The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Series: The Trials of Apollo
Genre: MG, Fantasy, Humour
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.
Oh. My. Gods. AMAZING. Okay okay before I start the review I’m gonna give you two warnings. Warning 1 – Beware, there’ll probably be a bunch of spoilers for the Percy Jackson series, Heroes of Olympus series, and Magnus Chase. Warning 2 – This post is going to be full, I repeat FULL, of fangirling. A LOT of fangirling.
I’m going to start off with what I first noticed, right on the first page – and that’s the haikus. Yes, haikus. The story is told in the POV of the God Apollo (as you may already know) – and if you’ve read the rest of Rick Riordan’s Greek mythology books, you’ll know that Apollo has a slight obsession with writing really bad haikus. And guess what each chapter starts off with. Yup, you guessed it. Really bad haikus. AND IT IS JUST SO PERFECT ljnfskejnnsfekjnsfdjknsdfk. I told you there’d be loads of fangirling.
” You’ve got to be kid-
Well, crud, what just happened there?
I ran out of syl-“
I think that was one of my favourite bad haikus in the book. But each haiku is basically a short, humorous summary (and spoiler-free) of the upcoming chapter, which I thought was a pretty awesome and Apollo-y take on a normal, bland chapter title.
Another thing I liked was how Apollo’s character and personality is portrayed through the book. So, we all know how arrogant Apollo is, and how self-centered he is. And that was shown so well throughout the book. When the demigods are facing a true problem, Apollo gets frustrated because they aren’t focussing on HIM, and his petty little problems. I’ll admit, I found Apollo super annoying, especially seeing as the whole story is told through his eyes, but that’s good – Apollo is MEANT to be seen as annoying.
Going back on the point on the book’s POV, I really enjoyed the way the story was told through a God’s eyes. The whole Percy Jackson series was told through Percy’s eyes, and in Heroes of Olympus widened out a little and was told through the Seven and some other characters’ eyes. But we’ve never, ever had a God’s point of view. And it was really interesting. I liked how they showed how insignificant the demigods were to a God like Apollo, yet he had to rely on the demigods to fight the monsters. I liked how he realised that he should probably pay more attention to his children, and how he seemed to be thinking about getting other Gods to do that too.
I’m gonna move onto a certain ship now, before I explode from excitement and feels. This is pretty much the fangirl central of this post, it’s gonna be crammed with feels. Okay, so Solangelo. Solangelo is, apart from Percabeth, one of the most loved ships in the FanDam. And I don’t know about you, but before I started The Hidden Oracle, I read a couple of posts and book reviews on people who’d already (amazingly) finished the book, on the day it came out (one of my friends did that too, wow). And I discovered that Solangelo was canon. Yes. CANON. I couldn’t breathe, I was so excited, I was crying. Don’t judge, but Solangelo is SO PERFECT. asdfGhjlKL.
“Will put his hand on Nico’s shoulder. ‘Nico, we need to have another talk about your people skills.’
‘Hey, I’m just stating the obvious. If this IS Apollo, and he dies, we’re all in trouble.’
Will turned to me. ‘I apologize for my boyfriend.’
Nico rolled his eyes. ‘Could you not-‘
‘Would you prefer SPECIAL GUY?’ Will asked. ‘Or significant other?’
‘Significant ANNOYANCE, in your case,’ Nico grumbled.”
*jumps of cliff*. Such. Perfection.
Okay I’d better forcefully move myself away from the amazingness that is Solangelo, and onto the new character introduced – Meg McCaffrey. I’m not sure about Meg. She’s one of those characters you either hate or love, and I think I hate her. Sure, she has her good bits – she’s funny, sassy and sarcastic; she’s brave and determined – but I just found her annoying! I’m not too sure WHY I found her annoying, I just did. Every time she appeared in the book, I kinda got really frustrated and willed her to leave, go away. Yes, she’s very funny, and I guess I can bear her presence in the rest of the series, but I’m kinda hoping Rick Riordan will kill her off. *hold hands up in surrender* I’m sorry, really, but it’s true!
“‘Nuh-uh,’ She showed me her rings, ‘I always use two swords. Plus, I need a free hand for slapping when you act stupid.’
I had the uncomfortable sense she was serious.”
Wait I just remembered something. Quick mention before I continue the review but – Percy is in a SWIM TEAM!! *squeals* How awesome is that!!
Okayyy moving on, Percabeth – there was no Percabeth in the book *sobs*. Sure, there were mentions, but we didn’t ever get to see them together! I think the book was set during Magnus Chase time, as Percy mentioned that Annabeth was over in Boston, as she was during Magnus Chase. So I guess that both the plots are sort of, occuring together. Since both Magnus Chase and Trials of Apollo are ongoing at the same time, how awesome would it be if the stories merged some point further on? Think Norse mythology meeting Roman and Greek mythology – it’ll be awesome and action-packed.
I realised I haven’t yet spoken about the actual plot and storyline itself – and I’ll admit, it wasn’t the best plot Rick Riordan has ever conjured up. I think Rick Riordan is really beginning milk the cow – he’s trying to keep the Percy Jackson universe going (not that I’m complaining 🙂 ), when maybe he’s starting to run out of ideas. I love his books, and I’m not saying he should stop writing them – but maybe Uncle Rick should say goodbye to Percy Jackson and it’s characters. I noticed that in Magnus Chase as well – Magnus Chase could’ve been a really amazing individual novel on Norse Mythology, but then he had to drag the Percy Jackson references and characters in, and it just didn’t work for me. What do you think about this whole situation? And don’t punish me for being a traitorous fangirl 😂! I love Percy Jackson, really!
All in all, I really liked The Hidden Oracle. I’ll read the rest of the series, but only because I want to see if the the characters and how they’re getting on – not because of the plot. I’m sorry to say that, because Rick Riordan is really amazing, but it’s true.
I’d recommend the book to anyone who loves reading MGs, YAs, fantasies, and anybody interested in reading about Greek Mythology. I’m gonna rate the book 4/5 – but like I said before, the majority of the rating is probably based on my biased and overexcited fangirl’s mind.