Review Detail

Claudia's Journal
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Claudia, a legacy of Mercury, is looking forward to being in the fourth cohort at California's Camp Jupiter. She struggles a little with roommates, is awed by the Via Praetoria, and is ready to uphold the memory of her great-grandfather. There are a lot of unpleasant chores that need to be done, like cleaning out the aqueducts and pooper scooping for the elephants, unicorns, and giant eagles, but even the worst jobs have unexpected surprises, like getting to ride on an eagle! She makes a few friends, like Blaise and Janice, and is worried when she gets several mysterious notes that seem to align with dreams she is having. When odd things start to happen at the camp, the counselors suspect that she has something to do with them, and watch her even more carefully. Could the vagrant centaur, Elon, have anything to do with these occurrences? Who is leaving her notes? And how will an ancient set of shields figure in the mystery that Claudia must solve?
Good Points
For readers who are eagerly awaiting the next book in Riordan's Trial of Apollo series, The Tower of Nero (9/29/20), this is a fun trip to the world of those stories. While there is plenty of mystery and action, the pace is slower and the scene limited to the camp Jupiter grounds. While reading Claudia's journal, I found it was much easier to pretend I was a camper, and was able to revel in the details about cabins, chores, shops around camp, and the mythology behind Claudia's family. There was a helpful glossary of terms and Latin words at the end of the book.

Claudia was trained in Wolf House and has solid engineering skills, although Janice does have to give her some hints when building an arch. It's great to see girls represented in this field, and Riordan's work treats all genders equally, which is good to see.

These short books can be read out of order, since they focus so specifically on one character, and would make a great gift for young readers are smaller occasions, if they are getting the main books for birthdays and major holidays. Really, any occasion is a good one for adding more Riordan books to a collection of die hard fans, since all of the books begged to be reread as "comfort reads".
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