3.5 out of 5 stars
It’s hard to explain the genius of Rick Riordan. Is it the humor that makes his books so great? The piling of so much modernity atop such ancient stories, and making it work? The speed and wackiness of it all?
If you haven’t read the Percy Jackson books, don’t read this one. Also don’t read the Heroes of Olympus series, the Magnus Chase books, or The Kane Chronicles (maybe skip those altogether). To properly appreciate Rick Riordan, you must start at the beginning: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. From there, you can spin to Camp Jupiter, and then here, to Apollo the Sun God, cast out of Olympus and cursed to live on Earth as a pimply, awkward teenager named Lester Popodopolous.
The Dark Prophecy is weird and hilarious, a very solid second installment in The Trails of Apollo series. Apollo/Lester and his demigod master, a very uncouth tween named Meg McCaffery, along with their friends Leo, Calypso, and Festus, find themselves in Indianapolis with a new cast of crazy, battling an evil Roman emperor bent on remaking the fabled city of his bloodthirsty past right in the middle of the American midwest.
Sound weird? It’s is – and lots of fun. So why only 3.5 stars? The Trails of Apollo is not my favorite Riordan series. Percy Jackson holds that spot, followed by Magnus Chase. Hes’ written many 4+ star books, but none (so far), in this series. That could still happen though, because Rick Riordan never slows down! All his series zip wildly along. The Percy Jackson books spun off into/crossed over with The Heroes of Olympus, which evolved into the Trials of Apollo. As a result, this series a little weaker than its older siblings. But it’s clear these books are headed toward an eventual culmination: the heroes of all three series, combining forces in the ultimate battle. That will be a 4+ star book. Maybe a series. Ooh, I hope it’s a series.