Review: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan10:00
Series: The Trials of Apollo #1
Author: Rick Riordan
Published May 3rd 2016 by Puffin
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.
Right, so I've just finished my final exams, and will be graduating uni in a few weeks. My degree is combined history and ancient history, and since I was young, tales about mythology have intrigued me, either reading the originals, or adaptations/retellings. Rick Riordan quickly became one of my favourite authors about five years ago, when I discovered the Percy Jackson series, and since then I've loved anything by him.
When I first heard that Riordan would be returning to the world of Percy Jackson, after the end of the Heroes of Olympus series, I immediately added it to my wishlist. Taking place about six months after the end of Blood of Olympus, the god Apollo has angered his father and is punished by being turned mortal, landing, quite literally, in a dumpster in New York. He realises he needs help to get to Camp Half Blood, so tries to find Percy, with the help of his new friend, Meg. Once he manages to get to the camp, he finds out that life isn't going to be quite as easy as expected, as the Oracle of Delphi, and for that matter, all the Oracles, has grown silent, and campers are going missing on a weekly basis. Sinister forces appear to be at work, and with the gods no longer communicating with their children, it's up to Apollo to save the day.
I loved the way Apollo was portrayed. Yes, he was a bit similar to Percy, but also had his own distinctive voice. He could be whiny at times, but that's down to his being a god for thousands of years, and having a sense of entitlement that he's been used to. He didn't really click with the campers at first, especially with his children, cause that was a bit awkward, but over the course of the book, his character really grew and developed, and I can't wait to see more of that in the future instalments.
If you've read Riordan's other new series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, this book takes place at roughly the same time, so I can see some overlap coming in the future. With Percy having a cameo part in this book, and Annabeth in The Sword of Summer, I happy we can see how they develop further, without them being the main characters of the story. The secondary characters, some of whom we've met before, added to the plot, and I, like many others, was overjoyed to see the Solangelo ship sailing! Meg, though younger than most of the others, was like a breath of fresh air. She didn't take any stick from Apollo, and her own back story and development was as good as Apollo's. Their friendship was a bit reminiscent of Percy and Annabeth in the start, but I don't think I can see them developing into a relationship, because of the age thing - though you never know.
For me, my favourite era of Ancient History is Roman - the Late Republic and early Empire - so the development of the Triumvirate storyline intrigues me. Really, I'm just excited for the next book, even though that's going to be months away. If you've enjoyed Riordan's other books, this is one for you to pick up!