The Hidden Oracle (Trials Of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

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 favor.

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. (Goodreads)

quote

“He faced us. “You hear that, guys? A batch of cookies is depending on me. If you get me killed on the way to camp, I am going be ticked off.”

review

This book is about the god Apollo, who is sentenced as a mortal on Earth. He meets a young demigod named Meg and is put on a harrowing journey against an evil Roman emperor named Nero, trying to save the oldest and first oracle known to man… The Grove Dodona.

The main setting of the entire book is in New York, most of it playing out in Camp Half-Blood which is located on Long Island Sound. The setting gives you a feeling of being in the Big Apple with a mythological twist, tying into demigods and a world from mythological Greece. The setting affects Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) because before all he ever was was a stuck up Greek god who caused lots of problems. When he is exiled to New York as a mortal, it affects him greatly. He is not used to his teenage body, but quite frankly he deserves it. It makes him finally realize that mortals aren’t as hopeless and useless as they seem to him, because he has to literally step into a mortals skin, by becoming mortal from his father Zeus. He has to go through many trials while in a mortal body, which as he finds out later is harder than it looks, because he has lost most of his godly powers. Towards the end of the book, Apollo goes from thinking of Meg McCaffrey as a bratty street-urchin, but after getting bound to her bidding his perspective changes about the world. After living in New York Apollo changes his perspective and is more appreciative of humans and demigods, even his children.

There were both external and internal conflicts throughout the story. The main biggest external conflict was between Apollo and Nero and his accomplices. If it weren’t for Nero and Triumvirate Holdings, then the only problem would be the serpent at the Oracle of Delphi. Nero causes problems by trying to burn the Grove of Dodona, and capturing campers in the process. We’ll be seeing more of Nero in the future, because after all Meg is his step daughter. One really important internal conflict involves Meg McCaffrey. When she was only a young child Nero killed her father. Not to mention she still thinks Nero is a good person and her step-dad who saved her from his angry personality “The Beast”. This internal conflict eventually ends up getting her involved in luring Apollo to Nero himself. Apollo even notices that it is messed up, and he tries to convince Meg that Nero is really evil. These two main internal and external conflicts weave in and out from each other throughout the book making it a delight to read.

This book was good and had the Percy Jackson spirit it deserved, but isn’t as good as the Percy Jackson series or The Heroes of Olympus series. Overall I really enjoyed the beginning of the end of Rick Riordan’s Greek Mythology novels. This book actually started explaining lots of questions from the past books and started tying everything together in the Percy Jackson world. I really liked the character Meg McCaffrey and her quirky but fearsome protector Peaches. For what it is worth The Trials of Apollo was a great kick-off to the end of Rick Riordan’s Greek mythology novels.

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