DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
In The Hidden Oracle: The Trials of Apollo, we pick up 6 months after the end of the Heroes of Olympus series and Apollo, the god of the sun, music, healing and pretty much anything else you can think of, has been cast down from Olympus by Zeus and finds himself stuck in the body of a teenage mortal called Lester Papadopoulos.
So I have a confession to make: I couldn’t get into The Blood of Olympus. I therefore read this one without reading the final book in the Heroes of Olympus series, which is not really what you’re meant to do. However, I didn’t find that it really affected my reading of The Hidden Oracle. It just meant there were a couple of references to Blood of Olympus where I was like, ‘Wait, what?’
Generally, I really liked this book. I wasn’t too keen on The Heroes of Olympus because the whole thing just felt like recycled Percy Jackson with newer, less interesting characters. However, The Hidden Oracle has a much fresher feel to it. Apollo is a fun narrator – I loved the size of his ego.
I did guess a lot of what was going to happen, especially in terms of what certain characters were going to do. I also felt like they got off too easily at certain points: for instance, Apollo still retains his musical powers despite no longer being godly, which is fine to an extent because you could argue he’s a bit like a demigod and they do have powers too. However, always singing at your enemies feels a little too easy.
I was pleased with the treatment of gay relationships in this novel. I feel like a lot of the time when you have gay characters, the author kind of points at them as if to say, ‘Look! Gay people! This novel is so inclusive and tolerant!’ Obviously, this just serves to feel less inclusive because gay people are still being treated as ‘other’. However, in this book, the characters’ sexuality was acknowledged but not paraded.
Good show, Rick Riordan.
In general, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. After Heroes of Olympus, I felt like Riordan should really be leaving Percy and friends alone. However, it was really fun to see the world from the point of view of one of the Olympian gods. I’m really hoping we come into contact with more gods in the next book, though.
My rating: 4/5