(1/2 Spoiler Free & 1/2 Spoilers)
TTILE: The Hidden Oracle
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
SERIES: The Trials of Apollo (#1)
PUBLICATION DATE: May 3rd 2016
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House
GENRE: Middle Grade, Adventure, Mythology, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy.
FORMAT: Paperback PAGE COUNT: 359
COVER– This is the UK cover and I love it. In real life its huge and shiny, so the sort of yellow part you see around the boy looks really cool, and I feel like it fits the story so well, of how not Apollo the four thousand year old god now is.
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 favor. 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.
This was my second time reading this and I had so much fun! I read this first time around less than a year ago, about a week after it had been published, because shipping is annoying and didn’t come sooner even though I pre-ordered! Originally I felt like something was missing from this, so I gave it 4.5, now however I have no idea what past me was thinking. I had such a good time re reading this! I loved being back in this world.
One of the main reasons I picked this back up was because of Nico and Will, I just needed more of their cute moments, and trust me they have plenty within this book, so my first day reading this I was striving towards the part where they show up, meaning I got quite a lot read.
Apollo is a great narrator and reading this from his point of view with his thoughts and opinions gives it such a different feel to the story, as compared to Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase who do have rather similar voices.
This book is also amazingly diverse. So many different characters with different sexual orientations, a few campers from different countries, and a bunch of characters of colour. It amazing to see such representation in a book advertised to children who are going to read this and love it all the same.
With every page I became that much more excited for book 2, The Dark Prophecy which I for some reason thought was coming out next month in April, and I was greatly disappointed when I learnt it wasn’t coming out till May, thankfully its right at the beginning of May so I only have a few weeks left.
Like I said above, past me from little under a year ago felt like something was missing from this book. I honestly have no idea what I was going on about. I feel this time around having known what happens and knowing when the other characters from the other series were going to show up, I could sit back and pay closer attention to the new characters we were introduced to, as well as the new life threatening problem, instead of being focused on seeing their cameos.
At the start of this book, already getting off to a great start, we get to see Sally Jackson, and she’s PREGNANT! Oh my god, I’m so excited to see this, Percy is going to have a baby sister! Sally Jackson is a bloody queen, and I’m really happy! Carrying on with the topic of the Jackson family, Percy is hilarious, he’s not even surprised by Apollo turning up on his doorstep and he makes a joke out of it by giving him the Led Zeppelin t-shirt. And then when he shows up again at the end of the book, its a case of “seriously, I leave you alone for a week and now there’s a giant naked robot trying to destroy camp, Apollo was this you?”. Seeing Percy in this, has me even more excited for his appearance in the final Magnus Chase book coming out this autumn.
My first time reading this I didn’t much appreciate how this whole entire book was set in camp half blood, this time however I loved it. I loved being back in this place, so familiar from the other times I’ve read about it, and yet so different, it was a totally different time, with new campers and no Mr D, which is something I’m very curious to figure out where abouts he is. As much as I did like all the new campers I still would have loved to see a couple more regulars, but I think it’s gonna make it even better when they pop up in the future books, and if Grover doesn’t appear I would not want to be Rick Riordan when the fangirls unleash their wrath upon him.
Seeing Apollo interact was cute and awkward considering how he now looks to be the same age as them, and I just imagine one of the kids other parents showing up while he’s there and being like: “oh is this your friend, or a new sibling?”, while Apollo’s standing there staring, and Will or whoever awakwardly says, “actually this is my dad, he’s Apollo, its a long story”. I now want this in the next book! Another great thing is how Apollo referred to the Apollo cabin as the Me Cabin, I found this to be hilarious.
I think Rick deserves a round of applause for intertwining all the stuff that went down with the Titans and the Giants and it ending up here, with how this company run by evil ex roman emperors has been funding the wars for the opposing side, the ones who want to rule the world.
And finally Leo is back! I found it adorable how Nico kept the scroll he sent with him at what I’m assuming was all time since he just happened to have it in his pocket, even though he said he used it when he wanted to get mad. And then of course in the prophecy it mentions giant bronze fire eater, obviously meaning Festus, the golden dragon, and then a few chapters later, the camp is queuing up to punch him for being gone so long. Harley, Leo’s younger half brother, is so cute in this book, and how he’s so set on finding his big brother. Its mentioned how in the last six months Leo and Calypso have come across a lot of trouble, and they were in the sea of monsters when Festus the signal from the beacon, and I see no reason why we cant make that another book, maybe a duology, set in bother first person POV from Leo and Calypso, maybe then we can figure out what the situation with Albania is all about?
I’m so incredibly excited for book number two, The Dark Prophecy, coming out in May, I already feel for Calypso being stuck travelling with both Apollo and Leo, I think I would go insane, but I feel the two of them being together is going to make for a hilarious book and I don’t know if I can manage waiting another month!
“Nothing is more tragic than loving someone to the depths of your soul and knowing they cannot and will not ever love you back.”
“Yep, that pretty much describes my life: because Poseidon.”
“Will put his hand on Nico’s shoulder. “Nico, we need o have another talk about your people skills.”
“Hey, I’m just stating the obvious. If this is Apollo, and he dies, we’re all in trouble.”
Will turned to me. “I apologize for my boyfriend.”
Nico rolled his eyes. “Could you not―”
“Would you prefer special guy?” Will asked. “Or significant other?”
“Significant annoyance, in your case,” Nico grumbled”
“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.”
“Not all monsters were three-ton reptiles with poisonous breath. Many wore human faces.”
“At this point, you may be wondering how I felt seeing my son with Nico di Angelo. I’ll admit I did not understand Will’s attraction to a child of Hades, but if the dark foreboding type was what made Will happy…
Oh perhaps some of you are wondering how I felt seeing him with a boyfriend rather than a girlfriend. If that’s the case, please. We gods are not hung up about such things.”
“Will Solace sighed. He was, of course, tied to Nico. He propped his elbow on Nico’s shoulder as if the son of Hades were a convenient shelf.”
“It warmed my heart that my children had the right priorities: their skills, their images, their views on YouTube.”
“Sacred Sibyl!” I cried. “Madam, there is something wrong with your midsection!”
The woman stopped, mystified, and looked down at her hugely swollen belly. “Well, I’m seven months pregnant.”
“Nosoi?” Percy planted his feet in a fighting stance. “You know, I keep thinking, I have now killed every single thing in Greek mythology. But the list never seems to end.”
“You haven’t killed me yet,” I noted.
“Don’t tempt me.”