Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: middle grade, urban fantasy, mythology, adventure, young adult
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 disorientated, 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 favour.
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.
R E V I E W
I was sent the third book in The Trials of Apollo so I figured I should re-read all the books in preparation. I also noticed I didn’t have reviews for any of the books of my blog and I typically like to have reviews of all the books in the series, not just post the final one, on my blog.
The Hidden Oracle is the first book of five in the series and typically follows the same format as the rest of Rick Riordan’s books. It’s not a standout in any way and at times it does get tedious to read, especially the second book which I’ll talk about when I review it. If you haven’t read a Rick Riordan book then let me break it down for you: MC has a terrible change in their life, meet a group of people who they become fast friends with, find other people like them and ask them for help, a big bad prophecy (typically in the Greek and Roman series), characters go on quest, problems arise and overall everything ends up okay until the next book. It’s the same formula here except we have the obnoxious and self-obsessed god Apollo.
Apollo isn’t the best-behaved god, he also doesn’t typically do the right thing. But, what god does? Zeus has had enough of Apollo after the last battle was caused by one of his children and banishes Apollo to Earth to be a mortal. Now, don’t freak out this has happened to Apollo twice already. He gets that he’s meant to be some demigods help for around a year and then he’ll be back in Olympus. Except, this time is different. There is a problem arising and it seems Apollo may be the only one who can save everyone. With the help of a homeless demigod girl named Meg Apollo must make sure his oracles are protected.
When I read this book in 2016 I couldn’t describe the plot at all, I am very impressed that I was able to do so this time and not spoil anything. Yes, this is irrelevant but let me have my victories.
I’ll jump into what I did and didn’t like about The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan so I can babble about some different things now.
L I K E S
✗ APOLLO ISNT LIKEABLE
Straight up. If you’ve read the Percy Jackson series you have probably encountered Apollo in his godly form a few times. If you haven’t read the Percy Jackson series, Apollo is basically Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter. The man has never done anything for anyone and is typically more happy romanticizing men and women than doing his godly duties. He is more than willing to take credit for everyone else’s work as well. Even stating in The Hidden Oracle that he is the one who taught Percy Jackson everything he knows.
Throughout the book, Apollo realizes that he has grown to care about his children at Camp Half-Blood and the very annoying daughter of Demeter, Meg. However, he still isn’t likeable by the end of the book. If you’re looking for a sarcastic, annoying and sarcastic main character this may just be the book for you.
I should also note that you don’t have to have read Rick Riordan’s previous works to read this series. I would recommend reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus but honestly, that’s ten books all up. So, if this book interests you just pick it up. Be aware there may be some characters you don’t know, with references and spoilers from the other series.
✗ CLASSIC HUMOUR
If you’ve read a Rick Riordan book you know the humour that is present. It’s typically sarcastic. The Hidden Oracle is no different. In this case, Apollo loves using pop culture references and showing how superior he is. Though many times I was slamming my head while cringing. It’s important to remember that for these books, I am not the target audience. I can’t be expecting to get every piece of humour or find it amusing, after all, I am 20 years old and these are middle-grade series. I just love learning from them.
✗ TWISTS AND TURNS
I won’t say much here, but the book too numerous turns and twists I wasn’t expecting. I’ve read this book before so I knew some things were going to happen but at the same time, I was shocked by what did. I did read this book in 2016 after all and have managed to read 200 books each year since. The turns in this book are delightful and have the ability to keep you on your toes. Some things are obvious but it is a book targeted at young adults, not an adult.
✗ PERCY JACKSON IS ALWAYS A WIN
Look, I first read Percy Jackson when I was fourteen and I fell in love with Percy. He was one of my first book boyfriends ever, not to mention Annabeth Chase is an icon. Anyway, any book that features Percy is a win for me because it takes me back to when I was younger and didn’t have to stress about a group project I should be working on instead of writing this review (help me).
D I S L I K E S
✗ SEEMED UNNECESSARY LONG AT SOME POINTS
This is a decently long book, around 400 pages. For what this story was, setting up for the other books, it was long. I felt some of which could have been cut out because there were points I was dreading picking this up. It is an enjoyable book, something that is clear by the fact I gave it four stars, but Apollo isn’t an easy character to binge read about, honestly.
Overall, if you’ve liked Rick Riordan’s other books I’m sure you’ll like this new journey of Apollo, including characters that you’ve loved in the past. I’m sure that one of the five books will have an old character you loved included since Riordan does seem to love doing that.
As a quick bit, I wish this series was only three books and the Magnus Chase series had been extended to five.
Happy reading everyone!
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