The Hidden Oracle – Book Review
A short while ago I read a book named “The Hidden Oracle”. “The Hidden Oracle” is a book written by Rick Riordan and is the first book in the new series called “Trials of Apollo”. The book was published on May 3rd, 2016, by Disney-Hyperion and has sold about 62 000 copies since then. “The Hidden Oracle” is based on Greek mythology and is a spin-off of the previous “Percy Jackson” series. In this book, we get to revisit the world of Percy Jackson and experience the action, drama and adventure that comes with it.
Apollo is being punished by his father, once again. But, how is a god punished you might wonder? Well, by making him a mortal. After infuriating his father, Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Confused and powerless, he lands in a New York dumpster in the form of an acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal. The formerly praised god Apollo is now an awkward teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old god must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow regain Zeus’s favor, (which usually would involve a series of excruciating trials).
The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus and regain his father’s favor is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… Camp Half-Blood. Apollo persuades Percy Jackson to give him a lift to Camp Half-blood, but the place is in chaos. Demigods are going missing and the all-seeing Oracles have fallen to a mysterious enemy known only as the “Beast”. Apollo goes on a quest to protect the final hidden Oracle. If he fails, the “Beast” will control the future and even worse… HE WILL BE STUCK AS A TEENAGE BOY FOR ALL ETERNITY!
In this book, Apollo decides to share with us the challenges he must confront in his new body. The book is written in Apollo’s point of view, which makes it easy to understand his perception and approach. The structure of the book is chronological with a few flashbacks in between to remind us of the previous stories. The use of language is very simple but detailed which makes it both easy and interesting for a younger audience to read.
A variety of themes are covered in this book such as identity, good vs evil, friendship as well as courage, but the one theme that stands out the most is character growth. In the beginning, Apollo starts out as an arrogant teenager. Even though he has become mortal he still believes he is as mighty as he previously was, and he therefore looks at other mortals including his friends, as less worthy. Over time, he realizes the value of friendship and develops an open-minded side. Apollo’s friends play an important role in his character growth and his understanding of the life of humans. Especially Racheal, when she says “Things can turn out differently, 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.”
All in all, “The Hidden Oracle” is a vastly entertaining book and is one of the best books I have ever read. Before digging in, it would help you if you read the previous books considering that there are ten of them and that the storyline picks up after the last book. “The Hidden Oracle” is a book I would recommend if you seek action and adventure. The book suits best for the age group thirteen and above and I give it four stars out of five.