Thursday, May 19, 2016

Staff Review: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, book 1) by Rick Riordan

Are you a Rick Riordan fan?  Do you impatiently wait for him to publish his next book?  I am, and I do!  I LOVED the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus series.  Riordan does an amazing job of bringing the Greek (and Roman) gods to life, giving them personality and making them relevant in the modern world.  These books are informative and incredibly fun.  I had a hold on The Hidden Oracle, I think I was number 3 on the list.  The book came out, I decided I couldn’t wait and I bought it.  I’ve read it twice already, and then I went back and re-read the two previous series about the Greek gods.  Yes, I’m obsessive.  Anyway, on to The Hidden Oracle.  Please be warned that this post will contain spoilers from previous books. 

At the end of The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus, book 5), Zeus expressed his displeasure with Apollo by sending him…somewhere.  Apollo just disappeared and nobody knew what happened to him.  To be fair, he is immortal so I’m pretty sure Percy and crew didn’t really give him a second thought.  Well, 6 months after the events of The Blood of Olympus, Apollo has fallen to Earth.  He is mortal, a 16- year-old boy, he no longer has 8-pack abs and he has ACNE!  The horror!  Oh, and in his pocket is a wallet that says his name is Lester.  When it comes to punishing Apollo, this time Zeus isn’t messing around. 

Apollo appears in a back alley somewhere in New York City.  He is promptly attacked by some hooligans and is saved by a young girl named Meg. She appears to be about 12.  Apollo decides that he is in her debt and must do her bidding since she saved his life.  He also realizes he needs help and the best place to get said help is Camp Half-Blood.  He makes his way to Percy’s apartment and from there to Camp Half-Blood.  When he arrives at camp, all is not well. All of the oracles have gone silent.  There hasn’t been a prophecy since the battle with Gaea.  The oracles are Apollo’s thing so he now knows it is up to him to figure out what is going on.  To make matters worse, half-bloods are disappearing from camp.

Apollo isn’t really a likeable guy.  He is full of himself, spouts haikus all the time and truly believes the world should revolve around him.  But, he isn’t quite as cold and heartless as many of the Greek gods and as the book progresses he makes great strides towards becoming more “human”.  Two of the campers who disappear are children of Apollo and he is truly concerned about their well-being.  He genuinely likes them and they in turn treat him kindly even though he is no longer an immortal god.  He also expresses great concern for Meg and takes his self-induced servitude towards her very seriously.  I can’t wait to see how this series progresses.  There is, of course, the mystery of what happened to the oracles and the big bad is revealed. 

Rick Riordan tweeted that we will catch up with all the main characters from the previous Greek books.  What role will they play in the story?  Well, you will just have to read the book to find out. 

A few notes: 
  • Early on Percy mentions that Annabeth is in Boston dealing with some family issues – have you read The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard, book 1)?  Those family issues are kind of a big deal. 
  • Did everything that happened to Nico in all the previous books just break your heart?  Well, this book made my heart swell to 3 times its size, just like the Grinch.  Nico is happy y’all…and it is about dang time! 
  •  A co-worker of mine is listening to The Hidden Oracle on audio. She highly recommends it because the reader (Robbie Daymond) does an excellent job of portraying Apollo's lack of understanding of the mortal world and his ever growing humanity.  
I'm giving this on 4.5 out of 5 stars.  I'm deducting half a star due to not loving Apollo as a lead character, yet.   

~Amy, Adult Services

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