Title: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Mythology
Author: Rick Riordan
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Goodreads rating: 4.35 (as of writing)
Note: I am totally biased when it comes to this series because it holds a special place in my heart XD
Taken from Goodreads:
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.
I don’t really like it when authors suddenly add more books to their series when it has supposedly ended. I’ve even dropped a couple of series over the years when I felt like the authors are becoming a sellout. That is– when I read the extended books and find them unworthy of the series.
It’s always so disappointing when that happens.
But! As someone who grew up into adulthood with this series, I was more pleased than not when I found out that there would be a new series set in the world of camp half-blood. Sure, I was a bit skeptical at first. What if I was let down? What if I ended up hating this world I grew up with?
However, my dissatisfaction with the ending of Blood of Olympus finally gave me the courage to read this book.
And I wanted to kick myself for not reading it sooner.
The plot isn’t really original: a protagonist going on a quest to reach a goal. But it’s mostly like that for most fantasy books anyway so I didn’t really mind. Besides, what kept me rooted to this series isn’t the plot, it’s the characters.
There’s so many things I love about this book but I guess I would have to acknowledge the fact that it’s because I was a very big fan of the series, I have read all the previous books and I have become attached to the characters enough for me to want to read about them some more.
I don’t think you have to read the main series in order to understand this book but it does make a dozen references or so about the events in the main series. So in order to get maximum enjoyment from this book, I would recommend to read the previous series first: Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus.
Apollo’s voice is a breathe of fresh air as far as narration goes. Being an awesome (or so he believes) god, he was selfish, narcissistic, naive, overly confident and a bit irresponsible. He was always so sure of himself and most of the characters are clearly irritated with him, yet he believes that everyone adores him. I would probably be annoyed with him too, if his thoughts weren’t so hilarious.
It always disappointed me when mortals put themselves first and failed to see the big picture—the importance of putting me first
Aside from Apollo, I also very much enjoyed the amount of pop culture references in this book. Sometimes I felt like the author is laying them on thick but I still found them funny anyway.
It warmed my heart that my children had the right priorities: their skills, their images, their views on YouTube.
And the fact that Percy, my used-to-be-crush-now-turned-bby-because-I-am-now-too-old-for-him-cries, has a cameo in this book. I was so happy, elated, delighted, over-the-moon when I found out.
Okay, I might have been exaggerating but I can’t help it! I’ve been following Percy’s adventure since he was only 12 and I was 14 (
I’m definitely way older now T_T), and reading about him again, preparing for college, just made me proud.
I’ve been guaranteed admission with a full scholarship to New Rome University, but they’re still requiring me to pass all my high school courses and score well on the SAT. Can you believe that? Not to mention I have to pass the DSTOMP.
D’awww I’m so proud ❤
And how could I forget about one of the few same-sex OTPs I have? Will Solace and Nico Di Angelo together just satisfied me so much. I would’ve preferred if they’re still in the courting stage though but I shipped them the moment the author put them together in Blood of Olympus. I can only hope that the author would give us some flashbacks on HOW exactly they got together (and I hope Nico gave Will a hard time).
Oh yeah, this book is so unabashedly pro-LGBT (to the point of being PSA-y) so if you’re not into that then this book isn’t for you.
Perhaps some of you are wondering how I felt seeing him with a boyfriend rather than a girlfriend. If that’s the case, please. We gods are not hung up about such things.
I definitely loved this book, corny jokes and all. Even the minor characters found their way into my heart with all their quirkiness.
And the way Apollo was developed throughout the book, I just loved it. Finding out that his bravado and narcissistic tendencies was just a front in order to hide his deepest regrets in his overly long life just made me want to hug him.
The villain, who I will not name because spoilers, was sort of lame though. But it has already been established that there are more villains coming out in the later books so I’m not complaining about that.
Plus the ending of this book was A+. Just when I thought that it was over and we are finally going to the resolution, boom! It wasn’t over. That’s just climax part 1 XD
Apollo’s narration as a God-turned-mortal is very entertaining and his character development wasn’t so bad either.
As always, the author’s writing style impresses me. It’s just so witty and I love witty books. The pacing in the book is also nice though there was a bit of a lull in the beginning. But it wasn’t enough for me to get bored anyhow.
If there’s anything I disliked about this book at all, is that sometimes I feel like the author is laying stuff really thick. The LGBT support, the pop culture reference and diverseness of the minor characters. I mean, I am happy he is doing that but can he do it without it feeling like an advertisement or like it’s trying too hard? Welp, that’s just my opinion though.
I still loved this book either way.
APOLLO’S DAILY MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH
“You are gorgeous and people love you!
My rating: + ❤
Recommended to: People who likes (greek/roman) mythology based stories, doesn’t mind cliche plot and doesn’t mind LGBT references
Favorite character: Percy ❤
Favorite quote: “Not all monsters were three-ton reptiles with poisonous breath. Many wore human faces.”