Warning Might contain spoilers.

Not that The Red Pyramid was in any way not a good book, but this one feels like a major improvement: even more interesting characters, settings, and conflicts, especially the debate over whether to awaken Ra—seeing them undergo all that pain, turmoil, and loss only to return a senile god to the throne is devastating. It continues to be an indisputably heavier, darker, and sadder tale than Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The relationships with the Egyptian gods are fascinatingly distinct from the relationships with the Greco-Roman gods. It was a treat to see Carter mention seeing (what was presumably) a pegasus while staring out the window at Manhattan, though.

Bes is a strangely endearing character. His fate is very sad.

The cover is as bad as those for Heroes of Olympus. It may be a phenomenon specific to India: my copies of The Serpent’s Shadow and several of the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians books have much more attractive covers.