The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

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RATING: 5/5

SYNOPSIS: Apollo’s punishment for starting the Giant War too early is to be stripped of his immortality and godly powers and live on Earth as a mortal for an indeterminate amount of time. To make matters worse, in order to regain his godship, he has to follow the orders of 12-year-old Meg McCaffrey and a mysterious organization is out to get him.

 

This book was far too short! I can’t wait for the sequel! Apollo’s story is highly different from all of Riordan’s other demigod tales and I like the change of pace from its predecessors. Riordan did an amazing job making Apollo sound and feel way older than all the protagonists previously featured and I appreciate the fact that Apollo’s pop culture references were more subtle and spanned across various eras. The little nods to the previous heroes that we have come to know and love were just  long enough to satisfy you with how their lives are going and just short enough that the book still felt like Apollo’s book. I also love that Apollo freely acknowledges that he loved Hyacinthus rather than it being brushed off as an “intense friendship.” Riordan does a great job with weaving in previous Apollo myths into the narrative and I like how narcissistic Apollo is about talking about himself. It was also wonderful to see him become a little more human as the novel progresses. I’m excited to see how much he’ll grow in the coming books! I love that while we see the demigods that we already know and love, we are also introduced to some new demigods that I can’t wait to learn more about. Obviously Apollo’s children, Will, Kayla, and Austin, are the ones that are the most featured and I loved the weird family dynamic that came from Apollo being their dad, but also looking like a sixteen-year-old boy. I loved that even though the gods are pretty much absentee parents, that didn’t stop Will, Kayla, and Austin from loving him with everything that they had and taking the best care of him that they were able to do and I hope that this changes how Apollo acts in the future. Another stand-out demigod would be Harley, an eight-year-old child of Hephaestus. He is absolutely adorable in an evil genius sort of way and I hope we get to see more of him and his inventions. Sherman Yang is another character that I hope we see more of because as a child of Ares he has an antagonistic relationship with Apollo the same way Percy had one with Clarisse. I really hope that he has a development that is a little similar to the one that Clarisse undergoes, but obviously in his own way and maybe not to the same extent. I also enjoy that Travis and Connor Stoll have passed on their shenanigans on to a new pair of Hermes children and the Victor sisters (daughters of Nike) are hilarious! Of course the real demigod MVP is Meg McCaffrey. From the moment you meet her she is a force of nature (and I won’t tell you her parent because it’s more fun guessing) and her personality plays off of Apollo’s really well. Also she’s twelve and Apollo is sixteen so no romance! Meg is wonderfully complex and I love that she has secrets that I didn’t even guess. Besides Apollo’s development, I’m excited to watch Meg grow and see how her hero’s journey evolves. The villains are also interesting because they don’t fall within the classical villains of Greek myths and I love how Riordan was able to work Roman mythology and history into this series. It isn’t anything that I expected and I am extremely intrigued to see where this is going and how they’ll be defeated. I like this inclusion of the Romans better than I did Heroes of Olypmus because it feels more separated from the Greek influence and in HOO Greek and Roman were pretty much interchangeable given the circumstances. All in all this was a wonderful start to a new series and I’m excited to learn more about the various oracles and more Greek myths!

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