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

Apollo

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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.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

 

Source: Overdrive Audio/Public Library          My Rating: 5/5 stars

For millennia, Apollo has enjoyed life as an Olympian deity!  As the god of all that is good and fluffy, and bringer of the sun, Apollo has tended to spend his down time messing with mortals and playing pranks on his fellow gods and goddesses.  Unfortunately, even a god can go too far, and one of Apollo’s latest stunts has really angered his father, Zeus.  Which would explain the how and the why of Apollo waking up in a New York City alley with none of his stunning good looks or powers.

As the reality of his current situation settles in, Apollo turns to the only person who has shown any interest in helping him, Meg.  As it turns out, Meg is a demigod and with some clever wording and evil genius trickery, she is also the proud owner of Apollo until his sentence as a mortal is completed.  Could it get any worse?  Of course, it can always get worse!!! 

With nothing else to do but accept his current situation, Apollo, with the help of Meg and Percy Jackson, makes his way to Camp Half-Blood!  And this is where it all gets worse . . . .  In short order, Apollo understands the world of the gods and demigods is seriously screwed up!  Camp Half-Blood is far less populated than it used to be, several campers have gone missing, and no quests have been assigned/granted because no prophecies have been made.  It’s a vicious cycle that seems to be getting worse by the day, and if Apollo doesn’t do something, the situation is only going to get worse.  The type of worse that has, in the past, has toppled empires and destroyed civilizations. 

Undertaking a quest as a mortal is scary stuff, but Apollo is determined to do his part.  Though he undertakes the quest for selfish reasons, it isn’t long before he figures out how being selfish for far, far too many centuries has, in fact, caused the current situation.  Living as a mortal, fighting as a mortal teaches Apollo a great number of valuable lessons, including, precisely what it feels like to be betrayed by one you call friend, what it feels like to be abandoned by your parents and loved ones, and what it means to truly care for those under one’s own protection.  Through a series of painful experiences, these lessons are driven home and convince Apollo he must, under any and all circumstances become a better deity.  You know, once he’s allowed to be a deity again 😊

The Bottom Line:  It has been many years since I read the original Percy Jackson books and I had forgotten how cleverly written they are.  Rick Riordan has a way with words and a way of making the ancient myths and legends come to life, become so very real.  The Hidden Oracle was so much fun to listen to, in large part, because Apollo is a very cocky, sarcastic, conceited being.  All those qualities and intonations came through so well via audio that it truly enhanced my experience with this book.  One thing I did notice and am working on correcting, I wish I had read the entire series of books, the first and second Percy Jackson series before listening to this book/trilogy.  There are a ton of references in The Hidden Oracle to things in the second Percy Jackson series that I just didn’t understand in the context of this book.  With that being said and based on my star rating, I still clearly loved this book and can’t wait for the next in the trilogy, The Dark Prophecy to download to my phone!!!

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