The Dark Prophecy
The Trials of Apollo, Book Two
Disney/Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Books, 2017
From the dust jacket, “’Go west, capture Apollo before he can find the next oracle. If you cannot bring him to me alive, kill him.’ Those were the orders my old enemy Nero had given to Meg McCaffrey. But why would an ancient Roman emperor zero in on Indianapolis? And now that I made it here (still in the embarrassing form of Lester Papadopoulous), where is Meg?
“Meg, my demigod master, is a cantankerous street urchin. She betrayed me to Nero back at
Camp Half-Blood. And while I’m mortal, she can order me to do anything … even kill myself. Despite all this, if I have a chance of prying her away from her villainous stepfather, I have to try.
“But I’m new to this heroic-quest business, and my father, Zeus, stripped me of all my godly powers. Oh, the indignities and pain I have already suffered! Untold humiliation, impossible time limits, life-threatening danger … Shouldn’t there be a reward at the end of each completed tasks? Not just more deadly quests?”
“I vow that if I ever regain my godhood I will never again send a poor mortal on a quest. Unless it is really important. and unless I am sure the mortal can handle it. and unless I am pressed for time…or I really just don’t feel like doing it myself. I will be much kinder and more generous that everyone else is being to me—especially that sorceress Calypso. What does Leo see in her, anyway?”
I never read the dust jackets or backs of books before I read them – but now that I’ve read it I can see that readers unfamiliar with this series of books would likely confused by it. So, let me explain briefly. In the first book the Greek god, Apollo, ticked off his father so much that Zeus took away Apollo’s godly powers (which includes immortality), sent him to New York City in the form of a gawky 16-year-old boy named Lester Papdopoulous and told him to perform certain quests before he would reinstate him as a god. Apollo, by virtue of being the god of beauty, music, medicine, etc., is incredibly self-centered to the extreme and thought highly of himself. As Lester, he has trouble accepting that he is now a mere mortal who has a bad case of acne and is nowhere near being the beautiful, charming, sweet-talking, arrogant deity he once was. And, as you can tell from the dust jacket information, the story is all about Apollo/Lester and is told in first-person by Apollo/Lester.
In this book, the author has Apollo/Lester continuing westward where he faces more challenges and some very creative ways of learning humility and compassion. The story is another fine example of Riordan’s ability to tell a story well, which, to me, is harder in first person. It is funny, sad, exciting, and thrilling all at the same time. My only negative comment is that I have to wait until Spring, 2018 for the next installment. I’ve told mom I want to add this series to our permanent library so I can read the first two when the third one comes out. If you liked the Percy Jackson series, you’ll love this fantasy of Greek gods, monsters, demi-gods and mortals.
Rating: 5 out of 5 paws because Riordan’s writing power puts you smack dam in the middle of all the action!! Wait – was that a griffin that just flew by????