Review: The Hidden Oracle

Thursday, July 28, 2016

After he has displeased his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus and turned mortal as punishment. Not only is Apollo a mortal, but he is a teenager with acne and flab! Alone and vulnerable, Apollo is soon mugged by some thugs in an alley but is saved by a demigod named Meg. It is clear to Apollo that he will need more than just a twelve year old girl to get him back to Olympus so the two seek the help of Apollo’s old friend Percy Jackson. With Percy’s help, Meg and Apollo finally arrive at Camp Half Blood where Apollo learns the trouble he has caused for gods and mortals alike. Demigods from the camp have gone missing and Apollo has the sneaking suspicion that it might be linked not only to his captured oracle but also his fall from grace.

This book was absolute fun from start to finish.  Apollo’s journey from a selfish, narcissistic god to a (somewhat) humble hero is very rewarding to read. His protectiveness of his companion Meg is very endearing, as is his growing relationships with his demigod children at the camp. There is a reason why Rick Riordan’s series are so successful, the man knows how to write an entertaining book! I have been reading his books since 2008 and it has been so much fun to watch Percy Jackson and the Olympians evolve to The Heroes of Olympus and now the Trials of Apollo. Riordan, being a middle school teacher and father, really knows how the minds of kids work. Despite the extraordinary circumstances the young demigods are under, fighting monsters for example, they are still motivated by very real issues that resonate with Riordan’s young audience (and even those like myself, a little older, that still read the books anyways!) 

Another reason I keep coming back to these books is my education. For the last eight years I have completed two degrees in Classics (the study of ancient Greece and Rome). I started reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians when I started my bachelors of arts and the Heroes of Olympus series ended during my masters. I enjoy guessing what source material Riordan has gone to for the plots of his books. A lot of the time reading his books would coincide with my reading the texts that inspired them (often in the original Greek or Latin!) Even though Classics is a fun discipline to be sure it is also very difficult and time consuming and reading Riordan’s books kept my interest in Classics alive when the original subject matter tended to wear on me.

I can’t wait for the next books in this series! 

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