The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Dysney Hyperion
Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mythology
Read: July 2016
How do you punish an immortal? By making him human. After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favor. But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
It was so much fun to be back in this crazy mythological modern world. As always with Rick’s books, the plot was action packed and full of adventure and incredibly entertaining. While it has his signature style, it was new and fresh and super funny. It’s so fast paced and there’s a huge twist that blew me away. Even if they’re a little cheesy and predictable, this one has themes like acceptance and honesty. It was just a lot of fun to read.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
There’s a chuck full of sarcasm in this kind of writing style. Rick always models it after the main character’s voice and Apollo is a bit self-centered and selfish but has really funny jokes. It’s simple and easy to read, in part because it’s middle grade and part because it’s in general a lighthearted story. It’s super fast paced and it makes what looks like a thick book fly by. But my favorite part is that it’s informative and educational, there’s something new to learn about Greek mythology and history each time you open one of these books.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Rick’s characters are always lively and seem to jump off the page and that’s also the case with Apollo. I didn’t love him as much as I love Percy as a narrator but he had a certain charm to him as well. He’s really vain, self-centered and selfish, obviously because what Greek God isn’t? But throughout the story he had a lot of character development and he started to feel remorseful and started to really look at how his actions affected people. I won’t say he’s cured because his first though I’m sure will always be himself first. But the humanity he was forced into really adjusted some of his perspective even while he was scared shitless and in complete denial. He’s become a brave fledgling hero albeit reluctantly and I can’t wait to see how he continues to change. There is also another new character introduced named Meg who I really liked. She’s spunky and brave and strong. She didn’t take any of Apollo’s crap and always challenged him which was awesome. But there’s a lot more to her than first meets the eye and she feels very vulnerable and scared. I was so happy to see some of my old favorite characters come back! Percy makes a little appearance and so do Nico di Angelo and Will Solace which was EEPPPP! There are quite a few more that I fell in love with again or for the first time and it made me so happy to be back into this amazing world.
Reading this book felt exactly like coming home. This book just made me absolutely and completely happy.
The plot is entertaining. Six months after the ending of The Blood of Olympus, we meet up with the God Apollo who has been punished by Zeus and turned into a sixteen year old boy. He meets up with a rambunctious demigod and they travel to Camp Half-Blood where problems with campers and prophesies abound since his fall from grace and the battle with the giants. Like all of Rick’s book, this one is action packed and fast paced, but not as much as his previous books. It might be because Apollo isn’t as hunted as demigods and because he doesn’t really know how to defend himself very well. This book was more about learning about what’s been happening in this world since the end of the last series, about meeting the new foe and about getting to know the new and old characters again. I was expecting a lot more. More action, more crazy fights, more near death experiences even though there were a lot of those to go around. This was a fun book, a solid first book to a series. It had a nice set up and it just felt good to be back honestly. Maybe that’s the reason why I gave this book four stars, because it made me a little bit nostalgic for those Percy Jackson series. But I do think that this series will also become a contender and will become very well loved by Rick fans. I was expecting to be blown away but I still really enjoyed myself while reading.
Apollo isn’t as funny as Percy, but he’s still very entertaining. I loved his personality even though it got on my nerves pretty quickly. He’s vain and self-centered the majority of the time, but it makes sense with the kind of personality he’s had in the other books. But he’s become more conscious of his actions and he’s remorseful about them. Humanity changes him a lot and experiencing his kids on a more personal basis and seeing them in danger and falling in love with them also changes him. I loved his development and his growth throughout the book and I’m really excited to see where the series will take him.
I really loved the side characters, new and old! Meg is quite a spunky little girl. She takes no crap from anyone and she’s used to sticking up for herself and being just fierce. But she’s also really mysterious and she has a shady kind of past. I’m really worried about her and what will be in store for her. SOLANGELO IS IN THIS BOOK! This made me so completely happy and ecstatic! I literally squealed when I read their appearance in this book. I felt so robbed when they had a small canon appearance in The Blood of Olympus and I wanted so much more from them! And I got it in this book! THEY ARE THE CUTEST THINGS EVER! Percy also made an appearance however small. But I loved how adamant he was that he would not be going on any adventures anywhere with anyone. It made me laugh because I feel like that was Rick sending a message to the fans that Percy really won’t steal the show in this series. Austin and Kayla, two of Apollo’s other kids, were really sweet. I want to get to know them a lot more because in this book we didn’t get a lot from them. Harley I believe had also a little appearance in Heroes of Olympus and he’s the cutest little dude in the whole world… with a little violent streak but that’s okay. I want to see more of him! AND THEN THERE WAS THE APPEARANCE OF MY BABES FOR ALL TIME WHICH WAS ABSOLUTELY EPIC AND I WISH I COULD TALK ABOUT IT MORE BUT I CAN’T SO GO READ THIS BOOK IF YOU READ THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS!
Overall, I feel like this was a great and solid first book in a new series in this world. The plot wasn’t as exciting or adventurous as I was expecting but there was also six months of time that had to be covered over so it didn’t bother me as much. Apollo wasn’t the funniest narrator ever but he was entertaining and I loved seeing his growth. The side characters are shining in their own special ways and I honestly cannot wait to see what this series has in store now!
So that’s it for this review! Let me know if you’re also a fan of Rick Riordan because I find myself not really chatting about his books with a lot of people. Comment down below if you’ve read this book and what you thought of it or if you’re now thinking of reading it after having a look at this review. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!