Griffins, Hunters, and Indianapolis REVIEWING The Dark Prophecy

Welcome back to The Real World According To Sam! Today we continue our countdown to Tower of Nero on another Magic Monday by reviewing the second book in the Trials of Apollo series! 

We are 3 weeks and 1 day away from the release of The Tower of Nero (October 6, 2020)!

This is a The Hidden Oracle SPOILER LAND, clearly, because this is a sequel. 

This review of The Dark Prophecy is completely spoiler free for this installment.

The Dark Prophecy

Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Year: 2017

The Dark Prophecy


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 have made it here (still in the embarrassing form of Lester Papadopoulos), 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 at 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 task? 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 than everyone is being to me -- especially that sorceress Calypso. What does Leo see in her, anyway? 


When we last saw Apollo, he was still in a mortal teenage body, living under the name of Lester Papadopoulos. His companion, Meg, turned out to be a traitor of sorts, and she ran away. Now, Apollo is partnered up with Leo Valdez, bad boy supreme, who is still alive. They are joined by his girlfriend, Calypso. Leo and Calypso are ready to help Apollo find the second Roman ruler who is hindering Apollo's ability to be his normal, radiant self. Also, Apollo got an official prophecy of his own!

So in short...a LOT HAPPENED. 

The new baddies of this series are Roman Emperors who were thought to be long dead. Last time we faced off with Nero's big bad robot, Colossus Neronis. Now, we're looking for another emperor to stop, so that the oracles appointed by Apollo can be freed to do their demigod-ending prophecies once more. In this book, we start off our search in Indianapolis and go as far as....Indianapolis. Once more, we don't really have much of a road trip in this book. However, Indianapolis surprising has a lot of danger and adventure to offer up! 

In this book we get to meet some new friends and new enemies. We meet a couple of former Hunters of Artemis. Apparently, it is possible to give up immortality and go back to being mortal in some instances. We also get to interact with griffins (as if you totally didn't notice them on the book cover already). We meet Britomartis, a goddess of traps, and we even get to meet some animals at the zoo! I'm telling you, there is some fun to be had out in Indianapolis. There is also a familiar face who happens along, but I am not going to spoil that. I'll just say I was pretty thrilled to see this person involved, even the slightest bit. We also get to know more about Calypso, which is really cool. I enjoyed reading about the relationship dynamic between her and Leo. Calypso once had magical abilities, but like Apollo, is now a mortal. The only difference is she chose to become mortal by leaving Ogygia. It's interesting to see the parallels of transition that Apollo and Calypso undergo, particularly since their changes happened under very different circumstances.

Identically to the previous book, we get haiku chapter titles. They are as hilarious as ever and are honestly one of my favorite aspects of these books so far. Apollo is still his egotistical self encased in a pathetic mortal shell. However, he's starting to get his abilities back a tiny bit. Last time, when he needed it most, he was able to pull up some music magic. However, he's still very limited in what he can do...which makes for a very frustrated Apollo, and a very entertaining read!

So Apollo has to visit an Oracle, fix things, and ultimately, NOT DIE. Just another day in the world of demigods and Greek/Roman mythological/historical figures. For a god, this should be a walk in the park...for an acne-covered teenage mortal, it definitely won't be. We can only hope that Apollo has enough luck to be able to see himself through all of this journey with minimal pain and damage (not likely).  

Ultimately, this is another fun adventure with a lot of danger included. We have just one overarching setting, but it never feels stale or boring. There are plenty of areas within the vicinity to explore. I enjoyed all the action in this one. It finally feels like this adventure is really kicking off. Having Leo and Festus back doesn't hurt either! I give The Dark Prophecy a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯✯. It is a lot of fun seeing who the new baddies are and seeing what more there is to this world. 

This concludes another review here at The Real World According To Sam where I bring the books right to your screen, and even throw in my own two cents about them!