Author: Rick Riordan
Series Number: 1
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Genres: mythology, urban fantasy, YA.
Where I received the book: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Penguin!
Summary: 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.
(this review is spoiler free)
okay, so this is my first 5 star read in a long time and i’m so happy about this. this book was so much fun to read. i had doubts over the hidden oracle, because i didn’t like the heroes of olympus book AT ALL. seriously, i stopped half way through mark of athena because i hated it so much. (in particular, the characters). i was pleasantly surprised by how much i loved the hidden oracle.
i feel like pointing out that the hidden oracle continues on from where the heroes of olympus ended — but 6 months later. did this hinder my reading/experience? no. i asked a friend to spoil the ending of hoo, just in case, but i found that the hidden oracle went over certain bits and pieces of info as you needed to know it. the only thing that wasn’t mentioned was how apollo ended up where he is, but everything else is lightly touched on. if you haven’t read hoo, either because you don’t like it or can’t be bothered, i don’t think you’ll have much problem reading this book. it makes things a little more confusing in the beginning, but it all clears up pretty quickly.
one of my favourite things about this book is apollo. i loved how he’s so full of himself and acts like the asshole that he is. he’s a god. gods are better than everyone else, it’s kinda expected that he’d act this way. but he was also introduced in prior books and still acted as he does now. i loved how he came to acknowledge his failures and stopped blaming everything on everyone else. it kinda came across as feeling sorry for himself, but it was still development because he didn’t push the blame on others. i adored apollo by the end of the book.
i would also like to take a moment to appreciate the use of humor. i’ve read many reviews and i know a lot of people don’t like this use of humor as it comes off as dry and somewhat boring, but i highly loved it. i was reminded a lot of percy and the humor in those books, which i didn’t mind at all because it’s been a long time since i read those books. but at the same time, the humour was customised towards apollo’s self centeredness. it made the book a lot lighter and a more fun read for me.
the other main character is meg. i can’t stand meg. from the beginning to the end, i hated her. she didn’t get better, in fact i thought she got even worse. she’s so annoying. rick riordan has written other great female main characters, and i don’t know what happened with meg. although, after the piper/hazel/whoever else mess in hoo i guess it’s kind of expected…. still, i was disappointed. i guess it comes with the fact that she’s 12 or something.
i’m not sure what the ship name is, but will and nico????? i didn’t know this was a thing because i skipped half the previous series, but i 100% approve. however, i felt there wasn’t much backstory/history with nico and will, and i’m not sure if that’s because of what i missed. either way, it’s something i wish there was more of. not to mention a bi protagonist???? hell yeah. i enjoyed the flashback type things towards his previous lovers, but it did get kinda repetitive towards the end of the book. the first one or two references were cool, but it got to the point where i felt like it was to reinforce the fact that apollo has had both male and female lovers. i love that riordan has included a gay couple and a bi protagonist in a middle grade book, where most probably wouldn’t saying things like “it isn’t appropriate for kids” when they go and throw in straight relationships all the time…. a+ for riordan.
so i only have one major issue with this book, and i feel it’s always good to point out these things even in a 5* review: the villain (i won’t say the name for spoiler purposes) honestly felt so unoriginal. haven’t we seen this type of villain before in riordan’s previous works? not to mention loads of other writers (whether for book or tv) use this type of bad guy. seriously, it kinda felt like a bad guy from doctor who, where they were very wordy and overly dramatic. i didn’t feel scared or anything other than annoyed by this character. he didn’t feel believable. i hope that in the books to come that he gets fleshed out more, instead of being so 2d.
yeah, this book was amazing. i can’t wait for more in the series. apollo is one of my favourite gods in the percy jackson world, and i can’t wait to see where the other books go from here. this was such a great first book of the series. normally authors overdo it when writing in the same world for too long (cassie clare has done it, and i thought riordan did too with hoo), but this book was so good, it’s hard to believe it’s in a world with 10+ books written in.