Reviewed Book: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Book Description: 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.
General Review (NO SPOILERS): 4/5 stars
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this book. The target audience are children, so I was a little nervous about the book. After the disappointment of Magnus Chase’s novel I had reason to be. But, this book was funny, entertaining, and an enjoyment to read. If you liked Rick Riordan’s previous novels, you’ll like this one.
Detailed Review (CONTAINS SPOILERS): Apollo is a surprisingly funny narrator! Reading about him from Percy’s view made him seem annoying, yet it was almost charming here. The struggle of him handling his new mortality combined with his confident personality made for a lot of laughs. It was very interesting to watch Apollo interact with all sorts of people. Percy was clearly over Apollo from the second he showed at Percy’s apartment, but he helped out (because Percy is actually the best). He treated Chiron like he would if he was still immortal, which was infinitely amusing. And, of course, he took Meg under his wing.
Meg is probably the most interesting character in the book. So full of secrets, she’s an obscure child from the start. She can summon a peach baby, she can defeat a group of thugs, she can move banana peels with her mind. We later learn that she’s a child of Demeter. After we learn to love her, along with all of her sarcastic remarks and raspberries, we find out she was working with the other side the whole time. While we knew that there was a spy, no one could have ever guessed it was little Meg! If you were able to guess that, shoutout to you. The scene where Apollo tried to convince her to join his side was heart-wrenching, as she was so adamant about siding with her stepfather. Towards the end, it seemed that she was going to switch sides. I mean, she basically set Apollo free to kill her stepfather. It was… interesting. I’m really excited to see where this goes in book two.
Watching Apollo interact with his children was less cringe worthy than I had imagined it. Everyone was pretty chill with each other. It was really nice to see Apollo start caring about his kids individually; It was even nicer to see Apollo realize that he needed to give them more love and attention. They way he saw the good in them, recognized their talent, was great. Talk about character development. Speaking of Apollo’s children, Will Solace is actually the most unproblematic character ever. He is literally sunshine (ha, get it?) and a cinnamon roll too precious for this world. The best part was the interactions with Nico di Angelo, everyone’s favorite Ghost King. They are the best boyfriends ever, and it was so cute to read about them. Right off the bat, Apollo says that he’s totally okay that Will is dating a dude, and confesses to having falling in love with many before! Will and Nico pretty much run the infirmary it seems, with Nico as Will’s right hand man. They go everywhere together, despite the rules, as is joked about in the book. It was nice to see that some people got happy endings after Gaea was defeated.
Those two weren’t the only ones with a happy ending though. Percy seemed to be doing pretty well, as he and Annabeth are planning on going to college together soon. Jason and Piper are out in L.A. with Piper’s dad, presumably happy. Frank and Hazel are at Camp Jupiter, no doubt effectively running the Camp alongside Reyna. As for Leo Valdez, he’s better than ever! He’s been traveling the world with his, now mortal, girlfriend Calypso. When the pair arrived at Camp Half-Blood, I almost cried. When I realized that book two was going to be filled with Leo Valdez, I did. Leo, Calypso, and Apollo all have completely different personalities, and I can’t wait to see them clash.
The final battle scene was a little underwhelming to be honest. Maybe I’m just used to being spoiled with the marvelous Percy Jackson fight scenes. We kind of got an epic Percy scene? It was Percy doing incredible things to distract the monster, while Apollo shot an arrow. I understand that it was a pivotal moment for Apollo, but it was kind of dull. There was so much excitement going on in that scene, and Apollo’s thoughts felt out of place.
The Nero thing felt kind of weird? I assumed this book was going to be all about Greek mythology, but here we are. After it was explained, I started to dig it, as I did with the all the other Roman mythology Rick has thrown at us. I think that as the story develops it will start to make sense. I don’t know much about Roman mythology so I was very confused during some parts of the book.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it to fans of Greek or Roman mythology. Tell me what you think! 🙂