The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities

The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities is a fun anthology of stories from Rick Riordan’s imprint. We follow heroes from many stories in these entertaining side stories.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.

From Goodreads:

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.

“Welcome to the one and only Gifted Carnival, the place where the impossible is possible and your dreams become reality.”

Disclaimer, I adore the stories from Rick Riordan Presents. I’ve read quite a lot of them, and most of the ones I haven’t read are on my TBR. This was an exciting compilation of these heroes, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. I think something that I struggled with though was that for a couple of stories, I had no idea who the heroes were. This made the magic and the lore confusing, and hard to follow. This wasn’t the case for all the stories I didn’t know, but for a couple, I ended up skipping them.

“Alke is A story. Each of us carries parts of it- chapters, scenes, even just a few words. And when we come together? That magical world comes to life.”

The Irish tale that Riordan included at the end of this book was really wonderful to read. It was a unique shift in many of his other stories, and I enjoyed it a lot. Additionally, some of my issues with some of the other books were seemingly resolved in these short stories. For example, Graci Kim managed to really show some of the lore that seemed to be missing in her most recent book. Sarwat Chadda did a fantastic job with pacing here. There was some cross-over of the stories as well, which made me laugh.

“Maybe, just maybe, word by word and line by line, we can rebuild that special place we call our own.”

All and all, I had a fun time reading this collection. I was introduced to some heroes I’m excited to read about. I got to follow heroes I know and love in exciting side adventures. This was well organized, and they stayed consistent with their worlds and stories.

“If you don’t learn and remember what people fought for in the past, you won’t know what you need to fight for in the future.”

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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