TITLE: The Dark Prophecy
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
SERIES: The Trials of Apollo #2
PUBLICATION DATE: 2nd May 2017
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books Ltd
GENRE: Middle Grade, Mythology, Fantasy
FORMAT: Paperback (Exclusive Edition)
Possible Spoilers for Book 1, The Hidden Oracle.
COVER: I am so happy that this UK cover is nothing like the US edition which just makes me sad. This one however is very pleasing to the eye with Festus looking great and this looks good next to my UK copy of Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer.
Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers?
After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .
So it took me a while to actually get my hands on this. I ordered this the day it was released, May 2nd, delighted with the fact that it had been reduced to 14€ (call me a cheapskate but I believe 18€ is a bit too expensive for a paperback even if it does include extra content featuring Leo Valdez) and then I realised it was out of stock so I didn’t get this until nearly a month later.
I wont be doing a Spoiler review for this book due to me not having much to discuss in the spoiler section.
Plot- To begin with I felt this book kind of dragged and it didn’t grab my interest as much as the first book or other books in the Riordan verse. I did eventually get into this after about 100 pages and the book slump I had going into this so far hasn’t made a come back. I enjoyed the flashbacks to Ancient times in this, it added something to the story and the character who, with this being spoiler free, I’m not going to name. Over 1/2 way through there was a big action scene and it started to have the feeling an ending typically would and I became worried that the rest of the book would feel uneventful. That didn’t happen though and it was entertaining and hilarious. I’m feeling kind of meh on the bad guy and his motives in this book, I felt he didn’t have much of a presence as Emperor Nero did but I did enjoy his connection to Apollo.
Writing- Rick Riordan has a signature writing style. Maybe its the mix of dark subjects of kids dying and sarcastic comebacks but whatever it is it works. He is a pro when it comes to writing about social issues in a simple way for people to understand without minimalizing the importance as well as making it entertaining to read which is great since typically these books are read by younger kids. Apollo is such a good narrator he never fails to make me smile, he has such a personality which really stands out. Riordan does a great job channelling a 3000 year old Olympian God.
Characters- Every character Riordan writes, from the most important to the most minor character as that magic something about them and they’re always memorable. He’s great at writing character relationships too, I come away wanting to write fanfictions about the characters. Leo and Calypso were a big part of this story and I liked them. I thought they had great chemistry with Apollo even if it was a relationship of them all having no idea on what they’re doing and sarcastic lines. I really wish Calypso had had more development in Heroes of Olympus because it took me a really long while to warm up to her and I’m not a 100% sure I’m there yet. Obviously I loved Leo, I loved having more content with him in it. I also enjoyed the slight rift there was in Calypso and Leo’s relationship, I felt it was realistic since they hadn’t really had time together and a nice change since all the other couples in this series seem to be pretty much perfect (apart from the falling into Hell thing). Another thing I loved about this book is the introduction of Emmie and Jo. I’m going to keep it brief because Spoiler Free, but they’re together and they have an 8 year old daughter together and are growing old together. I loved this! I personally feel from my experience in YA there aren’t many lesbian couples and I loved there little family. Something I feel will make these books special are the cameos from our beloved characters. In Hidden Oracle it was of course Percy himself, Sally and Camp Half Blood in general. This book had Leo and Calypso as well as a couple others who I’m going to mention, but I really enjoyed there appearance. The final cameo I saw coming but I figured they’d show up in the next book so I was surprised when they came in the last paragraph and I’m so happy!
I cant wait for the next book, I’m gonna be reading these books for ears to come and I’m very happy about that fact. I’m not however happy about the fact that I have over a year to wait until the next book!
“Being productive. Ugh. It’s such a human concept. It implies you have limited time (LOL) and have to work hard to make something happen (double LOL).”
“GPS?’ Calypso asked. ‘Godly positioning system.’”
“He looked like a hallucinating ballerina in boxer shorts,”
“Meg McCaffrey, a girl of few words and much belching.”
“Four different kinds of Tater Tots?” I felt overwhelmed by culinary confusion. “Why would anyone need so many? Chili. Sweet potato. Blue?”
“they shared mortals’ reluctance for either reading instructions or calling customer support.”