Skip to main content

The Hidden Oracle: The Trials of Apollo Book One

Review

The Hidden Oracle: The Trials of Apollo Book One

THE HIDDEN ORACLE is the first installment in the new Trials of Apollo series by acclaimed author Rick Riordan of the Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles, and Mangus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. Fans may be used to stories about young demigods, but this time readers get a story about Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, music, poetry, healing and about a million other things (according to him). Back on Olympus, Apollo had everything: good looks, impressive skills and popularity, but after angering his father, Zeus, Apollo finds himself in a New York City dumpster as a mortal, acne-riddled teen. In order to get his godly life back in order, Apollo and his new “friend,” Meg, make their way to Camp Half-Blood. Of course, things do not always go as planned.

"It's true that humor is a main component of Riordan's novels, but THE HIDDEN ORACLE is far and away the funniest."

 

This story is perfect for both longtime fans of Riordan as well as new ones. There is plenty of dialogue that catches readers up on the main events of the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. This story is also significantly shorter than many of his previous novels, and I have to say it's very refreshing. This story keeps to one perspective and allows readers to get fully inside Apollo's mind.

Readers familiar with both of these series will be glad to see appearances from familiar characters including Percy himself, but this story really shines through its two new main characters: Apollo and Meg. It's true that humor is a main component of Riordan's novels, but THE HIDDEN ORACLE is far and away the funniest. It's filled with laugh out loud moments thanks to Apollo's excellent narration, but it is also balanced with poignant, introspective moments. Apollo must come to terms with his unexpected mortality and learn the difficult lessons that come along with it.

What I appreciate most about Riordan's recent work is his inclusion of diverse characters. THE HIDDEN ORACLE features many racially diverse characters which is always great to see in mainstream literature, but his inclusion of LGBT* characters is at the forefront of this story. Apollo himself mentions equally his relationships with both men and women in a way that is totally nonchalant and normalizing --- and it's awesome.

I've read nearly all of Riordan's books, and I have to say that TRIALS OF APOLLO immediately became one of my favorites. It's set in the world I have become very familiar with, but having Apollo as the main character totally turns the convention on its head. The ending of this story left me wanting so much more. Needless to say I can't wait for the next one!

Reviewed by Katherine Szabo on May 19, 2016

The Hidden Oracle: The Trials of Apollo Book One
(The Trials of Apollo #1)
by Rick Riordan