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{October 2, 2019}   {Review} The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) by Rick Riordan

From Goodreads: 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?

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I don’t know; this might be where I call it quits with Riordan’s Apollo series. While I did find myself snickering a lot more with Apollo’s quibs and sarcasm in this one than I did in the first installment, I also found that my interest was waning as the book cycled on. I like the story enough, and I enjoy the characters, as well, but it just seems to be the same arc over and over again:

1. Get in a jam

2. Lament about it

3. Prepare to die

4. Be saved by someone while the not too smart bad guys divulge their plan.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. After a while, it just kind of takes the joy out of it for me. I also, personally, felt like not a whole lot happened in this book, aside from Apollo constantly being upset about his average body (body shaming much?), his past loves, both male and female, and his predicament of not being a god. I get that Apollo was a self-absorbed god and all that, but I need him to calm it down in the whole “whoa is me” category.

I just wasn’t feeling this book, so I think I’ll take a break before heading on to book three, where I hear some of the bigger past characters from the other series make a sizable appearance, and maybe that’s what I’ve been craving. Two and a half stars — because it was “meh,” but also I liked it enough to probably go back to it in a few weeks.

I borrowed this novel from the library.

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