[REVIEW] The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

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Title: The Hidden Oracle
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: (The Trials of Apollo #1)
Pub. Date: May 3rd, 2016
Genres: YA, Greek Mythology, Adventure
Rating: ★★★★1/2

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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.

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     The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle is a hilariously weird and fantastical tale that keeps you thoroughly entertained right to the end.

Apollo is mortal. His father, Zeus, has punished him by casting him out of Olympus and leaving him on Earth in a mortal body of a teenaged, acne ridden boy. Oh, and don’t forget that he has flab now. No more six or eight packs for this guy. The horror! To get his godly powers pack, Apollo must go through a series of trials to impress his father in order to get back on his good side. But being his selfish, narcissistic self, he’s not inclined to agree to the dangers just yet. So he gets claimed by a 12-year-old demi-god and sets out for help. Not everyone is excited to see him though, and we can’t really blame them.

This book is a breath of fresh air. Apollo’s snark and humour make for some hilarious situations. His voice and narration keep you entertained, and engrossed, all the while revealing things about his character that either annoy you, or hint at character development. He doesn’t try to deceive anyone, nor hide his true intentions. He is outright about his selfish, narcissistic ways. He doesn’t pretend to be a good guy, always helping people out and sacrificing himself. No, he’s the one who sends others to do his dirty work. He’s self-absorbed, and his looks and powers are everything to him. So imagine his horror when he discovers that not only is he human, he’s an ugly human with flab, acne, and a horrible name. It makes for some hilarious situations!

Now, despite Apollo’s insistence, his situation is not that important given what else is going on. Apollo has enemies, a lot of them, which isn’t exactly that hard to believe because Apollo isn’t the best person out there. These enemies have used his punishment to their advantage, but they also underestimated him. Despite the light tone and atmosphere, this book is full of deceit, betrayal, lies, and pain. Evil plots are unveiled, ancient enemies are discovered, and Apollo goes through some major character-development, though he still has a long way to go.

This rich and deeply imaginative tale is brilliantly written and easy to love; you won’t want to put it down.

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