Caramel reviews The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

Last year Caramel began to review the graphic novel versions of the Rick Riordan series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. You can check out his reviews of The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters. Today he finally shares with us his thoughts on the third book of the series: The Titan’s Curse. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

(You can read Marshmallow’s review of the original book here.)

Caramel reviews The Titan's Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel reviews The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, you are back to Percy Jackson and the Olympians!

Caramel: Yeah.

S: So it has been a while since you read the last book. So tell us a bit about what the main story line is.

C: Percy Jackson is a demigod, that means his dad is one of the Olympian gods. His is Poseidon, the god of the sea. In these books, he is trying to help the other demigods beat monsters who are trying to bring down the Olympian gods and take over the world.

S: Okay, so this sets the stage for book 3. What happens in this book?

C: Percy and his friends try to save two young demigods, Bianca and Nico, but they are stopped by monsters. Turns out the school principal is a monster, a manticore.

S: Hmm, that reminded me of the book you reviewed way back where the school teacher was a robot.

C: Yes, except robots and manticores are different. Manticores are monsters and robots are robots. They can be friendly. And in the end, in that book, the teacher is probably not a robot. But here the principal is really a monster who is trying to deliver the two demigods to the General. And who the general is is a secret.

S: Alright. That sounds dangerous.

C: Yes. As usual Percy gets into a lot of troubles, small and large.

Caramel is reading The Titan's Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel is reading The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey.

S: So was this book fun to read?

C: Yes.

S: You also read the original book. What did you think of the graphic novel in relation to that?

C: As always, the graphic novel is a bit different. But not too much. Let me do a scene-by-scene comparison…

S: Really?

C: No.

S: Okay, that sounds more like you.

C: I’ll still say that both books are fun to read.

S: What did you think of the illustrations in this version?

C: They are great!

S: To me they look a bit dark.

C: A lot is happening in the dark, at night, or inside caverns.

S: So I see, it makes sense for it to be dark.

C: Yep.

S: So what do you think of the version of Percy in the graphic novels? Does he look like the Percy you imagined him to be when you were first reading the books?

C: Not particularly.

S: How about the Percy in the movies?

C: Nope. My Percy is the one on the cover of the original books that Marshmallow reviewed.

S: It is interesting how the first images we build for characters stay with us. Right?

C: Yep.

S: But if you had seen the movie before the books, it might have been different. I bet when you read Harry Potter, you are seeing the movie Potter, no?

C: Yep. That is true.

S: I find that fascinating. Anyways, before we wrap up, tell me three words you’d use to describe the book.

C: Exciting, action-filled, very close to the original books.

S: Thanks. So what do you want to tell our readers as we finalize this review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Greg Guilhaumond, and Chris Dickey, and is looking forward to reading the next books in the series in this format.

Marshmallow reviews The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first four books in Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series for the book bunnies blog. This week she reviews the fifth and final book, The Tower of Nero. Below she shares her thoughts on this epic end of Rick Riordan’s fifteen-book series about Greco-Roman gods and their children who live among us. 

For reference, Marshmallow has already reviewed:

You might also enjoy reading Caramel’s reviews of the graphic novel versions of the first two books of the first series: The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel and The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel.

Marshmallow reviews The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you enjoyed reading the first four books of Rick Riordan’s Trials Of Apollo series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Apollo has been stuck as a mortal for the last four books, and now he is coming to the end of his adventures on Earth. But he has a long list of enemies. He has been fighting the Triumvirate, three evil emperors from Rome’s past who have been trying to all become gods, as well as his archenemy Python. Python is a large and evil snake who has been Apollo’s enemy even when Apollo was a god.

The book starts with Apollo and his demigod master Meg returning to New York. You might recall that Meg is a daughter of Demeter, but she is a particularly strong one. She has unusual powers, even for a half-blood. She is able to summon a karpos, which apparently means “fruit” in Greek, but in this universe, it is a fruit or grain spirit. She names this karpos Peaches, because he is always saying “Peaches”. She can transport using plants and can make them grow faster.

On their way into New York, Apollo and Meg are attacked by Nero’s henchmen. We already know from the earlier books in the series that Nero is one of the main antagonists of the story, so you can guess that his people are not coming to greet Apollo. However, one of them, a Gaul woman named Luguselwa, turns out to be Meg’s trainer. Meg was one of the demigods that Nero had “adopted” and raised to be his minions. Luguselwa, Lu as Meg calls her, had been a role model for Meg.

Even though in the beginning it seems like Lu is on Nero’s side, she has a plan to help Apollo because she really cares for Meg. But they first need rest, so they stop by Percy Jackson’s home. (For Percy’s adventures, click here.) But Percy is not there. (However, his new baby sister is.) After staying with the Blofis-Jacksons for a little bit, Apollo, Meg, and Lu leave to go to Camp Half-Blood. At the camp, Apollo sees his half-brother Dionysus and his children. But they have to leave soon, and when they do, they go to find Rachel, who currently embodies the Oracle of Delphi. When they meet Rachel, they are faced by Tauri Sylvestre, which are basically monster cows.

Apollo and his friends will have to face the monster cows and more before they can finally hope to defeat Nero and Apollo’s archenemy Python.

Marshmallow is reading The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: I really enjoyed reading The Tower Of Nero. I think that the plot of this book is very well-written, and it is a great finale for the whole series. The new characters are all amazing, they are realistic and relatable. As always, Apollo is a hilarious narrator, and he gets more and more likeable through the series.

This particular book of the series might be slightly scarier than the earlier books. There are some moments where the reader will probably get scared or grossed out, like Lu’s punishment. I’d say that most of Rick Riordan’s books are for ages 8 and up, so this one might be for 9 (or 10) and up.

The Tower of Nero can be a great read if you are reading it alone, but it is also great if you read it to someone else or someone reads it to you. I recommend it as a perfect ending for this fifteen-book saga.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Marshmallow reviews The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first three books in Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series for the book bunnies blog. This week she got her paws on the fourth book, The Tyrant’s Tomb, and read it in lightning speed. Below she shares her thoughts on this 400+-page book, published in paperback only this month.

Marshmallow reviews The Tyrant's Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you have enjoyed reading Rick Riordan’s other books or if you like mythology, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): In the first book of the Trials of Apollo series, Apollo, the god of music, prophecy, and archery, was transformed into Lester, who is described as the “most worthless of teens,” by a mutual friend in one of the past books. Now he is carrying the body of a deceased friend who was killed in the last book. (I will not say who died. I am not spoiling that much!)

While on the road to Camp Jupiter, a training camp for Roman demigods, or half-bloods as they are also called, Lester and his master Meg McCaffrey are attacked by ghouls. They are rescued by a group of campers from Camp Jupiter, led by a pink-haired girl named Lavinia. They are taken to Camp Jupiter, where they are welcomed by the praetors Frank and Reyna. Lester sees in a dream that an evil Roman emperor is now working with the Triumvirate. (We learned about the Triumvirate earlier. It is made up of Caligula, Commodus, and Nero, three evil Roman emperors who are enemies of Apollo/Lester and his friends.) Now the Triumvirate is working with a new ally, and Apollo has a new deadline: in four days an evil army of undead will be unleashed upon the Camp. 

Marshmallow is reading  The Tyrant's Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: The Tyrant’s Tomb is a good book. However, I think that if you want to read The Tyrant’s Tomb, you need to have read the first three books in the Trials of Apollo series. I would also highly recommend reading Riordan’s earlier books in the Heroes of Olympus series and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series to give you the full context of the story and the backstories of the characters.

Rick Riordan does a good job of “interacting” with the reader and being funny. Lester is a hilarious narrator. His haikus are funny and it is always amusing to try to guess what they mean: they are sneak peeks of the chapter they start. Here is a favorite, from page 114:

I now have a plan
To make a plan concerning 
The plan for my plan 

I think that The Tyrant’s Tomb is a good book for almost everyone, though it might be too complicated or scary for younger readers. (It is not really horror. It is scary more around the level of the Harry Potter books, possibly less than the later books of Harry Potter which turn quite dark.) The plot is well thought-out and everything is all tied up at the end, though the next book, The Tower of Nero, is the true end of the series and I can’t wait to read it.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates The Tyrant's Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan 95%.
Marshmallow rates The Tyrant’s Tomb (Book 4 of the Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan 95%.

Marshmallow reviews The Burning Maze (Book 3 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan

This week Marshmallow continues with Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series and reviews the third book: The Burning Maze.

Marshmallow reviews The Burning Maze (Book 3 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Burning Maze (Book 3 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about Greek and Roman mythology, then this might be the book for you. But I will add my usual warning again: if you have not read the earlier books in the Trials of Apollo series, I think you should go back and read those before you dive into this one.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Zeus has turned Apollo into an average teenager and now he has a twelve-year-old master, a satyr guide, and an assignment to restore all Oracles.  This time he has to help find the Oracle of Erythaea. He reaches California and meets some old friends and makes some new ones. Apollo and his friends learn more about the identity of the third emperor in Triumvirate Holdings, a company who is behind many of the assets that previous enemies used. Apollo and his friends learn that the third emperor is set on trying to become the new Apollo and wants to have an old enemy boil the current Apollo with Helios so then the emperor can eat them and become the new sun god. This will mean that Apollo and Helios will cease to exist. It seems that Zeus will allow this, and Apollo will die. The stakes couldn’t be higher for Apollo (and also for California, because the book has an interesting explanation of what is going on with California wildfires…)

Marshmallow is reading The Burning Maze (Book 3 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that The Burning Maze is a great book because the author, Rick Riordan, adds jokes and, basically, comic relief to his books. Of course if you read some of his other books, from his Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Heroes of Olympus series, and more, then you would know that. Also another interesting thing in this book is that as the book and the series progresses, so does the character of Apollo/Lester Papadopoulos. He basically grows, though also quite physically, more down-to-Earth. 

This book does talk somewhat about history, but you don’t really need to know anything about it, though knowing some Roman history would mean that you might be able to find out who the bad guys are faster. At the end of this book the heroes receive a prophecy of a sort, and it links to a character I really like.

Though this is a great book for everyone, I think that people (and bunnies) of age 9 and up might like it especially. 

I really enjoyed reading The Burning Maze. I think that it’s funny, especially Apollo/Lester’s conversations with the Arrow of Dodona are very well-written. The plot is very well thought out and the clues are great. The characters are well developed, too; each character has flaws and skills that make them more realistic and more relatable.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Burning Maze (Book 3 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Burning Maze (Book 3 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.