ARC Review: The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities by Rick Riordan Presents

Book Cover

Synopsis:

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents ten new stories–including one of his own–about beloved heroes that sprang from the imaginations of some of the best middle grade authors working today.

A cave monster . . . an abandoned demon . . . a ghost who wants to erase history . . . a killer commandant . . . These are just some of the challenges confronting the young heroes in this highly entertaining anthology.

All but one of the heroes previously starred in a popular book from Rick Riordan Presents. You”ll be reunited with Aru Shah, Zane Obispo, Min the fox spirit, Sal and Gabi, Tristan Strong, Nizhoni Begay, Paola Santiago, Sikander Aziz, and Riley Oh. Who is the new hero? Read Rick Riordan”s short story to find out!

Ten bestselling and award-winning middle grade authors contributed to this collection: Roshani Chokshi, J.C. Cervantes, Yoon Ha Lee, Carlos Hernandez, Kwame Mbalia, Rebecca Roanhorse, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Sarwat Chadda, Graci Kim, and Rick Riordan, who also served as the editor.

The cultures represented by these own-voices stories are: Indian, Mesoamerican, Korean, Cuban, Black American, African, Navajo, Mexican, Mesopotamian, and Celtic.

There”s something for everyone in this collection of fast-paced and funny adventure stories that show what it takes to be a hero in any time, setting, and universe.

Read more about the heroes in these best-selling books:

Rick Riordan Presents: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Rick Riordan Presents: The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
Rick Riordan Presents: Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Rick Riordan Presents: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
Rick Riordan Presents: Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Rick Riordan Presents: Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Rick Riordan Presents: City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda
Rick Riordan Presents: The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim

My Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I thought the stories were interesting and well-written, but I wasn’t familiar with the characters and so had no connection to them. I was hoping this would be a good introduction to the characters and worlds so that I could decide which series I wanted to read, but that would have required a lot more background not just dumping you in mid-story with a bunch of characters you’ve never encountered.

I did find the worldbuilding and nods to different cultures very interesting. They were also aimed a bit younger than I generally read, and the character voices were very similar across the stories which made them blur together a bit.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide – Rick Riordan Presents for providing an e-arc for review.

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