Storyteller of the Gods, Rick Riordan brings us a hilariously heart-pumping adventure of the god Apollo as a human any mortal should not miss.
Title: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) Author: Rick Riordan Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Publish Date: May 3, 2016 Goodreads: 4.4/5 Barnes and Noble: 4.5/5
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.
Disclaimer: I have not read the Percy Jackson series and only watched the movie. However, I have read excerpts from Rick Riordan’s previous works in Percy Jackson and 39 clues.
Bring one hot and talented god and turn him into a pubescent teen with curly red hair, acne and flab – that is Apollo. We often regard gods as all-knowing, wise and mighty, Riordan unveils the inner thoughts and emotions of a Greek god that despite their godly powers, they can also be vulnerable and capable of weakness.
Apollo is portrayed as a selfish and narcissistic a-hole with incredible comedic pop culture references. He also brings out a couple of historical/mythical events and tells it in “his version” of the story. As a god, Apollo showed no regard for human life at all (or any life really), but gradually he realizes how special it is to be human and eventually learn from his trials.
We are introduced to Meg, a 12 year old girl who saves Apollo on his first few minutes on Earth as a human. She reveals she is a demigod and acquires Apollo’s services, in return helping him overcome his trials and return to Olympus.
My favorite characters, though, are Will Solace and Nico di Angelo. I have not read the previous books and have little knowledge of their history (which I got through Google and Wikia). They only show up in the book a couple of times and that makes me want to read the earlier books. (I am sooo shipping them!)
Style and Pacing:
The pacing was exactly how I would want my fantasy and adventure books – fast, exhilarating and full of action. Every chapter will keep you flying through the pages.
I loved how ridiculously comical Apollo was. Shifting from modern pop references to historical ones, I couldn’t help but laugh aloud at every chapter. Even when faced with a powerful enemy, Apollo always had a pun to say. His constant struggle and whining with his appearance and diminished godly abilities made the prose even more entertaining.
Avid fans of Riordan, however, said that his work had become formulaic – same plot progression that it starts to become boring and predictable. I had no issue with this though, (I have not read his prior works thoroughly though) because as most Fantasy stories do develop in that way. I was even shocked at the plot twist towards the end. *resisting to give spoiler…urgh*
Original may not be a good term for stories about gods as they have been retold in various ways throughout the centuries. However, Riordan does not fail in putting his own humor and twists in historical events like how Apollo claims his involvement in many of the discoveries and achievements in the field of medicine and music.
I can’t let the LGBT issue just slide. (Haha!). I love it!
Riordan rode the bandwagon of gender equality in his writing and introduced a gay couple in the story – Will Solace and Nico di Angelo. Later on Apollo reveals (in his own comedic way if I may emphasize), that he too had been in a homosexual relationship, that in the many relationships he had, he had two great loves, Daphne and Hyacinthus.
Through much research, Riordan already revealed Nico as gay in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, he is only now given an actual partner.
Whether you have read the Percy Jackson series or not, you will definitely fall in love with this book. Riordan gives us a book for learning about Greek mythology in a thrilling and not textbook-ish way.
“Nothing is more tragic than loving someone to the depths of your soul knowing they cannot and will not ever love you back.”
“Not all monsters were three-ton reptiles with poisonous breath. Many wore human faces.”
“Zeus needed someone to blame, so of course he’d picked the handsomest, most talented, most popular god in the pantheon: me.”
“It warmed my heart that my children had the right priorities: their skills, their images, their views on YouTube.”
“The tone of the scream reminded me of Hera whenever she stormed through the hallways of Olympus, yelling at me for leaving the godly toilet seat up.”
Hope you guys found my review entertaining and informative.
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