22/12/16

¡Portada y extracto de La Pruebas de Apolo #2!

  Rick Riodan no se cansa de acaparar titulares. Si bien el otro día el protagonista era Magnus Chase, hoy lo es Las Pruebas de Apolo. Los retos que el dios, ahora mortal, tiene que superar para regresar al Olimpo en su nueva saga no terminaron con El Oráculo Oculto (Montena, noviembre 2016), y continuarán con The Dark Prophecy (La Profecía Oscura), que llegará a librerías estadounidenses el próximo 2 de mayo. Mientras tanto, ya disponemos de su cubierta, así como de un fragmento de la novela, que nos llegan hoy de la mano del medio USA Today:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Ni hipogrifos ni avestruces será lo que veremos en la portada cuando la novela llegue a España a finales de 2017 (espera... ¿He dicho avestruces? ¿Por qué demonios hay avestruces con casco en la portada?).                                                                                                                                                                              Con Las Pruebas de Apolo, Montena ha adoptado un enfoque muy distinto con respecto a otras publicaciones de Rick, publicando la primera entrega de la saga con la portada británica en lugar de la original. Cabe esperar que haga lo mismo con The Dark Prophecy, aunque todavía no sabemos cuál será la cubierta inglesa.
En otro orden de cosas, USA Today no sólo ha desvelado en exclusiva la portada (por algún motivo recortada), sino que también ha ofrecido un vistazo a lo que encontraremos en su interior. En la segunda de cinco entregas, Lester Papadopoulos (álter ego humano de Apolo) tratará de reclamar el lugar que le corresponde en el Olimpo restaurando Oráculos que se han vuelto oscuros; una tarea en la que también aparecerá Festus (el mejor dragón robótico que hayamos conocido) e implicará encontrar al más peligroso de todos los Oráculos.

 He aquí un fragmento del primer capítulo, cortesía también de USA Today:
Chapter 1
Lester (Apollo)
Still human; thanks for asking
Gods, I hate my life
When our dragon declared war on Indiana, I knew it was going to be a bad day.
We’d been traveling west for six weeks, and Festus had never shown such hostility toward a state. New Jersey he ignored. Pennsylvania he seemed to enjoy, despite our battle with the Cyclopes of Pittsburgh. Ohio he tolerated, even after our encounter with Potina, the Roman goddess of childhood drinks, who pursued us in the form of a giant red pitcher emblazoned with a smiley face.
Yet for some reason, Festus decided he did not like Indiana. He landed on the cupola of the Indiana Statehouse, flapped his metallic wings, and blew a cone of fire that incinerated the state flag right off the flagpole.
“Whoa, buddy!” Leo Valdez pulled the dragon’s reins. “We’ve talked about this. No blowtorching public monuments!”
Behind him on the dragon’s spine, Calypso gripped Festus’ scales for balance. “Could we please get to the ground? Gently this time?”
For a formerly immortal sorceress who once controlled air spirits, Calypso was not a fan of flying. Cold wind blew her chestnut hair into my face, making me blink and spit.
That’s right, dear reader.
I, the most important passenger, the youth who had once been the glorious god Apollo, was forced to sit in the back of the dragon. Oh, the indignities I had suffered since Zeus stripped me of my divine powers! It wasn’t enough that I was now a sixteen-year-old mortal with the ghastly alias Lester Papadopoulos. It wasn’t enough that I had to toil upon the earth doing (ugh) heroic quests until I could find a way back into my father’s good graces, or that I had a case of acne which simply would not respond to over-the-counter zit medicine. Despite my New York State junior driver’s license, Leo Valdez didn’t trust me to operate his aerial bronze steed!
Festus’ claws scrabbled for a hold on the green copper dome, which was much too small for a dragon his size. I had a flashback to the time I installed a life-size statue of the muse Calliope on my sun chariot and the extra weight of the hood ornament made me nosedive into China and create the Gobi Desert.
Best-selling author Rick Riordan meets a young fan
Best-selling author Rick Riordan meets a young fan in Anchorage at a signing in 2012. (Photo: Bob Hallinen, AP)
Leo glanced back, his face streaked with soot. “Apollo, you sense anything?”
“Why is it my job to sense things? Just because I used to be a god of prophecy — ”
“You’re the one who’s been having visions,” Calypso reminded me. “You said your friend Meg would be here.”
Just hearing Meg’s name gave me a twinge of pain. “That doesn’t mean I can pinpoint her location with my mind! Zeus has revoked my access to GPS!”
“GPS?” Calypso asked.
“Godly positioning systems.”
“That’s not a real thing!”
“Guys, cool it.” Leo patted the dragon’s neck. “Apollo, just try, will you? Does this look like the city you dreamed about or not?”
I scanned the horizon.
Indiana was flat country — highways crisscrossing scrubby brown plains, shadows of winter clouds floating above urban sprawl. Around us rose a meager cluster of downtown high-rises — stacks of stone and glass like layered wedges of black and white licorice. (Not the yummy kind of licorice, either; the nasty variety that sits for eons in your stepmother’s candy bowl on the coffee table. And, no, Hera, why would I be talking about you?)
After falling to earth in New York City, I found Indianapolis desolate and uninspiring, as if one proper New York neighborhood — Midtown, perhaps — had been stretched out to encompass the entire area of Manhattan, then relieved of two-thirds of its population and vigorously power-washed.
I could think of no reason why an evil triumvirate of ancient Roman emperors would take interest in such a location. Nor could I imagine why Meg McCaffrey would be sent here to capture me. Yet my visions had been clear. I had seen this skyline. I had heard my old enemy Nero give orders to Meg: Go west. Capture Apollo before he can find the next Oracle. If you cannot bring him to me alive, kill him.
The truly sad thing about this? Meg was one of my better friends. She also happened to be my demigod master, thanks to Zeus’s twisted sense of humor. As long as I remained mortal, Meg could order me to do anything, even kill myself. . . . No. Better not to think of such possibilities.
I shifted in my metal seat. After so many weeks of travel, I was tired and saddle sore. I wanted to find a safe place to rest. This was not such a city. Something about the landscape below made me as restless as Festus.

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