When I first heard that Rick Riordan was writing another series about Greek Gods, I was a little hesitant. After two other Greek/Roman series, a series about Egyptian magicians and a series about Norse einherjar, I didn’t think he could produce another five-book series on mythology. But after reading The Hidden Oracle, the first book in the his new Trials of Apollo series, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
**SPOILERS AHEAD, BUT ACTUALLY, ALL OF MY REVIEWS HAVE SPOILERS TO SOME EXTENT, BUT I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK SO I WANTED TO WARN YOU FIRST**
In The Hidden Oracle, the god Apollo is turned into a mortal teenager by his father, Zeus, but that’s the least of his worries. He meets a young demigod, Meg, and after a trip to Camp Half-Blood, learns that contact with the Oracle at Delphi has been cut off. Without prophecies, demigods can’t go on quests, and without quests, demigods can’t figure out what’s blocking the prophecies (a Catch-88, because it’s four times worse than a Catch-22).
Through first-person POV, Riordan really captures Apollo’s voice. He’s (fittingly) arrogant, selfish, stuck-up, and very, very funny. But when this unforgettable voice is paired with his unusual predicament—he’s someone who used to be a powerful immortal and is now a pimply, flabby, awkward teenager named Lester Papadopoulos—it makes for a perfect oxymoron.
Riordan’s Apollo certainly is the best narrator for this story. He even titles his chapters with haikus.
But what is really great about this book is that it includes and/or references almost every main character from Riordan’s past Greek/Roman series while also introducing new soon-to-be fan favorites. Percy Jackson, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, Nico di Angelo, Chiron, even Mrs. O’Leary all have a prominent role, and so do newcomers Meg McCaffery, the Titaness Rhea, and the Emperor Nero. I don’t think there was a single person who I was left wondering what they were up to since The Blood of Olympus. There are even references to Riordan’s other work. This book is truly immersed in Riordan’s world of mythology.
This book was a great beginning to what I am sure will be another awesome series. Riordan is one of my favorite authors (I grew up on his books) and so I guess I have a bit of a bias, but when his work is this good, this funny, this in-depth, there really is no criticism to give. It’s a great story with a great narrator in a great world created and maintained by a great author. Like Apollo, this novel was basically perfection.