This review contains SPOILERS — proceed with caution if you haven’t read the book yet! Each time they occur in this review, I’ve noted them with the word “spoilers” in bold as here.
I first read and reviewed The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan (the second book in the Trials of Apollo series) in May 2017. This review was originally posted on my Goodreads account. Some minor edits have been made to the content of this review.
Ah Apollo, you conceited, arrogant, sarcastic little guy. The second adventure for this Greek god-turned-pimply-teen is so much fun and shows that Rick Riordan, even after a dozen book in the Greek/Roman universe, still has his flair for updates/re-tellings of these two mythologies.
While Apollo is rather insufferable at times, I love how Riordan handles his friendships with Leo, Calypso, and SPOILERS Meg, who makes a triumphant return to his side. Apollo can be a terribly egotistical kid at times, rather whiny and used to getting whatever he wants, but there are moments where we can see he has potential to be quite caring and selfless. I look forward to seeing more of that as the series continues and he grows. And I’m happy Leo and Calypso’s relationship is developing and being explored and challenged.
Riordan’s books have always been great books for middle– and high–schoolers who are interested in adventure stories with lots of action, humor and magic. However, in this series, he brings new and different things to the table in addition. Mostly I am referring to representation of LGBT+ characters, who need more visibility for goodness sake! Luckily, this book is full of them! Apollo’s casual and flirty bisexuality, Jo and Emmie’s loving family with each other and their daughter, Artemis’ (never outright stated but heavily implied) ace/aro status, and Will and Nico’s relationship (yes, I know that was in the first book of the series, but I still wanted to mention it here) are treated just like they should be — like they’re normal, healthy, and valid. I was so pleased to see that here, just as I was pleased to see so much racial diversity in the Heroes of Olympus series. Keep doing what you’re doing, Riordan!
MORE SPOILERS I was also glad to see Nero joined by Commodus, an intriguingly scary figure and one lesser known from Roman history. Thus, I learned things because of this book (as usual with Riordan; I always learn something, despite having taken Classical Mythology in college). I look forward to seeing what the rest of this series brings. (Also here’s hoping Will and Nico return in book three!)
Rating: 8.5/10 stars