Back in 2016, in my The Hidden Oracle Review, I had said that the story arc in Trials of Apollo is one of the best Rick Riordan has plotted till date. What made The Hidden Oracle amazing was that it perfectly tied itself into all the previous books, and still the story felt fresh. That magic is what Rick Riordan fails to create in the second book.
The book picks up 6 weeks later where The Hidden Oracle left off. Apollo, Leo and Calypso have reached Indianapolis after travelling on Festus, and obviously the dragon requires maintenance. After converting Festus into a suitcase, the three meet 2 Ex-Huntresses. The group is further joined by Meg, Thalia and the Hunters. This book revolves around the Cave of Trophonius, its Oracle and the second member of the Triumvirate.
However, unlike all Rick Riordan books till date, beginning from The Lightening Thief to the latest The Hammer of Thor, this book can be put down easily and is not engaging. The book starts fine, but looses its grip soon enough. And, it remains quite dull until the last 100 pages or so. Even Apollo’s haiku or Leo’s puns fail to impress. And, as a die hard Rick Riordan fan, it is really hard to say.
Rick Riordan has said a few times that he feels writing the second book in the series the most difficult task. That is, maybe, one of the reasons The Sea of Monsters and The Son of Neptune lie at the bottom if the 5 books in Percy Jackson & the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus are ranked. And, most probably, the history is gonna repeat itself again. So, yeah, the fact that this book was boring does not mean that I’m any less excited for The Burning Maze. (Little Spoiler, We’re gonna meet Grover, Jason, Piper, Reyna, Frank, Hazel, Tyson and Ella in the next book for sure.)
In The Hammer of Thor, Riordan had thrown a reference to Aztec Mythology. In this book, he refers Hindu myths once, and we even meet a Yoruba Demigod. This could mean a lot of things. It might just be an Easter Egg, or it might be some major character about a series Rick is planning next, or it just might be helping to tie in the upcoming Riordan Imprint Books in the one large Universe. Let’s not forget that The Ship of the Dead, coming this October, is the last book in the Magnus Chase series, so we must expect some big announcement from Rick on his October tour. I have some predictions about the same here.
This book, does not develop the story much, except introduce another Triumvirate member and an Oracle and gives the prophecy for the next book, and a few smaller story arcs. Also, it sets up in what direction the next book will go and what to expect from it. You might wanna skip this one, read the summary and patiently wait for the next one to arrive.
Overall Impression: 2.5/5 Stars