Book: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo 1) by Rick Riordan
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Rating: 4,5 out of 5 stars
Possible spoilers for The Heroes of Olympus
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.
When I first heard about this new series I wasn´t quite so sure if I wanted to invest in yet another Rick Riordan series. I wasn’t that interested in Apollo. But as time passed and it became clear that this book was to be a sort of continuation of The Heroes of Olympus my interest was instantly there a lot more. Because that meant seeing some of my favorite characters again. And that is always a great sell, right?
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of Apollo or the plot line beyond Apollo becoming human and being dropped somewhere. The story starts about six months after the events of The Heroes of Olympus when Apollo is dropped in some garbage and he meets Meg. Initially it is all about Apollo but as he comes to camp Half-Blood a bigger plot becomes apparent quite quickly. And it is tied into the events in Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus. I was expecting there to be a tie in to The Heroes of Olympus but not so much to Percy Jackson. It is interesting to realize that little tidbit never did get solved. However at Camp Half-Blood they still do a dangerous game despite the already danger surrounding them, and I didn’t quite get why Chiron would go through with that game. I remember Chiron as being someone who is quite cautious with his campers. For as far as is possible with demigods anyway. It is small things like this that stop me from rating this 5 stars.
Apollo was never my favorite god in any story. I find some others more interesting. So I wasn’t quite expecting to like him quite so much. For one, he is funny. I laughed out loud a few times. Initially because he is so self-absorbed it is hard to take him serious at times. But over time his thoughts become less self-absorbed, deeper and he starts to care for those around him. Especially his reaction to his children in Camp Half-Blood was interesting and somewhat endearing. Apparently, becoming human can change you. However he has been human twice before so I do wonder what is so different for him this time. Wouldn’t he have experienced the same change then? Or is this just something he doesn’t remember?
I’m still undecided on whether or not I like Meg, and it doesn’t even have so much to do with the ending. I just don’t have a handle on her as a person besides being direct and somewhat brash. But we also get to see Percy who is older and being responsible, though somewhat at the threat of Annabeth. And then there is my favorite, Nico who is precious with his boyfriend. I’m hoping we get some Annabeth in the future books. Rachel was also interesting to see again now that she can’t tap into her powers. Her relationship with Apollo is kind of cute to see. His sweet talking isn’t working in his favor now.
So I think it is a great start to a new series. It is however necessary I believe to have read Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus. While things are explained, it just makes it easier to catch on to things and the experience of seeing all the older characters again.