The Dark Prophecy (the Trials of Apollo #2)
by Rick Riordan.
Read by Robbie Daymond
Summary from Goodreads:
The god Apollo, cast down to earth and trapped in the form of a gawky teenage boy as punishment, must set off on the second of his harrowing (and hilarious) trials. He and his companions seek the ancient oracles – restoring them is the only way for Apollo to reclaim his place on Mount Olympus – but this is easier said than done. Somewhere in the American Midwest is a haunted cave that may hold answers for Apollo in his quest to become a god again…if it doesn’t kill him or drive him insane first.
Standing in Apollo’s way is the second member of the evil Triumvirate – a Roman emperor whose love of bloodshed and spectacle makes even Nero look tame. To survive the encounter, Apollo will need the help of a now-mortal goddess, a bronze dragon, and some familiar demigod faces from Camp Half-Blood. With them by his side, can Apollo face down the greatest challenge of his 4,000 years of existence?
Although I enjoyed listening to this book and liked it, I don’t think I liked it as much as the first book in the series. I found, at least with the audio, Apollo’s flashbacks to things that happened to him as a god were a bit jarring and at time confusing. I found myself many times having to rewind to an earlier spot when ever a flashback happened, because I kept thinking I missed something. I hope with the print version that there is some indication, different font, maybe a space that helps you know when there is a change.
I’m also finding myself changing my mind about whether or not I even like Apollo. He does show a lot of growth as a character in this book, he is starting to understand what it means to be human and how to interact with them better. But then he will say or think something that just pushes him back into the category of self-centered, uncaring god, and I heave a heavy sigh and shake my head, thinking will he ever really change? He does seem to really care about Meg though, and there are a few very touching scenes between them that I just loved.
There is lots of action and the plot is fast moving with some good twists and turns that are unexpected. I really liked the way-station, another building that is almost a character. There are also lots of fun new characters and creatures, you gotta love the battle ostriches and griffins.
Robbie Daymond does an excellent job as the reader for this book. He has a voice that can sound like a god and a teenager at the same time, no easy feat. His pacing is good and consistent and reflects the emotions and tone of the characters and actions well. I am looking forward to listening to him again in the next book.