Book Review: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

I just finished reading The Hidden Oracle yesterday and thought I should type down my thoughts, get it off my chest before I start another book. And viola! My second book review on this site was born.

!! minor to major spoilers. read at your own risk !!


The_Hidden_Oracle

The Hidden Oracle
(The Trials of Apollo #1)
by Rick Riordan

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: 3 May 2016
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 376

My Rating: 3.5 / 5

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo

Summary:
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.

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my-thoughts-1

As much as I love Rick Riordan’s books, I have to admit — they’re really formulaic.

  1. The antagonist is a manipulative bastard.
  2. The antagonist has planted an inside man in whatever sanctuary the good guys are residing in (aka Expect some betrayal).
  3. The antagonist loves making world domination plans.
  4. The main protagonist is an awkward, clumsy teenager with zero to little battle capability (aka Easy character development).

However, this formula seems to have a 100% success rate cause nonetheless, I enjoyed The Hidden Oracle, just like every Rick Riordan book.

My name is Apollo. I used to be a god.

This time, the book no longer focused on the demigods, and has decided to shine its spotlight on a god instead, one who has turned 100% mortal, or more specifically, Apollo in the body of Lester Papadopoulos. So yeah, we get to see Apollo with acne and flab. It was really fun reading from Apollo’s perspective, reading about him lamenting about his mortal form and being baffled at the ways humans live their lives (though albeit annoying). I’m not too happy about his ‘character development’, which just comes in the form of him experiencing human emotions such as guilt and regret. We still have him lamenting about his outer appearance, but he probably retained that aspect of his personality due to this human quality called vanity.

But in all my immortal life, I never before crash-landed in a Dumpster.

The Hidden Oracle is set six months after Blood of Olympus. The demigods that we have grown to love so much have gone on separate paths. We get a new bunch of demigods acting as support characters, with a few familiar faces. Just that this time, there’s more diversity. Which also includes a talking arrow, because a talking sword wasn’t enough.

Is anything sadder than the sound of a god hitting a pile of garbage bags?

I was pretty excited to see some Solangelo moments. After all those Solangelo tumblr posts, how could I not? But after reading The Hidden Oracle, I realised that their relationship was a bit bland. Sure it was entertaining reading them banter with each other but that’s it. They hold hands, they argue, they’re cute. There’s really not much depth to their relationship. No history and barely any chemistry other than “they’re cute together”.

My mind stewed in confusion, but one memory floated to the surface—the voice of
my father, Zeus: YOUR FAULT, YOUR PUNISHMENT.

I don’t really have much to say about the plot other than “it’s okay”. It wasn’t the best but I guess it was entertaining enough to keep me reading till the end. I felt that the boss battle was really anti-climactic… not that there was much climax to begin with.


Well, there’s that for my The Hidden Oracle review.

Have you read it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!

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