Tuesday, January 10, 2017


TITLEThe Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo#1)
AUTHOR/s: Rick Riordan

PUBLICATION DATE: 3rd of May, 2016

Happy 2017!

It’s been a while! (okay, it’s been MORE THAN a while) I’ve been on a pretty rough schedule lately (I know, ugh life) but I’ve missed writing! Of course, there were times when I thought that I should just go ahead and come up with something especially since I’ve been away for too long but then again, I didn’t want to force myself to do it. I didn’t want blogging to be such a chore.

Thankfully, something got me out of my writing funk! I know I just have to write this down and share it with the world or I’ll probably explode with feels. I’m definitely late to the party but it’s never too late to pick up a Rick Riordan book! I’ve been wanting to read this for quite some time now but I guess this week is the perfect time to pick this one up and just go for it. 

As expected, Rick Riordan’s “pilot” for his new series did not fail to boost my spirits and I could say that The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle deserves a slow-clap! Here are some of my thoughts (I promise not to spoil too much!)
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.

Let me start by saying - am I the only one who freaked out when I first heard about this??? I am always eager for new content from Rick Riordan. In PJO, we meet demigods; HOO, legacies; Kane Chronicles, hosts; Gods of Asgard, heroes and einherjar; and just when I thought he couldn't serve more without being boring, he comes up with a fresh concept! A god turned mortal? Easy.

However even though it may seem like a new adventure, Uncle Rick did not disappoint us fans who misses the original gang. We still got to see more of old friends returning like Percy, Will, Nico, Rachel, and other people from Camp Half Blood. This goes to say that despite their presence, they did not entirely overshadow the new faces that we got to know - Harley, Meg, Peaches, and of course, Lester Papadopoulos, Apollo. Who, by the way, has a surprisingly good character development - without changing his essence as a character; without sacrificing the qualities that makes him, him. 

Speaking of the sun god, I LOVE the fact that he is portrayed as gender-fluid. Plus, can I just say how ADORABLE Solangelo is??? My babies Nico and Will all grown up *weepy eyes* Despite some qualms from other readers, I greatly admire Rick’s natural skill of portraying POC and LGBT. We need more books like this, people!

There is also more mythology present here (which is my favorite thing in Riordan's works) Apollo seeing Daphne and Hyacinthus during his hallucinations reminds me of Harry seeing the dead (Cedric, James, Lily, etc.)

Of course, humor on fleek as ever:

Will turned to me. "I apologize for my boyfriend."

Nico rolled his eyes. "Could you not―"

"Would you prefer special guy?" Will asked. "Or significant other?"

"Significant annoyance, in your case," Nico grumbled

He (Percy) faced us. “You hear that, guys? A batch of cookies is depending on me. If you get me killed on the way to camp, I am going be ticked off.” 

“Nosoi?” Percy planted his feet in a fighting stance. “You know, I keep thinking, I have now killed every single thing in Greek mythology. But the list never seems to end.”

“You haven’t killed me yet,” I noted.

“Don’t tempt me.”

“We're fresh out of flying boys.”

Plot-wise, I don't know if it's just me or it really did seem less adventure-y. Probably because the majority of the action took place within Camp Halfblood and because I really enjoyed going on adventures to see the world in the past books. Also, aside from the one in the latter parts, there was a notable lack of real prophecies here (which - typing it now - actually makes sense once you realize that the series is actually about the absence of the oracles, therefore, the absence of prophecies.) Still, I missed deciphering the riddle-like predictions during the beginning of quests. Also, compared to the past baddies Kronos and Gaea, the "villains" here didn’t really had me worried. (spoiler) I was actually more scared of The Python when Meg and Apollo ran into it during the games (end of spoiler)

However, this doesn't mean that I wasn't pumped up throughout our leads' journey. That plot twist really had me ~shookt~ as they say. And also, to those who have already read it, can we just all talk about (spoiler) LEO-FREAKING-MCSHIZZLE-VALDEZ's return AND finally seeing CALYPSO AGAIN??? I CANNOT. I've already been shipping them waaaay, waaaay back before they had even met. I know, crazy right? I've always thought Reyna would be his love interest. But I can't believe I'm really seeing CaLeo become canon - which I've never expected but secretly hoped :D (end of spoiler)
Oh and another thing, again I don't know if it's just me but Meg seems younger than a 12-year old  (I remember Percy starting out as a 12-year old teen too, in The Lightning Thief, but he wasn't really this childlike)

“Not all monsters were three-ton reptiles with poisonous breath. Many wore human faces.” –Apollo

“Stop it, Apollo, I scolded myself. You’re beautiful and everyone loves you. But it was becoming increasingly difficult to believe that (…) It was almost enough to make me question my self-worth.” – Apollo

“Nothing is more tragic than loving someone to the depths of your soul and knowing they cannot and will not ever love you back.” – Apollo

“Every time some hero wins the laurels, I am reminded of the girl I can never win.” – Apollo

“You must make your own choice.” - Apollo

“That’s the nice thing about being human. We only have one life, but we can choose what kind of story it’s going to be.” – Rachel

“We’ll succeed. We must. So we will (…) I intend to live fully and without fear.” - Calypso

It’s really nice to come back to Camp Half Blood. It actually gives me the coming-back-home feels every time I revisit Hogwarts (by re-reading past books or seeing more of the current flow of books/movies) However, I’m not quite sure if it’s more of a good thing or a bad thing. As much as I’ve enjoyed The Hidden Oracle, I realized that most of the highest points in the book for me were seeing old friends come to life. Of course, I still enjoyed reading about Apollo and Meg’s adventures but as I’ve said, they fall second to what really excited me in the book.

Nonetheless, I’m still looking forward to the next ones in the series. Hopefully, the next ones will be 5-star worthy especially since the gang would be getting out of the camp’s safety in book 2: The Dark Prophecy. I’m definitely excited to see where Rick Riordan will bring the plot, how much more of Apollo’s character development we’ll see, and how well will he manage his relationships with new found friends, family, (*fingers crossed* for an Apollo-Artemis meeting!), possible lovers (HOW ABOUT DAPHNE and HYACINTHUS???), and future enemies to be faced.

Four out of Five rating for Rick Riordan's Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle!
4/5 rating! :)

UPDATE: Details for book 2 is up now! Check more about The Dark Prophecy on its Goodreads page by clicking HERE!

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