Review

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan - Partly Spoiler Review | Gimme all the gods and monsters

May 11, 2016

Title: The Hidden Oracle
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: TheTrials of Apollo #1
Genre: Middle Grade Mythology
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Format Read: E-Book
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★...★★★★★
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.
This book was everything I expected and so much more. I was a bit nervous about not having a teen or tween as a protagonist but this was hilariously, amazingly great. 

Plot:
So... Apollo is a teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. Woah. I did not see that coming. Apollo was always one of my favourite characters in the previous series and him being a mortal was weirdly funny. But this book isn't just about the drastic change in his immorality status, it's also about the different oracles of the Greek mythology world (as the name implies.) The plot was great, as incredible as you would expect Uncle Rick's plots to be. It was full of new information, twists and turns. I also loved how all the characters of HoO were integrated into this somehow. By the end, you basically know what happens to all of them.

I liked how the new Oracles were introduced and how Apollo's history and love life were integrated into the story. The new and peculiar monsters we met in this book were great (of course, not the parts where they were dangerous carnivores, but hey, it's Greek mythology!) The godly drama in this book, of course, was plentiful and never failed to crack me up. Honestly, I would have finished this book sooner if I hadn't spent half the time laughing my heart out. 
"Lester Papadopoulos. The cruelty of Zeus knew no bounds!"
Characters:
Apollo's perspective was great to witness. His thoughts were very godlike. He thought himself superior but managed not to come off as a selfish brat. He was constantly making humorous comments and doing the weirdest things. He had an adult point of view which somehow often came off as childish. Everything about him was entertaining, and that is very important when it comes to protagonists. I very much enjoyed reading from Apollo's viewpoint. 

"He hurtled through the air, screaming his war cry (you guessed it), “Peaches!”"

Meg Mcraffey... I don't know what to think of her. I mean, I didn't like her from the beginning and I definitely did NOT agree with a lot of decisions she made in this book. I didn't like her "don't care about anything" and "I'm the boss of you" attitude. It was quite frustrating. 

"Her eyes glinted darkly like a crow’s. (I can make that comparison because I invented crows.)"
""blank" cupped her hand under Meg’s chin. Thankfully, Meg did not bite her."
There aren't really a lot more new characters in this book. It's basically just people from the PJO and HoO series. I don't want to spoil those so I am going to leave the characters at that.

Writing:
Uncle Rick's writing style is FLAWLESS as ever, and I am sure I will always say that in these reviews. I was never bored and always laughing. He has his own unique style of writing that I don't think anyone in the world could ever match. He has this way of writing the most ridiculous things and they somehow seem to make sense. 

"I wanted to get back to talking about my problems. I was impatient with "blank" for turning the conversation to himself. Sadly, I have found this sort of self-centeredness common among demigods."
Of course, I flew through this because because hello? It's Rick Riordan!

Overall, this was an extremely enjoyable book. Another great masterpiece from Uncle Rick. I would definitely say it's up there with Magnus Chase and Mark of Athena (my favourites.) Amazing plot, hilarious characters, incredible writing.

**ATTENTION NON-SPOILERY PEOPLE. THE NON-SPOILER SECTION ENDS HERE. PLEASE LEAVE IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN INNOCENTLY UNSPOILED**



LET'S TALK SPOILERS.

To be honest, this section will mostly be me gushing about the PJO and HoO characters.
"“Sacred Sibyl!” I cried. “Madam, there is something wrong with your midsection!” The woman stopped, mystified, and looked down at her hugely swollen belly. “Well, I’m seven months pregnant.”"
OH. MY. GOODNESS. SALLY JACKSON IS PREGNANT. PERCY IS GETTING A SIBLING. OHMYGOODNESS OHMYGOODNESS OHMYGODNESS. There's going to be a Mini Percy/Percette running around in 2 months! 7 months pregnant! I don't think anyone saw this coming. Maybe we'll get a separate series about that Jackson sibling? Who knows?

"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. “Oh, I’ll get you for that.”"

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! SOLANGELO IS LIFE! <3. This was literally my favourite part of the book. Nico and Will are unbelievably incompatible yet so perfect for each other at the same time. I am so happy that Nico found someone and I am so happy that someone was Will. Everything is so great. Their constant banter is hilarious beyond description.
"“Annabeth.” I tried to place the name. “She’s the blond scary one?” “That’s her. I promised her specifically that I wouldn’t get myself killed while she’s gone.” “Gone?” Percy waved vaguely toward the north. “She’s in Boston for a few weeks. Some family emergency. The point is—” "
 Yay Annabeth! I am so happy he mentioned Annabeth. "Some family emergency?" MAGNUS MAGNUS MAGNUS CHASE! The blond scary one is off to help the weird nordic cousin.... how perfect is this family dynamic?
"“Ladies and gentlemen,” I said, my voice as bitter as Chiron’s tea, “please give it up for Meg McCaffrey, daughter of Demeter.”"
Okay, I gotta admit, I think we all pretty much saw this coming. I mean, peaches? Fruit explosions? It had to be Demeter. However, I did not see the whole "Nero aka the beast aka Meg's DAD" part. That was surprising - and heart-breaking. I was just starting to trust her and then bam! She goes to papa. SO dumb, stupid, idiotic, imbecilic... I hate her for that. How can she not see it? I understand she is a small girl, and that she was raised that way but still...

The Three-Legged Death Race was one of my favourites. I was against the idea at first, but once they got into it, it was partly comical and partly dangerous - both being qualities I enjoy very much. The Beast-Python scene was... interesting. I should have figured out the Meg thing then.

I don't understand how the "command" thing works. As far as I know, Zeus didn't actually send Apollo to serve some demigod, so how do Meg's commands actually affect Apollo? Does she have some superpower or something?

"Then, from somewhere above us, a voice yelled, “Hey, Bronze Butt!” Over the Colossus’s head, a cloud of darkness formed like a cartoon dialogue bubble. Out of the shadows dropped a furry black monster dog—a hellhound—and astride his back was a young man with a glowing bronze sword. The weekend was here. Percy Jackson had arrived."
The part where Percy lands on the statue on Mrs O'Leary and she tinkles on his head and then Percy almost slips on the Hellhound pee is hilarious! I was laughing for 15 minutes straight! Also, the all-powerful living statue sneezed his head off! That was awesomely, comically badass. 

"THE DEMIGODS HAD TO TAKE NUMBERS. Nico commandeered a dispenser from the snack bar and carried it around, yelling, “The line starts to the left! Orderly queue, guys!” “Is this really necessary?” Leo asked. “Yes,” said Miranda Gardiner, who had drawn the first number. She punched Leo in the arm. “Ow,” said Leo."

LEO VALDEZ IS BACK! YAY! I can't decide between this and Solangelo for my top moments. I adored how all the campers stood in line to punch Leo for not telling them where he was. That scene was... XD (that is a very accurate portrayal of my riordan-laughing face.)  He came back with Calypso, of course. I don't know whether I ship Leoypso, because honestly, us demigods deserve to have him, right? Nah, i'm just kidding. (Or am I?) 

I really wish we got to see Hazel, Frank, Coach Hedge and his family. Also, where is Mr D? What's up with his mysterious disappearance? 

Anyway, I loved this book (if you couldn't already tell.) What did you think? And what are your theories and questions?
-Rekha

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4 comments

  1. I really really REALLY want more cameos of the old cast in the next book! I definitely think Leo will continue to grow, since he's now facing the guilt of bringing Calypso back and her losing her powers. But I'm also hoping Jason and Piper will be reunited with him (and get their turns in punching him, hehehehe) and help pull him out of it.
    Amazing review, Rekha! :D

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    1. I know right! I really want to see everyone from PJO and HoO in detail! Leo's character arc is going to be interesting to witness, and I am so excited! About Jason and Piper.... meh. I kind of wanted to pound their heads in for being so annoying in HoO but perhaps they've changed after everything that happened. I definitely want to see Piper punching Leo though! Thank you so much :)

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  2. OKAY so my favorite part as to be Leo's appearance. It sort of reconciles me to the disappointment that was Blood of Olympus. Great review! XD
    Thanks for stopping by @thelifeofamirkwoodelf

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    1. YES LEO VALDEZ IS GOOOOOAAALLLLLSSS! I was quite disappointed with Blood of Olympus as well. I needed more Percy and Percy POV, and also I needed to see Leo reunite with the rest of the crew. I am so glad he's still alive and radiating awesomeness. You're welcome, and thanks for stopping by here! :D

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