Book Review: “The Hidden Oracle” by Rick Riordan

Hello! If you were unaware, I was making my way through the Percy Jackson series when I hit a reading slump. I couldn’t read the last one. So I decided to go ahead and read this. I was spoiled a bit for The Last Olympian, but not too badly. I do know this definitely has spoilers for The Heroes of Olympus, a series I will never read because I have heard bad things from people I trust. But let’s go ahead and get into this review!

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout this book, read the synopsis and don’t read any other part of this review.***

Synopsis:

“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.”

Characters:

Apollo: he is our main character and to be honest, until I’d read about 75% of the book, I was not the biggest fan of his character. He was arrogant and self-centered, which severely pissed me off and just made him an irritating character to me, but I was won over when we learned why he does what he does and why he is the way he is. I like how much intense character development he goes through and how he does become more human and more inclined to do the dirty work himself rather than make other demigods or pretty much anyone do something for him.

Meg: I did not like or trust her character from the beginning. I suspected his becoming her friend and trusting her would come back and bite him on the ass and it did. I felt like she was way too vague about her past, which for some characters I can usually get past, but I felt like she was purposefully evasive in a sinister way and I was right. I tried really hard to like her character and it just never happened.

Beast: he is our main antagonist and he is an asshat. I was completely shocked when I learned who he really was and I really hope he ends up dead in the future books. I also despise him for manipulating Meg into becoming his little minion. I just hate him in general. He has no redeeming qualities. He’s just a bad dude.

Plot:

The story starts off with Apollo landing in an alley as a mortal (I was a bit confused at first as to whether he could enter Camp Half-Blood or not). He is immediately jumped by two thugs who said their boss sent them. He is then saved and claimed by a young demigod named Meg. They head over to Percy Jackson’s house (BAE *heavy, excited breathing*). He agrees to take them to Camp Half-Blood and they set off, but find that they are being tracked by unkillable monsters called nosoi.

They fight the monsters and are losing when Meg sort of summons a peach spirit thing called a karpos. Peaches saves them and Percy tells them to go up the Western entrance to camp (which means they have to go through a dangerous forest). While in there, he ends up hearing a woman’s voice and he temporarily loses his sanity. They reach camp and Apollo passes out.

He ends up having a dream about a woman telling him to open the gates and after that, a son of his shows up in the dream and he seems to be our main antagonist. He wakes up with one of his other sons who turns out to be Will Solace! (I’ve never even read the Heroes of Olympus series and I was excited).

They go through camp and we learn that Solangelo is freaking canon and that made me very happy. They go and see Chiron and talk of how campers have been disappearing. Apollo’s children say they will help him and this causes him to reflect on how horrible a father he’s been.

Meg’s been causing trouble so these two campers try to dunk Meg when Peaches attacks them. Meg’s rings become two ancient gold swords and she uses these to fend off the campers trying to kill Peaches. During all of this, Meg is claimed as Demeter’s daughter. Later, Apollo gets frustrated about how he sucks at archery now and tires easily when playing music, so he stupidly (HE IS AN IDIOT.) makes a vow on the River Styx to never touch a musical instrument or bow and arrow again.

Apollo and Kayla, his daughter, save Sherman from the woods when he tries to enter them. This in turn helps Apollo to figure out why people are disappearing. There’s a hidden oracle in the forest. They have this deadly three legged race in the Labyrinth and Meg and Apollo end up at the Chamber of the Oracle and meet Python after Meg won’t shut up or turn back. A man shows up and is talking to Python; his name is Beast and he is the man from Apollo’s dream. Meg recognizes him.

He wants Apollo dead and has spies in the Camp. He wants control of all five Oracles Apollo stupidly gives them away and they trip and fall down the chasm. They get all three golden apples and end up in the forest. Meg gets them out and they learn that Kayla and Austin, Apollo’s kids, are missing. When Apollo wants to go after them, Meg orders him to not go and rescue them (this pissed me off initially, but I definitely see that she did the right thing looking back on it). We learn that the Beast killed her father and that he recuits demigods as his servants and soldiers.

A helicopter arrives with Rachel Elizabeth Dare, the Oracle of Delphi, inside (I haven’t finished the Percy Jackson series or read The Heroes of Olympus, so I was unaware of this development). After going in her cave, we learn that Triumvirate Holdings is run by three ancient demigods and they are the reason all of the demigod wars occurred (for example: The Battle of Kronos). One is the Beast and they are all suspected to be ancient Romans like the original Triumvirate of Marc Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius.

The Grove of Dodona is the most ancient Oracle and may be at Camp Half-Blood. Meg and Apollo end up going into the forest alone and meet this geyser god. He starts talking about marketing (the geyser god) and the lights of the geyser and their flashlight attracts ant monsters who kidnap Meg. To destroy one of the monsters, he plays a song on his ukulele and this tires him (he also broke his oath, which is bad because he will die in a long while off for breaking it).

Apollo makes another oath to the geyser (which for whatever reason is more powerful than swearing on the River Styx) to save Meg. He ends up trying and failing to get back to camp due to him dying. We learn more of Apollo’s past and why he is the way he is. Rhea finds him passed out on the ground and she is with two lions. After they talk for a bit and she gives him wind chimes, he passes out and wakes up beside of Solangelo (I will go down with this ship).

He warns them of the coming attack on the Camp and drops the bomb that the Beast is Emperor Nero before he takes off. He gets to the nest pretty easily (A bit too easily, if you ask me, but whatever) and sings of his grief, which paralyzes the ants for a bit and when that wears off, he shoots them with arrows and finds Meg who is in a cocoon. Using his last arrow, he embeds it in the ceiling, which then collapses on top of the ants.

They meet the Queen Ant and after a song about mothers and being pregnant (she’s heavily pregnant), she lets them go and practically adopts them. They get to the Grove of Dodona and find all of the missing demigods wrapped in poisonous, impenetrable cocoons. The Beast shows up and we learn that Meg is a little traitor (I knew I was right to never trust her) and her stepdad is Nero.

Meg commands Apollo to help her open the gates and everyone is assaulted by the voices of the Grove and Meg realizes what Nero will do. He plans on burning all of Long Island to build his empire. Apollo gets this random surge of divine power after Nero starts a huge fire. He beats the crap out of his guards, but Nero runs before he can do anthing to him.

He runs into the Grover after pulling everyone to safety and Austin wakes up. Apollo then runs toward the Oracle. He finds Meg who doesn’t trust him and puts the wind chimes in the trees, which allows it to give Apollo a prophecy, which wasn’t a very good one. Meg is in denial, so she releases Apollo as her servant and runs off (presumedly to Nero).

After everyone is okay and freed, they summon the Queen Ant who takes them to Camp Half-Blood, which is under attack by this gigantic statue of Nero. They are dumped on the beach and Apollo starts talking to the arrow of Dodona (this was definitely my favorite scene). Percy gets there and starts distracting the Colossus while Apollo starts poisoning an arrow (not the one of Dodona), but it is so strong that it knocks out Kayla and Austin.

He shoots the arrow and makes it (it is Hay Fever), causing the Colossus to lirterally sneeze its head off. Everyone ends up sick, but okay. Apollo thinks about leaving, but is ultimately talked out of it. Leo returns with Calypso (they are apparently a couple) and they will aid Apollo in his trials.

That is pretty much the end of the book.

My Thoughts:

This book was hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud nearly every two seconds. Apollo is hilarious, even if I had problems with him at first. Him being self-centered, while a bit understandable, was the most annoying thing on earth, but he definitely developed as a character. He truly began caring for his kids and those around him. He was willing to do the dirty work himself. I really appreciated how this story wove into the stories of Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus (even if I didn’t read that last series). There was so much cross over. I loved it. I loved the events, the action, the suspense and mystery, and I really loved seeing Apollo struggle with being a mortal. I do have one complaint. I would have liked some breathing time in between the action-packed events. We never really got time to breathe. It was just event after event after event. That was just something that sort of hindered my overall enjoyment of this book, but other than that, I really enjoyed this and I am excited for the next book whenever it comes out.

8
4.5/5 hearts

And that is going to be it for this review today. Comment down below what your favorite part/scene was. I would love to know. Mine was definitely the part where the arrow was talking/arguing with Apollo. I just found that scene so hilarious and it made me laugh out loud. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time.

Love You All to Luna and Back,

Allie

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: “The Hidden Oracle” by Rick Riordan

  1. I’m holding off on reading this because I’m halfway through the Heroes of Olympus series and don’t want to be spoiled. It’s too bad you decided not read it because it’s great!

    Like

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