Book Review: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: 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 disoriented, 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.*

"Hoodlums punch my face
I would smite them if I could
Mortality blows."

-The Hidden Oracle, pg 3

Uncle Rick . . . to use your immortal words, "Why?" (The Hidden Oracle, pg 28). I thank you, sincerely, for your books, but still, why?! I wholeheartedly believe that he enjoys torturing us. Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many books, including one of my favorite series--Percy Jackson and The Olympians. You can check out my review on Rick and his wondrous books here and here, if you wish.

The Hidden Oracle is another one of Rick's genius blends of Greek mythology and thrilling fiction. Many of Rick's novels are written through the perspective of demigods, children of one mortal parent and one godly parent. One thing I really enjoy about The Hidden Oracle, is that it is written in the voice of one of the gods (or former gods, in this case, sorry Apollo), a completely different perspective from Rick's previous stories. Rick introduces us on page one to the striking, ever-famous Apollo. In Rick's standard fashion, the first paragraph will hook you into the story and you won't want to put it down, "My name is Apollo. I used to be a god. . . But in all my immortal life, I never before crash-landed in a Dumpster," (The Hidden Oracle, pg 3). Apollo is (was?) the Greek god of archery, poetry, prophecy, music, healing, the sun, and plague (and probably a few other things even he can't keep track of). Rick phenomenally captures Apollo's humorous, egotistical personality from start to finish in The Hidden Oracle.

Throughout The Hidden Oracle, Apollo attempts to adjust to a mortal life with the help of new friends, and old acquaintances. The novel is riddled with dangerous and amusing obstacles that Apollo must overcome in order to earn back the favor of his dad, Zeus, the king of the gods. Apollo's comically self-centered personality had me giggling out loud, from his slight obsession with bacon, to his self-motivational speeches, "You are gorgeous and people love you!" (The Hidden Oracle, pg 33). While Apollo's pomposity is entertaining, we also witness a growth and change in his character as he is rocked by betrayal and chooses to battle evil side by side with other demigods (though Apollo may adamantly deny these, dare I say, humbling changes). "Things can turn out differently, Apollo. That's the nice thing about being human. We only have one life, but we can choose what kind of story it's going to be," (The Hidden Oracle, pg 348).

The Hidden Oracle is hilarious, daring, and irresistible. "I've found that thinking often interferes with doing," (The Hidden Oracle, pg 333). Don't think about reading this book, just do it.



*Synopsis provided by Goodreads.com

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