Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan - Book Review

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
Publication date: May 2, 2017
My rating: 3.5 stars

Now, before anyone starts screaming "OMG, 3 STARS?! Zoey, are you alright? What is happening?!" let it be told that I very very much enjoyed The Dark Prophecy by my favorite author since childhood. 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Rick Riordan can do no wrong. At all. Never. No chance.
And despite the fact that it emotionally hurts me to rate a Rick Riordan book any less than 4 stars, It will be even worse to be untrue to my feelings.

This book had it all: hilariousness, new characters, well known and beloved characters, Peaches, kickass demigods, a god going through a humanization phase, Leo Valdez, crazed emperors, sad moments, happy moments, heartwarming moments, heartbreaking moments.
I highlighted so many quotes in this book I might as well have highlighted this whole book since it was so quotable.

I laughed, I smiled, and I went all 'awww' over almost everything.
So then what didn't I like about this book? 
Nothing, really. 
"So why did you rate it 3.5 stars?" you might be thinking. 

Well, you see... it simply didn't give me the BANG I was looking for. You know, that punch to the heart when all of your feelings are a mess and through them, the only thing you can think is: "yes, this is... this is what my heart has been looking/searching/hoping for." 

Maybe I don't make much sense. 

This book had many small bangs, just not a big enough one to make me truly, truly fall in love with it. 

That being said, it's only the second book of the series, you guys! There's so much more epicness coming our way - I can feel it.
And... well, it is a truth universally acknowledged (sorry, I just came back from watching Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) that second books in a series are the least favorite ones. That, at least, had been something that always seemed to happen to me with book series. Like how Percy Jackson and the sea of monsters is my least favorite book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Or how the second book of the Heroes of Olympus is my least memorable one.

Not to say they're not great. Just like not to say I didn't like The Dark Prophecy. I totally had my moments of "this is some awesome stuff" and "oh I missed this so much!" I can't seem to stress this enough but I think you got what I'm trying to say here. 

My only consolation after saying goodbye (yet again) to my beloved characters of the Percy Jackson universe and having to wait until May 1st, 2018 (please don't let the date change any further) for the third book to come out, is that we get another Rick Riordan book this year and it is none other than the highly anticipated third and last book in the Magnus Chase trilogy! 

And now, the wait for The Burning Maze begins.
Shall we enter the depth of the labyrinth once again, my friends? 

*Full Review - With Spoilers*

"This doesn't mean I can pinpoint her location with my mind! Zeus as revoked my access to GPS!"  
"GPS?" Calypso asked. 
"Godly Positioning System." 

Meg is back!
I'm sure I'm not the only one to have been so worried about her after the terrible events that left us speechless at the end of The Hidden Oracle.
Oh Meg, you were dearly missed!
Apollo would never admit this but he was not his same glorious self without yo *wink*. 

We're still not completely off the hook with Meg, though.
Meg might have escaped and rejoined team good but she has yet to face Nero - her evil and abusive stepfather who we all wish will burn it hell - since her betrayal.
And we all know how Nero has always had his way with Meg.
It would take some serious willpower for her to resist him.
And we can only trust Apollo to help her achieve that. 

Speaking of our favorite god, the things he went through in this book...
He's changing.
And I'm so heartwarmed by the fact that he starts to actually care about the world around him.
Apollo, as it seems, has a hidden heart of gold.
I liked him since the first time we met him years ago in Percy Jackson book 3, and now that I've gotten to know him all I can say is... you go, Apollo. I'm rooting for you. You're amazing. 

I cannot give up. Apollo/Meg needs me. 

Their bond is just... so... precious. *sob*.
Nothing can break it. You hear that, Nero?
Those two are best friends for life (even if they're way too stubborn to ever admit this).

I can't even envision a romantic relationship between them because they're just so best friends - bordering on brother-sister - material.
Not to mention, Meg is, what, 12?
And even if age wasn't the problem, they're just so perfect in this relationship of theirs.
I want them to be closer, and I want them to find love, but between the two of them... they're just so precious the way they are. 

It was even made clear when Apollo had to give Meg a mouth to mouth and described it as 'a slimy, unpleasant sensation - much like what I imagined Poseidon experienced when he realized he was kissing the gorgon Medusa.'
Luckily, Meg was unconscious and couldn't punch him in the face for the insult.
Then again, she probably would have punched him in the face for giving her a mouth to mouth in the first place (even if it was to save her life).
Meg is charming this way. 

I'd always thought of my sister's followers as a sort of all-maiden mafia. Once you were in, you never left - unless you left in a lovely silver coffin.

Ah, Thalia Grace!
You are a true sight for sore eyes.
It's been, what, a few books now?
I sure did miss our fearless huntress.
*the nostalgia* 

Okay, okay, so I was actually hoping - praying, liked Apollo - for Artemis to show up.
Even though it was made clear she wasn't going to, I still wanted to see the two of them interact now that Apollo is mortal.
That should be great fun.
Not to mention, Apollo truly does miss his sister. Which I found heartbreakingly beautiful.
I just love a good brother-sister bond.
I wonder if we'll get to see Artemis, despite the restrictions, soon.  

In the meantime, don't die in your foxhunt, Thalia Grace.
I get the feeling you and your hunters will be desperately needed in times to come. 

Was there anyone I hadn't betrayed and disappointed? Any relationship I hadn't destroyed? 

If I thought The Hidden Oracle was sad with all those flashbacks to Apollo's past...
Hearing Apollo's stories of past times was just... so... very... sad. 

That scene when he cried in the toilet was heartbreaking. I wanted to rush in there, hug him, and tell him everything was going to be okay.  

I blinked back tears. I was not sad. I was not overwhelmed by their friendship. No, it had just been a very long day and my nerves were fried. 

Oh, Apollo.
I find the way he admits to things by denying them is simply adorable. 

Leo Valdez - savior of earth (quite literally).
Calypso - an ancient sorceress.
Apollo - a former god turned teenager. 

I found this unlikely trio to be so wonderfully fit together.
They had rough times. They argued and shouted and disliked one another. But at the end of the day... they were like family. 

That "goodbye" scene between Apollo and Leo & Calypso was just so touching.
I wasn't entirely expecting it because I thought those two would keep on journeying with Apollo and Meg but... I understand why they need some normalcy in their life after everything they've been through (not that it seems they're going to get it so quickly, given Leo's recent mission to warn the Romans of their impending doom). 

It was a truly heartfelt moment to see Apollo caring about these two - about everyone at the waystation - as the story progressed.
As arrogant and goddy as he can get, he truly does have a hidden heart of gold.
It only shines brighter with every passing moment.
I already can't wait to see the growth of the Apollo of book 5. 

Jimmy's electricity was different - a more humid scent of ozone, a darker red hue to the flashes. 

Who is the world is Jimmy?
My suspicions that Jimmy is, in fact, of a different mythology, have been confirmed by the end of the book. 

At first, I thought maybe he was part of the Magnus Chase world or even The Kane Chronicles world but oh no, oh no my friends... Jimmy is of different mythology entirely. 
And I can't help but think - can't help but hope - that this is a sort of preparation for a brand new Rick Riordan series (!).  
Oh please let it be so. 

Rick Riordan is not the type to throw in random clues.
Which means... our dreams for a new mythology series after The Trials of Apollo might come true. 

There are so many mythologies out there to explore - Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, etc. - and I can't think of anyone other than Rick Riordan who is better for the job.  

In all, the boy reminded me somewhat of Nico Di Angelo, the son of Hades, if Nico was slightly older, more vicious, and had been raised by jackals. 

It doesn't matter that I only just saw Nico the other book.
No, I want him around all the time. 
That is precisely that kind of obsession I have with Nico Di Angelo. I have been dealing with it since book 4, gasping as every strap, mention, and sightings of him.
That boy really should have gotten his own books. *sigh*. 

I scowled at him. "Don't test me, Valdez. When I am a god again, I will make a constellation out of you. I will call it the Small Exploding Latino."  
"I like it!" He patted my shoulder, causing my knife to jiggle. 
 Did no one fear the wrath of the gods anymore? 

Sorry, Apollo, but you're talking to the people who saved the world - multiple times - and faced the earth itself.
It would take some serious stuff to rattle them.
And, well, Leo Valdez is Leo Valdez. He's, like, in his own category. 

"The only mortal sin," I said. "Would be failing to incinerate you as soon as I become a god again." 
"You could try," Leo said. "But then how would you learn those secret scales on the Valdezinator?" 
I accidentally sprayed myself in the face. "What secret scales?"

Oh god, flashback to the Valdezinator!

You know the feeling when you suspect you might have fathered someone thousands of years ago, but you're not really sure? Then you see that child as a grown man, and looking into his eyes, you know beyond a doubt that he is yours? Yes, I'm sure many of you can relate. 

Oh yeah, sure. Happens all the time. *nodding*.

Speaking of, do you think Georgina really is Apollo's daughter?
I believe so. But then the matter of who her mother is - and why she was abandoned - is a big question.
I wonder if that's going to play a part in later books, or if Rick is going to leave it like that. 

Percy Jackson could drive a car.

Percy Jackson can do so much more than just drive a car.
He's the amazing Percy Jackson, after all.

We were ten feet away when we triggered the First Law of Percy Jackson.

That moment when you realize Percy has a law named after him.
They grow so fast *sob*. 

I smiled. "Hello, Grover Underwood. I am Apollo. This is Meg. And you, my lucky friend, have been summoned to lead as through the Labyrinth." 

That ending, though! 

GROVER! It's been too long, buddy! 

We missed you in Heroes of Olympus, but now you've got yourself a spot in The Trials of Apollo, so all is well again. 

Favorite quotes:  

Calypso called me a few names the reminded me how colorful the Minoan language had been before it went extinct. 

I hated having a mortal body. I experienced so many bothersome things, like fear, cold, nausea, and the impulse to whimper Please don't kill me!

All those people whose names ended in O - Jo, Leo, Calypso, Apollo - suddenly made me feel like my brand was being diluted. I thanked the gods we were not in Ohio and our dragon was not named Festo. 

Demigods today. I blame social media for their short attention spans. When you can't even take the time to listen to a god hold forth, that's just sad. 

"What about that song Zeus used to sing?" 
 I blinked. "Zeus... singing?" I found that concept mildly horrifying.

"Trust Meg, Leo, and Apollo. This is their task: to find and free the captives, to retrieve the Throne of Mnemosyne-" 
"And get Festus," Leo added. 
"And especially Georgina," Jo added. 
"We could pick up some groceries, too," Leo offered. "I noticed you're low on hot sauce."

I sighed inwardly. First it had been the zoo at first light. Then the Canal Walk at first light. Now the caverns. I really wished dangerous quests could start at a more reasonable time, like perhaps three in the afternoon. 

"We only fail when we stop trying."

Random thoughts:  

  • How will the new prophecy play out?
  • Will Artemis make an appearance?
  • Will we see Demeter - Meg's mother? Or maybe Persephone - Meg's immortal sister?
  • Will Leo and Calypso ever get some peace and quiet?
  • What is the dreadful punishment of river Styx going to be? (you should never have made that oath, Apollo!)

All we can do now is wait and see.
2018, here we come. 

One should never underestimate the healing power of music. 


  1. This review is perfection (I only read the spoiler free one, because I might get into these). I RELATE I RELATE!!! I recently gave a book 3.5 stars, but only had good things to say about it. I was looking for that one "bang" you mentioned and simply never got it. Anyways, I really love your reviews. They are so real and perfect!

    1. Me: *innocently reading your comment*
      Reaction: O__O P... P... Perfection?
      *I think I might faint*

      You relate!
      Thank goodness! I thought no one was going to get what I was attempting to say '^^
      But you have! And I'm so happy about it! :'D

      Thank you SO MUCH, Bekah <3
      Best compliment you could give to a reviewer EVER :')
      Honestly, I'm still reeling. I never read such heartwarming words.

      If you ever get the chance to read this series, I do recommend it. And I'd love to hear what you thought ^^

      THANK YOU! <3

  2. Great review. Entertaining as always and I liked having alittle insight into the series :) That said maybe you could suggest what kind of hard hitting content you love in your stories - what you think the author could have done instead or give examples of what others did right in a similar genre. I still know what you mean though some stories feel like they have potential and then fall flat. I often feel that way watching hollywood releases where you feel like the story and character development were processed in a sausage factory. Looking forward to your next review!

    1. Aww, thank you!
      I literally just woke up from sleep to two of the most wonderful comments I ever read in my life.
      Trying to reply is even harder than I thought '^^

      'As always'! As in... more than once?
      I don't believe we've met online before but thank you SO much for reading my posts.
      That's honestly all I can say.
      I write, and I hope that the people who read it will find it relate-able, funny, and easy to read.
      So thank you very much for taking the time to comment (:

      Hmm... I see.
      Give more examples, you say?
      Thanks for pointing this out. I'll definitely take this into consideration!

      Again, THANK YOU! For reading, and commenting, and mainly for liking (:

  3. I TOTALLY get what you mean about this missing something. I gave this 5 stars, but honestly I think I was being a little too generous because of my blinding love for this world and Rick Riordan 🙈 I probably should have been a bit more critical in my rating because I definitely didn't enjoy it as much as I'd enjoyed other Rick books, BUT IT'S SO HARD TO BE CRITICAL SOMETIMES 😂

    I loved the dynamic between Apollo, Leo and Calypso a lot. Especially when Apollo and Calypso were forced to work together. And of course, Apollo's and Meg's friendship is EVERYTHING. It was great seeing Thalia too :D :D I'm super excited for the next book because the Labyrinth(!!!) and the Roman Camp - I'm hoping we see Reyna!!! I hope Rick doesn't break our hearts too much 😂

    Loved this review, Zoey ♥♥♥

    1. He-ya, Lauren :D
      I know, I know! I was SO SO SO tempted to give this 4 stars. It would definitely not have taken anything out of me to do so, but... I couldn't ignore that voice inside my head saying "you have to be true to your feelings, Zoey. Even if it's about a Rick Riordan book..."
      Such an annoying voice, if you ask me '^^ .
      But anyways, I can definitely see why you gave it 5 stars (:
      It's so very hard to be critical sometimes indeed. ESPECIALLY when it comes to hyped books everyone seem to love or books by an author you adore.
      THE DUTIES OF BOOK REVIEWERS! They have a grave toll.
      We must carry this burden for the sake of all readers out there. We simply must.

      AHHHH, I can't wait for The Burning Maze! There is still so much to be told and see in the Labyrinth.
      What is going to happen in the maze? And why is it burning?
      And Reyna! Yep, I was thinking about her when they mentioned the roman camp. She got a bit of a spotlight in the last book of Heroes of Olympus but she's still an awesome character who could have totally got a book of her own (:
      No-no, Rick will NOT break our hearts. At least... at least I hope not. *racking my brain* up until now Rick was pretty fair with us. We shall trust him till the end.

      CAN'T WAIT!
      And thank you, Lauren! I'm so happy you liked it :D <3

    2. Ahhh, definitely. I respect you so much for going with your instincts and being completely honest. That's what makes a great reviewer :D :D

      Hopefully it's got everything that we loved about The Hidden Oracle and MORE!!! ♥

  4. Hi again Zoey :) I've not started this series but I have high expectations from every Rick Riordan book considering PJO is LIFE! Like, LITERALLY! I love that series so much and it has kind of become a benchmark for every other Riordan book! I'm proud of you for going with your instincts. I have a hard time when it comes to rating a book by a favorite author that I didn't *quite* love..That's hard as a reviewer :) Great epic review girl!

    1. Hey again, Uma! ;D
      I feel so much towards your dedication to every Rick Riordan book.
      I also find myself tearing up to find a fellow PJO fan (PJO IS LIFE FOREVER) :')
      Tell me about it. Every part of you tells you to NOT - under any circumstances - give any less than 4 stars to this author you love so much. Yet your heart... your heart knows you cannot do this.
      It's why I'm so excited yet so scared whenever a new book of a favorite author comes out. I'm just *terrified* of being disappointed or let down. Because then I know I have to rate it - and sometimes even review it. And I know it'll hurt even more.
      *this is my fear of Lord of Shadows talking here*
      It's coming out VERY soon now. *shaking*.

      Thank you so much, Uma!
      I'm *so* happy and glad to hear my reviews are liked :*)

  5. Okay, I didn't read the 'Full Review with Spoilers' because I haven't read this one yet and I'm happily anticipating it ... as soon as I get a gap in my schedule.

    I love the PJ universe and I was thrilled to see what Riordan did with THO - I loved that it was a new and fresh take on the usual 'quest' sort of book and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Apollo the way he's been portrayed here. There's so much character and growth and development there. I'm sorry this one wasn't more stars but I can kind of see how that may have happened - and there's the dreaded book 2 slump.

    I can't wait to give this one a try myself and when I do I definitely want to come back to check out your full review since I loved the short one so much!