Cover Image: The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities

The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities

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Member Reviews

I made a mistake with this one because I didn’t realize that this was a short story collection of characters from previous books. I thought it was going to be perfect for me to sample these authors but I had a hard time reading since I didn’t know the characters. I honestly think that was a mistake with this one since there are so many books you would’ve had to read before this. I did have to DNF this one but I will definitely go back to this if/when I read the original books.
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I was thrilled when I found out that RRP was going to put out an anthology. RRP has introduced me to so many different mythologies so I was really excited to get a bunch of their stories all in one collection.

I would definitely recommend reading this anthology after reading the RRP books so you aren't spoiled or confused about anything.

All of the stories were great and I had an amazing time reading them all. Gum Baby's story is probably my favorite overall because I just love her so much.
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I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 
Disappointed, but it may be my own fault. This book is a collection of short stories apparently featuring heroes of other stories. I thought this wouldn’t really matter and each story would likely stand on it’s own, which they did...sort of. 
Some tales were very enjoyable - modern twists and ancient roots - but some seemed to suffer greatly if you aren’t familiar with the characters (which I am not, I somehow missed every one of the books these were based on?).
There is still entertainment and good writing to be found, though it was easier to skim a few of the chapters than slog through many references that made no sense to me. I’d be curious to hear what better versed people think, but for me it seemed like more trouble than it was worth. 3/5 stars
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This compilation has stories from the Rick Riordan Presents series in it, and I really enjoyed it. There are a couple that I haven't read yet, so it was a cool introduction to their worlds, and I enjoyed the short stories from the ones that I was already familiar with. Some stories were better than others, but overall, if you like any of the mythologies from Rick Riordan Presents, this is one to grab.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for this free digital copy in exchange for an honest review! This book is available now!

Hi Reader Friends! It has been a weird time…even weirder than we all know this time already is. September was insanely busy and I didn’t read much, which makes me really excited to read this month!

Today’s spotlight is The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities, which was published last week. This is a Rick Riordan Presents short story collections and features ten stories. The contributing (and bestselling) authors include: Roshani Chokshi, J.C. Cervantes, Yoon Ha Lee, Carlos Hernandez, Kwame Mbalia, Rebecca Roanhorse, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Sarwat Chadda, Graci Kim…and Rick himself! Aside from Rick Riordan’s short story, each short in this collection features characters from novels published in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint.

What I liked:

-Being back with all of these characters! These short stories were all fun and just added to the world of each series.

-Some characters popped up in each other’s stories! LOVED this!

-I felt that each short was given its due and none of them felt rushed.

They were all so good, but if I had to pick favorites it would probably be the short featuring Gum Baby (from Tristan Strong), and the short featuring Zane and Brooks (from The Storm Runner).

The only “issue” I had was that I had a *slightly* difficult time placing some of these in their correct timeline as some of the stories come before it’s novel or after. It was minor and did not affect my enjoyment of the collection as a whole.

If you (or someone you know) is a fan of the Rick Riordan Presents imprint like I am, you would enjoy these stories. If you have not read any (or all) of these stories, you will probably be confused!
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Thanks to NetGalley & Disney Publishing Worldwide for the early copy in exchange for an honest review.

I found it weird there wasn't really a guide to which chapter is part of which book series. So here's one below! 

1. Calamity Juice (Sal and Gabi Break the Universe) 
2. Beware the Grove of True Love (Aru Shah and the End of Time)
3.. The Cave of Doom (The Storm Runner)
4. The Initiation (The Dragon Pearl)
5. The Gum Baby Flies (Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky) 
6. The Demon Drum (Race to the Sun)
7. Bruto and the Freaky Flower (Paola Santiago and the River of Tears)
8. The Loneliest Demon (City of the Plague God)
9. My Night at the Gifted Carnival (The Last Fallen Star)
10. My Life as a Child Outlaw (New by Rick Riordan, Celtic Mythology)

I skipped some that I haven't read personally and I don't want to judge and I skipped somewhere I read the book but didn't like it at all, so, yeah. Honestly, they're okay, I'd rather just re-read the books than read a short story that leaves you wanting more. 

I did however, enjoy "The Initiation" and its chaotic but wonderful world. I think the strongest story was "My Life As A Child Outlaw" and I REALLY hope Riordan turns it into a full-length novel because it was so dang good!
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In the introduction, Rick Riordan compares the anthology to a Multiverse Mansion, and I found that as I read this book, I remembered all the reasons why Rick Riordan Presents books are some of my favorites. Reading them all together gives this sense of familiarity that did feel like you were coming home to this multiverse mansion.

Calamity Juice by Carlos Hernandez

Follow Sal and Gabi as they have to retrieve one of their Culeco classmates who was last seen on a rogue unicorn. I thought it was super cool that there were two instances of Culeco classmates that saw this multiverse and were able to gain personal growth from it. I'm glad to see Gladis get a story and finally get the character arc that I've been hoping for her.

Beware the Grove of True Love by Roshani Chokshi

On an errand for Urvashi, Aru, Mini, and Brynne end up in the Grove of True Love, where they have to fix a past story before they become trapped. I felt all the emotions that Aru was discovering as they made their way through the story. Of course, I loved Aru, Mini, and Brynne's friendship as well as the way that the three of them work together, both in fighting and simpler problem solving.

The Cave of Doom by J.C. Cervantes

Zane and Brooks investigate their island after a reviewer claimed to see a monster. As they investigate, they realize that the threat might be much more different than they can imagine. Zane and Brooks have a great relationship, with plenty of back-and-forth as they investigate the Cave of Doom. We also get a visit from a familiar face and I was pretty surprised at the conclusion that Zane and Brooks come to at the end about the mysterious beings they come to find.

The Initiation by Yoon Ha Lee

Follow Min and Jun as they attempt their first assignment post the events of The Dragon Pearl. But things start to go sideways very quickly, and soon Min and her friends must figure out how to stop a dangerous commandant. I enjoyed reading through the absolute chaos of this story, especially in the contrasting ways that Min's friends from The Dragon Pearl and Min's squad here differ.

The Gum Baby Files by Kwame Mbalia

Oh, I love Gum Baby. Here we find out some of what Gum Baby, Ayanna, and Junior were up to in between the events of the second and third Tristan Strong books. Gum Baby must face a ghost that wants to erase history. As usual, there was an amazing blend of history and mythology, with a heavy dose of Gum Baby's antics. This story also has one of my favorite lines of the entire anthology, delivered to Gum Baby from someone she meets in this story.

The Demon Drum by Rebecca Roanhorse

Nizhoni and her fellow members of the Ancestor Club are going to a powwow. Soon, they begin to notice that things seem to be going poorly and investigate. I loved this look at all of Nizhoni's friends and classmates, not just Davery, and the way that Nizhoni interacts with each of them. The group-problem solving to take out the demon drum was super fun to read, and I loved reading all the descriptions about the powwow.

Bruto and the Freaky Flower by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Paola's chupacabra puppy, Bruto, is suddenly not doing so well...and Paola has a vision of a freaky flower in the desert that she thinks might save him. Join Pao and Dante in traversing across the dangerous desert in hopes of getting to the flower to save Bruto. I've loved Bruto since Pao first took him in, so I enjoyed this Bruto-centered short story. I certainly didn't see the twist of the flower, but it was super fun to read.

The Loneliest Demon by Sarwat Chadda

Following the events of City of the Plague God, Sik's life is back to normal...mostly. There's this demon that keeps trying to kill him. This one was one of the funnier stories, I enjoyed reading about how Sik had to try to help this demon, and the resulting conclusion to this story was satisfying. I just saw the announcement that there's going to be a sequel to City of the Plague God, and I hope that Rabisu will make an appearance there!

My Night at the Gifted Carnival by Graci Kim

Taking place before the events of The Last Fallen Star, join Riley and Hattie as they take a trip to the Gifted Carnival, an event held by the Gifted Clans that allows for even saram people to experience magic hidden in plain sight. However, when a faceless ghost comes and begins freezing children to try to kidnap them, Riley and Hattie must figure out how to defeat her. I enjoyed reading this one, seeing the various types of magic that we started learning about in The Last Fallen Star get expanded upon more. Riley is still pretty sad that she's saram, but she's got a storm coming. I also loved reading all the descriptions of the festival - I certainly wish I could attend something like that (minus the ghost, of course).

My Life as a Child Outlaw by Rick Riordan

I found this to be the saddest of the stories in this collection. Follow Demne through the course of his two years as a Child Outlaw, constantly running for his life due to a father he has never met. This was a fun introduction to Celtic mythology, which I had never learned before. I found myself really feeling for Demne as he continually tried and failed to find a place to settle and belong.

One of the fun things that I loved were a few references I caught as I was reading these stories of the other heroes in this anthology. It felt very much like the Easter Eggs that you might see if you were watching an MCU movie, which made catching them super fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading these and can't wait to see what comes next!

Thank you to Disney Publishing Worldwide, Rick Riordan Presents, and NetGalley for the ARC.
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If you are a fan of even one Rick Riordan Presents story, this anthology is a must. Some stories take place after series have already ended and may contain spoilers or references, but its still worth reading every story as a teaser or a continuation alike, plus the original stories within as well!
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I really, really wanted to give this book 5 stars.  I have loved all of the Rick Riordan Presents books I have read, so I was really looking forward to this compilation.  I admit I have not read all of the books, and I think that is why I struggled with this one.  For some of the stories, I just didn't have the background knowledge to really understand what was happening. 

My favorite stories were The Loneliest Demon (Sarwat Chadda), The Demon Drum  (Rebecca Roanhorse), and My Life as a Child Outlaw (Rick Riordan).  Of these three, Rebecca Roanhorse was the one I was not familiar with, but that did not impact my enjoyment of this story.  These three had the best pacing and humor that is typical of all the books in the collection.

I still would recommend this book, although I would recommend not reading it straight through.
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The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities is out now. While Rick Riordan is no stranger to short story collections, this time it includes the other authors from his Presents line of books. Ten different writers grace the 464 pages of this book. Myths from all over the world and most of the continents are represented. At first glance, it’s a bold experiment. 

Rick Riordan perfected his style in his earlier Percy Jackson books. There’s a spunky hero, usually a bit sarcastic, who feels out of place among their school and family. At times, it follows the Joseph Campbell’s Hero Journey with reluctance at their calling. Along the way, the reader is either introduced or reacquainted with classic mythology. His Presents line replicates this success by finding other authors that have a similar style to write about the mythology from their specific upbringing instead of having a white guy write about Anansi. At the bookstore, Riordan’s series are available as a set with all Book Ones together. There is also a set of all Book Ones from the Presents line. Those sets can feel intimidating, but this book serves the same purpose in one volume. It makes a lot more sense for one book to introduce a variety of heroes for the reader to pursue afterwards. 

Telling a short story is a skill. All these authors have published full-length books so it’s clear some forgot how to write a shorter tale or never had it. These weaker stories have pacing problems, depending too much on telling instead of showing. However, they’re very few. The majority of stories have a natural starting place and a believable flow, making one eager to start the next one. 

One of the stand-out “Calamities” is Kwame Mbalia’s tale about the Gum Baby. She’s a modern retelling of the “tar baby” from the Uncle Remus stories and such a delight that Tristan Strong’s absence wasn’t felt until that last line. I’d still love an adaptation of the Strong series just to see how they would work in the jokes about "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah". Another favorite is by Tehlor Kay Meija. I admit that I’m a sucker for Chupacabra stories. They’ve been spotted in my county before. Also, Rebecca Roanhorse’s story was very memorable complete with science leading to the villain being vanquished. 

New readers won’t be lost joining in on these heroes’ journeys already in progress. Current readers will love the continuation and hints towards the next book in that series. The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities is a fantastic collection of stories from myths across the globe. Every protagonist commands our attention and encouragement. Go check it out at your favorite local bookseller, online store or library!

6/8

P.S. If you’re an email subscriber for Disney Books, their current email has a deal to download the first Tristan Strong book for just 99 cents!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

My excitement at getting an ARC of Rick Riordan’s newest novel was just as exciting as when I opened the first page of Percy Jackson all those years ago! However, my excitement only continued to grow as I was about to be reunited with all the characters that I have come to love under the Rick Riordan Presents Imprint.

Having read all the books under the Rick Riordan Presents Imprint, I quickly jumped back into the worlds of the characters that I have loved reading about over the past few years. This anthology collection was the perfect little snippet into the lives of the characters that I have missed, and or it could be seen as an ideal introduction to all these wonderful characters, their adventures, and unique mythologies with some minor spoilers.

Rick Riordan’s contribution to the anthology was a first in a foray into Celtic Mythology, and the story of Demne only left me wanting more!

In fact, the entire book left me wanting more of all the characters and their stories.

I will defiantly be adding The Cursed Carnival and other Calamities to my shelf when it releases tomorrow!
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I gave this book 3 stars over all. There are ten stories in this book and some received a 4 star and some a 3 star. Now for the stories and the rating I gave them.

Calamity Juice By: Carlos Hernandez. I gave this story 4 stars. I haven’t read any of his books but this story fun to read. I now want to go the other stories he wrote with these characters. The characters are able to go to other universes by just relaxing and thinking their way there. This is about them going to find a fellow classmate who was kidnaped by a rainbow unicorn.
Beware the Grove of True Love By: Roshani Chokski. I gave this story 3 stars. It was actually the shortest story in the book. This is about Aru who is being taught that love can go the distance but can also be forgotten.
The Cave of Doom By: J. C. Cervantes. I gave this story 3 stars. This is about two girls who go on a vacation to spend a few days together before one has to help her father. On their way they go check out an area that is said to have a human child who is being held and no one seems to know about it. They go investigate and find out it is a human at but a demon. They have an interesting time trying to get reid of the demon.
The Initiation By: Yoon Ha Lee. I gave this story 4 stars. I actually like this story better than the book. This is where the main character goes to a school to learn how to fight but has to keep her ghost brother a secret and the fact that she can shape shift into a fox. Her trials start before she evens get into the school. Upon her arrival things go hay wire in the dock. Then on day three things really go hay wire. Things are revealed and they learn how to work together to solve them.
The Gum Baby Files By: Kwame Mbalia. I gave this story 3 stars. This is about Gum baby who goes on a field trip with two children and then notices a ghost like figure following behind. This is ghost is stealing things to change history. Gum Baby is determine to stop this ghost but doesn’t know how.
The Demon Drum By: Rebecca Roanhorse. It is Pow Wow Day and everyone is going to this big event. All you can hear this one drum and it is making thing taste funny and people are getting into fights. What is causing all this angry. They discover one of the drums is making a different sound. How is this mystery solved and why is the drum doing this. I gave this story 4 stars.
Bruto and the Freaky flower By: Tehlor Kay Mejia. I gave this story 4 stars. Paola’s dog Bruto is sick and he needs this flower to heal him. This flower is on the banks of a river near her home. It seems like an easy task to retrieve this flower but of course nothing seems as it should.
The Loneliest Demon By: Sarwat Chadda. I gave this story 4 stars. This demon was left over from the battle. The gates closed before she could return home. There is no one there to help her return. She goes to the boy who sent them all back to ask for his help. He does try but isn’t able to. She try’s on her own and things happen.
My night at the Gifted Carnival By: Grace Kim. I gave this story 4 stars. This is about two sisters who go to the carnival for the gifted. All the witches are out and things happen. They have to save some children before they are taken to the under world to live the rest of their lives.
My Life as a Child Outlaw By: Rick Riordan. I gave this story 3 stars. This is about a boy who is raised by two women out in the forest because his father is killed and his mother remarries but her new husband doesn’t want him around. He is being chased by his father’s killer and finds himself on the run several different times. On these runs he learns new skills and meet some interesting people.
I enjoyed the book over all even though I usually don’t read short stories. I have read most of these authors before and for the ones I have not I will be picking up the full novels about the characters they talked about.
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It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. Learning about different cultures’ mythologies and folk tales while joining kids and teens on kick-butt adventures? Yes please! So when I heard that the fabulous authors of this imprint—including Rick Riordan himself—would each be contributing a short story to an anthology celebrating their novels, I’m not lying when I say I did a little dance for joy. And when Pine Reads Review received an ARC of this one-of-a-kind anthology? Yeah, my dance may have gotten just a tad more enthusiastic.

Because these stories kick butt! 

The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities includes stories from Carlos Hernandez (Sal and Gabi Break the Universe), Roshani Chokshi (Aru Shah and the End of Time), Jennifer Cervantes (The Storm Runner), Yoon Ha Lee (Dragon Pearl), Kwame Mbalia (Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky), Rebecca Roanhorse (Race to the Sun), Tehlor Kay Mejia (Paola Santiago and the River of Tears), Sarwat Chadda (City of the Plague God), Graci Kim (The Last Fallen Star), and Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians).

Each book in the RRP imprint—and each story in this anthology—examines what it really means to be a hero, especially when you’re thrown into that role with no warning. Being a hero may sound fun, but as Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase would tell you, it’s not all it’s chalked up to be.

Most of the stories in The Cursed Carnival take place after the events of their books (fair warning if you haven’t had a chance to read their books yet that some spoilers are included!). As I was happily turning the (electronic) pages, I kept noticing the characters pushing back against their new role as a hero or wondering what made them so special. Unfortunately, I can’t cover all ten stories in this blog (just know that they are all absolutely amazing!), but I did pick out a few of the ones that really stood out to me. Let’s dive in, shall we?

“Paola Santiago, traverser of haunted cactus fields, destroyer of legendary ghosts, and brief onetime possessor of supernatural-void power, was bored. Like, really bored.” –“Bruto and the Freaky Flower” by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Paola Santiago is a brilliant protagonist. She’s brave, loyal, and terrifyingly smart. I’ve read both of the released books about her adventures, and I was so excited to join her for another one in this story!

Tehlor Kay Mejia’s story in The Cursed Carnival entitled “Bruto and the Freaky Flower” takes place after Pao’s adventures in Paola Santiago and the River of Tears. Pao has returned home from battling the legendary La Llorna, hoping life will be different. Except, her mom won’t let her leave the apartment and nothing exciting is happening. Like, at all. When Pao’s chupacabra puppy Bruto starts acting strange and Pao discovers that the only way to save him is to find a really weird flower that smells like raw meat, part of her is happy to finally have something to do again (the other part is very, very scared). So with the help of her best friend Dante, Pao ventures back to the Gila River for another chance to be the hero.

In both of her novels about Paola Santiago as well as in this story, Tehlor Kay Mejia does a fantastic job examining what really makes a hero. Is it a fancy weapon, like Dante’s chancla? Or is it simply the courage to keep fighting for someone you love, even if the odds are long? And what happens once your adventure is over, especially if things can’t go back to the way they were before? Is being a hero worth it?

You’ll have to decide for yourself, maybe as you read the recently released sequel, Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares. Because one thing’s for certain in this story: chupacabra puppies are really, really cute!

“So that’s how one Muslim kid and one demon went off to save all existence, armed with only a shovel.” –“The Loneliest Demon” by Sarwat Chadda

In Sarwat Chadda’s story “The Loneliest Demon,” it’s been several months since the ancient Mesopotamian god of plagues, Nergal, invaded Manhattan. After Sikander Aziz and his friend Belet defeated him, they thought all of his demons went with him back to Kurnugi. But when the lonely demon Rabisu appears at Sik’s family’s deli challenging him to a duel to the death, Sik does what any normal thirteen-year-old would: he agrees to help her get back home. Except evil forces block the portal, and when the hero Gilgamesh’s ring is accidentally used to let them out, Sik and Rabisu decide to join forces to save Manhattan and the world…again. 

Just as in City of the Plague God, spending time with Sikander Aziz is an absolute blast. After coming back alive from his first adventure, Sik would be happy just working in the family deli and FaceTiming Belet every now and then. But having to be a hero again? Uh, not so much. Sarwat Chadda expertly examines what one must do when they’re thrust back into the spotlight with the responsibility of the world resting on their shoulders. Plus, the growing friendship between Sik and Rabisu is just *chef’s kiss*!

“Breaking the rules and risking getting caught is so far out of my comfort zone, I don’t even know who I am anymore.” –“My Night at the Gifted Carnival” by Graci Kim

Graci Kim’s story “My Night at the Gifted Carnival” is the only story that takes place before the events of the novel—for very obvious reasons, if you’ve read The Last Fallen Star. In this story, we visit the Gifted Carnival with our protagonist Riley Oh and her sister Hattie about a year before The Last Fallen Star begins, and let me just say that this carnival is out-of-this-world incredible. Without spoiling anything from the story for you, just picture a corn-dog that makes your favorite K-drama star appear as a life-size apparition in front of your eyes. Awesome, right?

Anyway, Riley is determined not to enjoy the carnival because, unlike her adopted sister, she will never have magic. But when the sisters discover a heinous plot in the making right under the noses of all the carnival-goers, they enlist the help of a troupe of performers to help set things right before it’s too late.

Although Riley has yet to go on any adventures, she is absolutely a reluctant hero in this story. Even though she doesn’t like to break the rules or leave her comfort zone, Riley has a strong moral compass that will always lead her in the right direction. So when she sees some kids in trouble, she knows she’ll do anything to help them. Her heroic actions at the end of this story are all instinct, proving that she has what it takes to be a hero.

“I’ve always avoided magic because of the fear of wanting something I could never have,” Riley explains as the story comes to a close. “But perhaps there could be another way. Maybe there is a future in which I could earn my gift—a different path I could take to acquire magic and dedicate myself to helping others.” And all I can say to that is just you wait, Riley Oh.

“Apparently, I was special. Then again, I suspected most eight-year-olds didn’t grow up in a tent in the wilderness, hiding from assassins, so maybe being special was overrated.” –“My Life as a Child Outlaw” by Rick Riordan

All the kids in these stories are special in one way or another, and all of them become heroes by the end of their adventures. That includes Rick Riordan’s newest hero, Finn, in his brand-new story about Celtic mythology. In “My Life as a Child Outlaw,” we join Finn for two years of his life as he discovers things about himself and the ancient Irish wilderness that will change everything. As of now, Riordan has not announced if he’ll be continuing with Finn’s story in novel format, but it’s definitely a possibility—one I’m truly excited about.

Finn, Riley, Sik, Pao, and all the rest of the heroes from these stories know that a hero doesn’t have to be strong to do what’s right. They only have to be brave enough to forge ahead, even when the path is terrifying. The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities’ dedication even states that this book is “to reluctant, undiscovered, and unsung heroes everywhere.” 

So with that in mind, why couldn’t the next hero to grace the pages of the Rick Riordan Presents imprint be you? And when your story is sent out into the world to fly with its own wings as all these stories have done before you, just know that I will be the first in line to buy it. Because I firmly believe that the world will could always use just a little more magic…and heroes to save the day.

(Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing us with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)
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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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4.5 stars

Let me start by saying that I personally loved this collection of stories and that if you've read the full novels written by the authors, you will likely fall in the same category. This collection contains 10 shorts stories from 10 different authors including Rick Riordan, who writes the last one, although his contribution is the only one that is not based on his previous books. Instead, he continues with the theme of mythology that is not as common as his usual Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology and delves into Irish/Druidic mythology. The only reason I did not give this 5 stars is that if you haven't read any of the books before reading this short story, you might not fully appreciate them, although I think most of the stories are able to stand alone and act as an introduction to their respective series. Either way, I rounded up because of how much I personally loved these stories.

As I have implied I have read most of the novels written by the authors on which these short stories are based, many of them in the past year (the only one I have remaining is the third Tristan Strong book, which I'm getting ready to read). I probably enjoyed the ones that were most recently in my memory the most, but as I read each one, I remembered again why I loved the originals so much. For this reason, I probably enjoyed this collection more than I normally do with short stories. Most of the time, short stories are hit or miss for me, especially when they're written by different authors. You never know what you'll get with anthologies. But for me, there was not a single miss in this collection and it made me look forward to more stories in the future.

I love what Riordan has accomplished with his Publication Imprint in giving less well-known (but very talented) writers a chance to share the mythologies of their culture. I have learned so much and I've enjoyed the stories very much. If you haven't read any of these books, what are you waiting for?
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This collection of short stories was so fun to read, as I had not heard of most of these worlds before! I really enjoyed each world, excluding the one with chickens 🤣 I did not finish that one. The rest were fun adventures. From alien invasions to ghosts, and demons to cave monsters, each adventure was exciting and pulled me in to their world! I am looking forward to reading some of these authors works now! Each author had a unique style of storytelling, which made it even better. There were even some stories I was so sad they ended because I needed to know more! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes short stories with variety.
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This was a great short story collection for the characters of the Rick Riordan Presents publishing. Each of the short stories were unique, and the only down side that I had was I was expecting this giant multiverse crossover event. However, that was not the case so it was slightly disappointing. Excited for my students to get their hands on this wonderful collection of short stories!
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Thank you to Rick Riordan Presents, Disney, and NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Rick Riordan Presents universe comes together for this collaboration of short stories/novellas. Let me preface this review by mentioning that I have read every current and some ARC’s of RRP so I was able to follow all the stories. Some are continuations of published works, others are “prequels” or subchapters within the original texts. Rick Riordan himself has submitted a new story, an introduction to a new story that will be out in the near future. I enjoyed every story! Some were a bit longer than typical short story entries, more like novellas, but still a quick read. It is best to know the other authors’ stories before reading this book but not essential. Most of the authors will give a brief overview of the hero and his/her powers. Because a couple of the stories were a bit dark, I would recommend this book for grades 5 and up.

#TheCursedCarnivalAndOtherCalamities #RickRiordanPresents #NetGalley
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So if you’re not familiar with the characters from their associated series, you won’t get much out of this. These are all continuations, if you will, of their respective series.
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This collection of stories brings about the question of a multiverse, or as I like to call it now the Riordan-verse. Some stories were stronger than others, and I definitely was more drawn into the ones with the more familiar characters for me, but it was still a lot of fun and a great way to dip your toes into some of the other great Riordan reads stories from some fantastic authors.
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