*Spoiler Alerts* I have eagerly waited for The Hidden Oracle for months. Rick Riordan is always good for some action-packed, goofiness with just a tinge of teen snark. I fell in love with the Lightning Thief series, then The Cane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. I adored the characters and the plot was always lively. Obviously there were a lot of expectations for this book.
The first, say, forty percent of this book was a let-down. I am not going to lie, I was pretty sure this was a book I was not going to finish. You have this narcissistic, woe-is-me, helpless main character. He is THE GOD APOLLO! Except he isn’t. Apparently he ticked of Daddy (Zeus) and got grounded (made mortal) until he learns his lesson and proves he deserves to come home. You would think that he would be a bit better equipped for this, seeing as this is apparently the third time it has happened. Waking in a dumpster, he immediately gets mugged by two guys paid to rough him up. A garbage wielding twelve year old saves him, and (because he has a big mouth) binds him to her for the duration of his time.
So, Apollo and Meg (garbage-wielder extraordinaire) go to see Percy Jackson and get a ride to camp. Jackson agrees to take them, but refuses to get into the quests because he has school (kind of a lame excuse, but Apollo is a jerk so…). Since nothing can ever be easy, they find that they are being followed by bad spirits and must have a show down before reaching the woods of Camp Half Blood. Here we learn Meg’s other neat talents-sword rings and a peach-baby that just shows up when she is in trouble. Apollo is worthless.
Making it into the forest, Apollo then hears voices and goes nuts; having to be dragged into camp by Meg. Once there, he says “I am the god, Apollo” and passes out, so at least he was able to do that much. While at camp, Apollo learns that all forms of messaging are down, there have been no prophecies, and some campers are missing. Maybe the gods ought to have been looking into this? The two integrate into camp life and go on the three legged race through The Labyrinth. After a bad turn, they overhear The Beast and Python talking about rounding up the oracles and killing Apollo (this is what he is fixed upon).
They make it back to camp to learn that two more campers are missing. These ones are campers he knows, his kids. Something cracks in Apollo and you finally get to see him care about something other than himself. He is determined to go get his kids back. After an argument with Meg about taking a battle ukulele (he, in a moment of idioticy of which there were many, swore to not use music or arrows until he is a god again. So yeah, he took away everything that he does decently). So they leave camp with Meg kitted out in armor and Apollo with a sword he can’t use, a ukulele and a bandana.
They make it through most of the way without issue and then-giant ants. Meg’s doing well, Apollo not as much. They lose badly and Meg is carted away. Rhea, queen of the titans, sees Apollo and gets him back to camp to get cleaned up. Back we go to get Meg and the others, Apollo finally seems to have his stuff together and is ready to fight…er sing. Lulling the ants with his amazing music, he saves Meg and makes a new friend of the ant queen. When they finally get to the grove they are met with the villains of this piece- Nero (the beast) and secrets come out.
Apollo and Meg save the grove and he gets back to camp in time to try to rescue them from a huge Nero-Apollo statue. With a load of help, the day is saved and Apollo isn’t such an ass anymore.
This is going to be a series, and I don’t know yet how I feel about it. The story found a good stride about half way through, and Apollo turned out to not be the worst character ever… still, I can’t say as I am waiting with baited breath for the next installment. I give it three and a half stars.
This book is out, let me know what you think.
On the adult content scale I give it a three for violence.
Link to book: