So, I really enjoyed The Red Pyramid when it came out last year, and I've been looking forward to the follow-up for some time. I liked how the stakes are bigger in this installment, I liked the wider globe-hopping (even though I felt there were shades of The 39 Clues). My favorite addition to the series in this is Team Brooklyn House- all of the new magicians training with the Kanes. I really hope that these new characters end up playing a larger role in the series because they were severely underused. Bes was a good addition- sometimes, his schtick got a little too childish for my tastes, but I enjoyed him, and was sad to see him sacrifice himself.However, I would have liked this book a lot more if it wasn't for Riordan's writing style. He balanced the humor and the action very well for the first half of the book, but when things started to ramp into the climax, the constant snarking became almost trite. It's fine to have humorous moments to diffuse tension, but if every new development or piece of important information is followed by a one-liner, it throws me out of the story and I lose the tension. Also, the portrayal of Ra: the whole "He can't rule the gods, he's too old!" was fine, until we first see him...and he's constantly portrayed as a senile idiot. And not even actually senile, it's the drooling, "I like cheese!" idea of senility. I think the book would have ended better with Ra being coherent, but still ultimately less powerful, which would make the other gods worried. In all, I will be reading the next installment just to see where the story's going, but I hope that the plot and writing improves.