"The Dark Prophecy", the latest novel by Rick Riordan, will hit the stores on May 2. This is the second book in "The Trials of Apollo" series, prompting some fans of the author to wonder why the god of the sun. Riordan could have chosen Artemis, which reveals the whereabouts of Thalia Grace. She is the daughter of Zeus, who becomes one of the Hunters of the goddess of the moon. (And there was hardly any mention of Thalia's name after the punk teenager sworn her oath in front of Artemis.) The native of San Antonio, Texas had featured Aphrodite in a chapter or two in one or two novels, but a book entirely dedicated to her could be more colorful than a garden during the height of spring. And the author would be able to pen an intriguing account of Athena. Annabeth Chase, one of her daughters, may not like it at all.
Apollo was featured in tens of Greek tales, but his descriptions wouldn't interest readers at all. He was aloof, insufferable, and snooty, but he had the right to be that way. After all, the Olympian gods weren't expected to sympathize with humans unless they fall in love with someone. Riordan was a high school teacher before embarking on a career in authorship, so his knowledge on teenagers gave him a brilliant idea that a series on Apollo would be the next chapter in this modern-day saga on heroism and the time-and-tested good versus evil. After all, not a few teens could be aloof, insufferable and/or snooty. And they would be unaware of it. If "The Trials of Apollo" would be adapted to the big screen, then an actor that slightly resembles Justin Bieber would be perfect for the role. Apollo might pick Zac Efron if he had his way.
Riordan made a HUGE gamble, and it paid off
Riordan could have ended his love affair with Greek mythology after he was done with "The Blood of Olympus". A new generation of Greek and Roman demigods prevented Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from annihilating each other, even providing peace and order with the rediscovery of the Athena Parthenon. But the author knew there were too many stories to tell about Greek mythology. Let's not forget Roman mythology, which was introduced in "The Lost Hero". "The Hidden Oracle", the first book in "The Trials of Apollo" series, revealed the other existing oracles that find their way into American soil. There were also other triumvirates, who wouldn't have the good of the Roman Empire in mind. And there were more gods with more human traits. It won't be hard to imagine Demeter as the Ashley Graham of antiquity.
Apollo was held responsible for the casualties that took place in both Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter, so he was turned into a 15-year-old teenage boy with pimples and love handles. It gave him despair until he learned about the big trouble in little Greece. A teenage Apollo had to force himself to be an adult, as his children (and the kids of the other gods) were as old as him. Moreover, he would learn how it could feel like being used and abused by the gods. Life would surely stink, which is part of (another) prophecy. Let's not forget his punishment, which is his third one.
"The Hidden Oracle" played like a reality TV show on print, with a variety of quirky characters that would make readers forget that they would be reading a modern update of a tale as old as time. Riordan never forgot to inject humor in every page, as failing to do so would turn his series into a longer version of Edith Hamilton's "Mythology". Apollo learned to understand humans, the teenage ones at the least. It would be a positive sign, as it could help him gather allies in his next journey. Calypso will be part of his crew, and they have another score to settle. "The Dark Prophecy" won't be a spin-off of "The Real Housewives", though.