I’ll admit it. I am an absolute fangirl of the Percy Jackson universe created by Rick Riordan. From Greek to Egyptian to Norse (as well as other mythologies hinted at), Riordan created a world where all the stories of ancient times are alive and kicking. I am of the Percy Jackson generation, growing up alongside this character, so anything Riordan writes in the PJ universe is something I am practically guaranteed to enjoy. The Dark Prophecy was no exception. (Warning: there are some spoilers for the previous series, Heroes of Olympus. Read at your own peril!)
This is the second novel of a series called The Trials of Apollo in which the god Apollo has been turned into a mortal by Zeus as punishment for starting a war with giants in the preceding series Heroes of Olympus (come to think of it, though, I can’t remember if it was actually his fault). Alongside his demigod friend (*cough* master *cough*) Meg McCaffrey, Apollo must complete a series of trials to return to immortality. Go figure!
The Dark Prophecy itself takes place in Indianopolis where Apollo must defeat a resurrected Roman emperor who’s trying to take over the Midwest. With the help of Leo, a character who sacrificed then subsequently resurrected himself at the end of the last series, and Calypso, Leo’s girlfriend/rescuee, Apollo undergoes a series of quests. …Actually, now that I’m away from this hilariously written book, I realize the plot was kind of all over the place.
Whatever, it was a great book which was nothing short of hysterical. Reading the perspective of Apollo in his woeful mortal form had me laughing out loud from page one. I think Riordan did an excellent job of writing from the viewpoint of an arrogant god turned into a being of much lesser power, though, I suppose I don’t exactly have much to base that on. Oh, and have I mentioned that the main character’s bisexual?
This was stunning. I’ve said before that Riordan has been breaking heternormative expectations in his middle grade books left and right, but this is one of the first series where his main character is not heterosexual (I’m counting Magnus Chase alongside Apollo because I believe he is heteroflexible, not heterosexual – yes, there is a difference).
Riordan acknowledging that the original Apollo was bisexual and a massive flirt was genius on his part. There’s even a minor male character (who is also used to hint at African mythology) that drops in for Apollo to crush on. Oh, the implications! So exciting! First of all, the rather insecure way Apollo flirts with him was so believable since it is exactly the way I think an ordinary teenage boy (Apollo’s mortal form) would flirt with any crush of any gender. Second, Riordan is actually writing in same sex attraction which gives me hope to see some of Magnus Chase’s attraction to the male aspect of Alex Fierro (refer to The Hammer of Thor review). Finally, hints at African mythology! I don’t know what he’s going to do with it, but I’m so in.
Overall, The Dark Prophecy was wonderful. It was hilarious, fun, and engaging. Again, now that I think about, the plot wasn’t all there, but with Riordan, I couldn’t care less. For me, it’s all about the funny as well as getting as much diversity as possible. His writing style is a mastery of sassy storytelling.
For more in-depth fangirling, check out my YouTube video here! Warning: video contains spoilers.