As a big Rick Riordan fan, Marshmallow could not pass on the opportunity to read a new book about the world of Greek and Roman demigods he created. Today she shares with us her thoughts on The Sun and the Star: A Nico Di Angelo Adventure, co-written by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro, which came out this month. Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.
Sprinkles: So Marshmallow, as far as I understand, this is supposed to be the story of the quest hinted at at the end of The Tower of Nero, which was the fifth and last book of the Trials of Apollo series and which you reviewed almost a year ago. Did you need to reread the series or at least that last book before you dove into this one?
Marshmallow: Well, it might have been a good idea I guess, but honestly, I did not reread anything. I just dove right in.
S: But at least you already knew who Nico di Angelo and Will Solace were, right? So should readers know them before they read this book?
M: I think it would be good to have read some of the earlier Rick Riordan books, so that you would know some of the characters, and the general thrust of the world they are living in, but the plot of this book is solid enough and can stand on its own, so I think one could actually enjoy this one on its own. Of course you would get much more out of it if you had read all of the other books before.
S: Okay, so let us talk about that plot. What is happening? And tell us in a sentence or so who Nico and Will are.
M: So these books are always about adventures of certain demigods. That means that the heroes are always children of one of the Greek or Roman gods or goddesses. So Nico is a son of Hades, and Will is a son of Apollo. And they fell in love some time in the third or fourth book of the Trials of Apollo series, and they are already a couple in this book.
S: Okay, now we know the main characters. And what is the quest they are on?
M: They are going to save Bob from Tartarus. Bob is a Titan but he eventually became friends with Percy Jackson and helped him and his friends but now is taken prisoner and so needs saving.
S: That sounds dangerous.
M: It is. There are many monsters and evil spirits that they have to fight along the way. And the place itself, Tartarus, is trying to kill them. Or rather driving them insane, by making them lose all hope and such. And Nico, being a son of Hades, already feels pretty dark and unpleasant feelings. Will calls him his “little grumpy ball of darkness”, or something. And Will is of course so opposite, always bright and cheery. Not to mention he can glow! But in this book he needs to also figure out the darkness in himself.
S: Ooh, that sounds intriguing.
M: Yes, Sprinkles, I think you should probably read the book some time.
S: I just might.
S: So overall what did you think? Two authors writing a book together is not that common. I know Caramel reviewed The Menagerie series by Tui Sutherland and Kari Sutherland, but other than that, I don’t think we reviewed any fiction authored by more than one person.
M: I did review one book like that: To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer. But you are right, I have not read too many other books like this one. And this book, especially the first half of it, did not sound like Rick Riordan’s other books. So it was clear it was not only him.
S: I understand that Riordan wanted to share this task with Mark Oshiro because the book centers two gay characters and he did not want to assume their perspective as a straight man himself. I think that is a good thing, but of course he also wrote several books where he told the story from the points of view of female characters.
M: I guess a lot of men write from female perspectives. And lots of women write from male perspectives. I’m thinking of the Harry Potter series for example.
S: I guess it is good that he was being thoughtful. It makes sense that he felt out of his element when thinking about a relationship of two young men and wanted to be careful.
M: Anyways in the end, the book turned out pretty good.
S: So you clearly enjoyed it. You did finish it rather quickly, and after all, it is more than 450 pages.
M: Yep. It was scary at times, and a bit mushier than some of the other books, but it was a lot of fun.
S: So how would you rate it?
M: I’d rate it 100%.
S: Sounds great! I will then have to borrow it from you for a while.
S: And in the meantime, what would you like to tell our readers?
M: Stay tuned for more amazing reviews from the book bunnies!