t?” I summoned my courage, and issued a threat I never could have imagined in my previous four thousand years of life. “I’ll kill myself.”

One of my favorite moments, was when Apollo and the gang were being held hostage by Caligula – right before… right before Jason… - and Apollo was SO ANGRY about his hurt friends, and then he realized that the only way to save them was to threaten his own life… It was just so beautiful?

Such an amazing character development. Apollo really is evolving. He’s not the same guy he was in book 1. After that, he literally risked himself 2 more times just to save his friends. And I honestly cannot wait to see what happens next. I mean, Apollo will quite probably return to godhood but… how will it change him? How would his promise to Jason… Jason Grace, will change him? 

I felt sad when Piper was blaming Apollo, especially since they almost bonded at some point. I mean, I understand, I really do. Even though it’s not Apollo’s fault, it was his quest, he was the one who asked for their help. He’s not at fault,  especially considering Jason literally told everyone about the prophecy of either him or Piper dying if they try to go after Caligula, but I can see how Piper, in her situation, could blame him. It’s just so sad though. My heart. I can’t. 

As the former praetor and the emperor charged past each other, Jason met my eyes across the ruined throne room. His expression told me his plan with perfect clarity. Like me, he had decided that Piper McLean would not die tonight. For some reason, he had decided that I must live too. He yelled again, “GO! Remember!”

Jason sacrificed himself for this friends to get away, but… at the end of the day, he did it for Piper. He did it so Piper wouldn’t die, so Piper would get away, and this breaks my heart and I’m going to cry. 

His last words to Piper and Apollo "GO! Remember!" before he told his horse to get them to safety just about killed me. It also really threw me back to the 11th Doctor and Clara (Oswin) Oswald (Run, you clever boy. And remember). Which honestly just made me sadder. 

Piper shook him and sobbed, “JASON!” Her voice echoed from the cliffs. 

I literally had to hold my tears back when they found Jason on the shore and Piper was screaming his name and begging for Apollo, and when Piper's dad showed up and hugged his daughter... 😭 I would have probably sobbed if I was alone at the time, but since I wasn't I looked like I had something in my eye with how much blinking I was doing. It was hard enough to try to keep the tears at bay. 

And then later, when Leo came along, I had tears in my eyes and I'm just... when he asked where's Jason... and Piper broke down in his arms... someone please hold me.

“One good stab in the back deserves another.” Piper kissed Medea on the cheek. “I’d tell you to say hello to Jason for me, but he’ll be in Elysium. You…won’t.”  

Piper killing Medea was EPIC. So no maybe she didn’t get to kill Jason’s actual murderer yet, but killing the person who assisted in this, Piper’s nemesis, sure is retribution.

I also kind of felt Apollo wasn’t sad ENOUGH about Jason, though? I mean don’t get me wrong, he was obviously sad and guilty, but by the way he reacted to Crest’s death, whom he knew even for less time than Jason, it kind of felt his reaction to Jason’s death lacked? I dono. I mean, Apollo and Jason are technically half brothers, they’re bonded to a promise, I just thought Apollo would express… more. But that’s just me. 

Jason sighed miserably. “That’s supposed to be my job. I’m always the one who gets knocked in the head. Sorry, guys. Things didn’t exactly go as planned.”

(Because we also need to remember the fun times with Jason) 

We're definitely not done with this heartbreak though, huh?
Book 4 should pick right up where book 3 left, which means Meg and Apollo are delivering Jason to the Roman camp. Which means... which means breaking the hearts of the rest of the gang. 

We already know Annabeth's and Percy's reaction from the end of Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase) - although I do wish to see/hear Percy's actual reaction, as we only heard Annabeth, crying. 

We also know Piper and Leo's reaction... 

Now it's time to deliver the news to the rest of the people who care about Jason - Reyna (who was once in love with him), Frank (his comrade), Hazel (his comrade and friend), Thalia (his sister)... I can't even. 

Onto The Tyrant's Tomb now...
See you there. 

What I wanted Jason and Piper to end as:
Unstoppable - Alex Goot

What they actually sort of ended up us (hard to find an exact song these days):
The Meterial - I'd be Lying 

Also this one because why not, I'm feeling sad and musicy:
Deltarune - Legend (Tudd Chillwave Remix)

“I’m Jason Grace,” he said. “Former praetor of the Twelfth Legion. Son of Jupiter. Child of Rome. But I belong to both camps.” 

 I would be Apollo. I would remember. 

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