The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
My name is Apollo. I used to be a god.
There’s nothing worse than getting punished for something that wasn’t your fault, kind of not your fault. Zeus casts the god of poetry, music, and prophecy down from Olympus as punishment. Apollo crawls out of a dumpster to discover he’s no longer a god. What’s worse? He’s a teenager named Lester Papadopoulos with acne and *shiver* flab! With the help of his savior and master (and yep, you heard that right, master), Meg McCaffrey, they go to Camp Half-Blood to seek safety. Turns out that the camp isn’t as safe as it used to be. Demigods are missing and all forms of communication are on the fritz, even the Oracles.
Everybody looks to the great, err, Apollo to fix all of these problems. The utterly mortal and powerless Apollo, who—as he points out—can die now. They can’t expect him to fix all of this? How can he? With an old adversary following him, Apollo and his new enslaver, Meg, go on a quest so they—mostly Meg—can save the camp.
I had a lot of fun with this book. I really needed a book to make me laugh and this did the trick. Having read the Percy Jackson series, I’ve always been curious to see a god be brought down to the mortal playing field. It really pushed the series to a whole new limit because it seemed so unthinkable that a god would be the next to go on a world saving quest. Apollo was the perfect choice to be the one turned mortal. His vain arrogance made for a fun, raucous adventure. I snaughled so many times at Apollo. His expectations versus reality was Kool-Aid nose-spray worthy.
While this new series is a part of the Percy Jackson realm, it doesn’t make you feel alienated whatsoever. You’re given information regarding the previous books of the Percy Jackson realm when you need it. The story was fast, going from instant to the next at the snap of your fingers, so it made for a quick read. One bit that I found to be amusing, yet a wonderful emphasis on this series being done from Apollo’s POV, are the haikus at the beginning of every chapter. They act as humorous, mini prophecies for the chapter. Almost like when you hit your funny bone. You hit it and it’s not funny, but other people find it hilarious.
What was really eye-catching was seeing some of the old characters I know from earlier in the series like Percy Jackson and Nico di Angelo. Bringing them into the story, even though it’s brief, was nice because it showed that this Greek world remains all interconnected. I love when a series remains as such. That way we don’t forget the past adventures. Seeing how their lives were fairing was delightful, as it showed time moving forward rather than standing still.
This series is a good time. With pop cultural references and a god that believes the solar system revolves around him, which I guess it did at one point, there is a story about redemption. The journey is nowhere near close to being finished. I’ve started the second book already and I can’t wait to tell you about it. Rick Riordan must be a scribe to the gods because he does a splendid job writing stories of mythical proportions with the fluidity of moon water.
“If I’m being honest, I have to confess something else: all gods fear death, even when we are not encased in mortal forms.” (Apollo, p. 62)
“Oh, why does college have to happen to perfectly good people?” (Apollo, p. 139)
“I was a dramatic god.” (Apollo, p. 201)
More to come soon…
P.S. song today? Walkin’ On The Sun by Smash Mouth.
Thoughts? Tell me in the comment section below.