The Trials of Apollo: Dark Prophecy (book 2) by Rick Riordan

The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy is the second book in one of Rick Riordan’s newest series, in which the god, Apollo, is cast down to earth as a mortal teenager as punishment for his indiscretions. Naturally, he experiences a bunch of trials and tribulations and has to find out why the oracles aren’t working and needs to defeat a bunch of evil maniacal Roman emperors risen from the dead. 

In the first book, we saw Apollo being forced to serve Meg, being betrayed by her, learning about the ailing oracles and the emperors, as well as meeting an old character, Leo Valdez. 

Incidentally, Apollo and Meg reconcile. I mean, that’s a spoiler, but I 100% called that once. It was hard to feel like her betrayal meant a whole lot in the first book because it was just so incredibly obvious that she was going to take about 30 seconds to figure out what a shit bag her stepdad, the evil Nero, is since she’s more matuuuure now. And, oh yeah, I knew she’d stick around just long enough to gather some important intel that Apollo wouldn’t have otherwise. Guess what happened? Exactly. That. The exact thing that made her betrayal feel flat happened. I don’t want it to seem like I am trying to rip into Rick Riordan’s writing. I absolutely love his books and I think he does an amazing job st handling a lot of things, including character development, diversity, and engaging plots. But, he’s a young adult writer. He’s not trying to write something like the Game of Thrones, which is incredibly nuanced and full of grey areas. I don’t even want Rick Riordan to be like that, I like that there is a certain level of predictability in his books. It means I can simply relish in the story and not have to worry that Jon Snow will be knocked off. And brought back. Or that Jaime will do unspeakable things with his sister but you’ll still see him as redeemable. Sometimes you don’t want to have to reconcile such opposing views and complex issues in the span of a book. 

I liked the introduction of other new elements, like the safe house for the two women who used to chill with Athena and the emperor who Apollo had a hand in murdering cause he was coocoo for coco puffs and was planning on mass murder. Lovely guy. And clearly that’s going to be a thing. I don’t see a whole ton of redemption for an already vengeful and menacing emperor who’s returned for more nasty shenanigans, but I do rather like character growth for the likes of Apollo. 

Plus, as always, I like how historical fact is interwoven with modernity and a reimagination of the ancient gods. I think it’s a great way to get younger people interested in the classics/antiquity. Even people my age can stand to learn some, I know I’ve learned some. You can easily google certain things to learn more, which I’ve done in a bunch of Rick Riordans books and books like the Song of Achilles. 

Any ways, until next time, y’all… 

Title Author Genre(s) Publisher Publication date Pages
The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy (book 2)
Rick Riordan
Young adult, Fantasy, Greek mythology,
Disney-Hyperion Press
May 2, 2017
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