shiiki (shiiki) wrote,

The Burning Maze reaction post part 4

Chapter 38
Well it’s nice that they’re facing death with the usual wry levity. Middle tunnels giving Apollo the middle finger? Why not! I am not solving any of these riddles, but they’re fun.

I like how Apollo’s note about the Roman mosaics mirrors Percy’s earlier comment in BotL when he’d sure the Romans never made it to Manhattan.

Walt Whitman, eh? I wonder how much of this actually belongs to high school syllabus in the states. Anyone want to fill me in on what literature you guys cover?

I didn’t get the last bit at first, why it WASN’T hyacinth, but when I scrolled back (I have the ebook and am reading on my phone at this point) to look at the lines, I saw couple of dots before water thoroughly. Of course. Fill in the blanks. But that was a nice bit of distraction!

Chapter 39
Bravo, we now have another situation of one guy clinging desperately to someone dangling over a pit—two someones, in fact, and trying to hang on himself. And it’s not a demigod with super strength this time but a satyr, whom I don’t THINK is meant to have those powers? Seriously, does anyone realise how heavy your own body is to begin with when hanging to a ledge with one hand, let alone with an effective 100kg (at least) weight plate? /realism rant

I liked dropping (ha, quite literally) into the memory of Apollo’s first day on the job. And wheee plot twist, the angry recalled Titan doesn’t WANT to be here.

You know, I think they DO have a god of family therapy. Goddess, at any rate. But do they listen to her? No, of course not. She’s just forgotten most of the time. (I’m talking about Hestia, of course.) I mean, think about it. She’s the one trying to glue the dysfunctional old family together. Hera might THINK she’s the one keeping her family together (self-deception, bovine lady) but honestly, Hestia’s the real embodiment of family.

Okay, I’m digressing.

Chapter 40
Random question. If Helios had divine lava ichor and Apollo sort of took over from him, does that mean he inherited some of it too? (In godly form, of course.) Probably not, but it was a random thought that crossed my mind. Also more embodiments of gods in physical landscape, cool. Kind of like Tartarus. *shivers* Okay maybe not so cool. Or only cool from a literary standpoint.

I’m still trying to put together the full prophecy as we go along, assuming that these words contribute as well. Apollo faces death (in) tarquin(‘s) tomb unless doorway soundless god ... uh oh, it’s a crossword so, it was branching like one? Oh man, now I have to actually draw this out!

What is this, vocabulary class? Nice choice of words though. Abaxial—the underside of a leaf? I approve. Totally in keeping with the plant themes.

And they worked out how the words connected in the end anyway. But it was fun. I love scrabble. Never though I’d see it illustrated in a novel, but there you go.

Can you just imagine a live lava-scrabble game though?

Chapter 41
I think we’re getting to the Apollo starts to jive part of the prophecy, aren’t we? (Though it wasn’t until I read about Grover’s jig that I twigged to it.)

I do love Grover and his pipe-playing though. It’s like in TLO where he swayed Ethan with his songs of spring and love and warmth. Like that idea of fighting hate and anger with love.

What, no jiving yet? Okay, I’m holding out for the next chapter.

Chapter 42

Why do I feel like this is some set up for an inner turmoil power bursting out of nowhere thing? It’s like the kind of scene where you get a big emotional revelation for the main character.

I didn’t really expect it to hit me so hard, all those little references to Jason’s sacrifices. Each time he says it it’s like a stab. It’s like the Dobby effect. In death the character becomes more dear to you.

Maybe that’s the way to get around us awful detractors who’ve been nitpicking Jason from the beginning (I know, I’m one of them). But you know, I don’t dislike him, I just wasn’t so invested in him.

But it still hurts!

“I was Apollo, the god of prophecy. It was time for me to be my own Oracle.” —see, that’s exactly what I mean. Big emotional self-revelatory moment. Don’t get me wrong either. Moments like these are powerful. Hell, I’m probably going to write a heck ton of them. It’s just interesting that it’s coming from Apollo. One, his tone is very incongruous with angst. Two, he’s probably the most oblivious narrator when it comes to seeing himself clearly. I mean, he runs away from it so much. But then, I was really wanting to see that growth—except I didn’t quite expect it in this book.

I guess Jason really did make a big impact.

Ahhh the prophecy. I can’t even figure out what verse this is. Non-rhyming word triplets? So much for all my poetry theories.

Chapter 43

Then she died? Seriously? Okay back up a bit please.

Ahhh. The meliai right? And I’d nearly forgotten about Piper. Talk about good timing. And I guess Meg was right. She did come round. I’m glad she’s back though because I need to see how that thread gets resolved, how she’s going to deal with Jason and everything, you know, after.

Am I the only one who got a Wrinkle in Time vibe when the Meliai called her the Meg? (And I’m referring to the book, not the movie. I haven’t seen the movie.) It’s very otherworldly. In a good way.

This book has definitely taken an incredibly angsty tone though, because I felt like that was supposed to be a bit comedic (what with the ‘THE’ and all) but it’s just flying by me. Piper’s arrival just kind of killed any possibility of humour for me. For now, anyway.

And I am totally on board with the Creator not being Demeter but Phillip McCaffrey!

REYNA. Well, fine, Bellona has two daughters that we know of, but something tells me we’re not talking Hylla here. And shit, there’s one more person who’s going to have to deal with the fallout from Jason’s death.

And yep. Hello Reyna.

Now this brings up an interesting point someone speculated on before. Is Apollo/Reyna in the cards? Obviously I’m a Theyna shipper, but even I will admit I’m stretching the definition of ‘no demigod will heal your heart’. Apollo fits, but ... I still don’t see this as a very IC ship at all. But this is getting way off course. I should just start a shipping thread.

Chapter 44
Yeah, I was pretty sure Meg didn’t know what an acrostic was either. That kind of bugged me last chapter too. Fast learner, our Meg? Oh sorry, the Meg.

This narrative is sliding too quickly back into the normal Apollo sort of sarcastic humour tone. It’s a bit jarring after that blaze of dark seriousness. Hm. I’m not phrasing that the best way, but I hope you know what I mean.

I even snorted out a laugh at ‘the Meg’s weakling servant’. So much for stealing my laughter away.

Chapter 45
So ... I guess Jason’s plan worked after all. He kicked it and Piper’s off to Oklahoma. Ouch. What a way to tie up their story. I feel so bad for the Jasiper shippers. If this was Percy and Annabeth I’d be hitting the roof and raising hell and ... yeah I don’t know. Possibly tearing up the book though how that would work with an e book I don’t know. Maybe go out and buy a paperback copy just so I could burn it. I should probably count myself fortunate I’m NOT so invested in Jason/Piper.

All the same, I am not looking forward to the angst fest that will be Jason’s friends and family dealing with his death.

Ah there’s Juniper. And how on earth can Grover have been in Southern California for years? He was at Camp Half-Blood just last year fighting Gaia ... hello continuity.

Styx. STYX. It’s her? Her curse? Oh gah, so that’s how Styx curses work? On others? Well, I guess I should have known. I mean, that was exactly what Grover TOLD Percy from day one. It just somehow didn’t really register. But what a fascinating look into curse development in this world.

And uh oh what now. We’re two chapters from the end, how can there still be stuff to see?

Chapter 46
Oh, okay, something good for once.

You know, just thinking, if they could have waited for the Meliai all this time ... well there’d be no story I guess. Seven warrior dryads waltz in and kick everyone’s butt is cool but doesn’t exactly make a page-turning story. Except ... Jason. Crest. Sob.

And way to hammer it in with the coffin. And the display board, which of course, is going to Camp Jupiter with Apollo.

The thing is, I get that Apollo and Meg has to go to Camp Jupiter and the story has to move there, but ... here’s the thing. Jason chose Greek. It was a key part of his character development in BoO. He may have spent his life at Camp Jupiter but the crux of his journey through HoO was essentially that he was going to choose who he wanted to be rather than conforming to the expectations of the Roman way. So sending him home to Camp Jupiter? I don’t know ...

Like I said, I see the plot reasons. I’m just not sure I buy the characterisation reasons.

I’m not sure how I feel about Piper leaving to go home to Oklahoma and finding her roots there. I don’t have a good enough handle on her to really say definitively how well it reflects her characterisation from the HoO series. It does seem a little ... off. But it seems that the point of this book was to move Piper towards more turmoil and less self-certainty? Almost back towards where she started in TLH. And it was true there that what she wanted most was her dad’s attention and time. She and Percy have one big thing in common—their mortal parent means the world to them. So, yeah, maybe I can still buy this.

I have a feeling this won’t be the last we see of Piper, though.

Oh shit. Leo. HE DOESN’T KNOW.

Nooooo last chapter and of course it’s going to be a sob fest.

I haven’t actually CRIED yet despite all the heart rending moments, but it may be time now once Leo reacts to this.

Chapter 47

Aaaand last chapter. Here we go.

What? No. That was ... short. It was a fight between Apollo’s comedic timing and the tragic angst that’s been spilling in since Jason’s death. It’s like mixing oil and water. They just don’t want to go and I’m all queasy from trying to absorb it together.

I like that Leo’s off with Piper. At least she has someone. And it’s kind of poetic I guess. They started out together with false memories of this guy. Now they’re heading back together with real memories of Jason.

While the real Jason is headed back to Camp Jupiter in a coffin. Ouch.

That ending, though. It’s the kind I would have written in for my Annabeth fics. It’d have worked for Jason as a PoV character, or Reyna, or even Piper. But Apollo?

He’s changing, for sure.

And I guess that prophecy’s not all played out. Got the jiving all wrong. And the Camp Jupiter stuff is going to be a whole new book after all. ONE MORE YEAR. Ah, crud.

Well, that’s it. I can’t believe I actually made it all the way, chapter by chapter, but it was pretty fun. And now I can actually track what I was thinking along the way which is neat as well.
Tags: book reviews, flist spamming day!, pjo, pjo discussion, reading
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