Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Review: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1)

The Hidden Oracle (#1)
by  Rick Riordan
Date Read:  8/2/16
Rating: ★ ★ 

I completely forgot that I hadn’t written my review for this yet!  Hopefully I remember everything I wanted to say now…4 weeks later…

Let me start with what I loved about this book: 
  1.  Riordan went back to just ONE POV.  While I enjoyed the Heroes of Olympus series, it was too overwhelming having 4 or 5 POVs in each book. Over the course of that series you had seen at least 7 POVs, but I think it was more than that.  Having just the one POV made it much easier to follow and you really got to connect with Apollo. I feel like Riordan does a much better job with his characters when he is only focusing on one of them.
  2. Percy!!!  While this series is not specifically about Percy, it is still in his world. Percy was in this book for a lot longer than I thought he would be at the beginning.  Percy is by far my favorite character from all of these books so it’s a lot of fun to catch up with him.
  3. Updates on a lot of our favorite characters!  We get to see a lot of previous characters in this book. We also meet a few new characters. You’ll love seeing where everyone is today and what they’ve been up to since the end of Heroes of Olympus.
  4. The Oracles. Having actually been to Delphi and saw where the Oracle actually sat, I’ve always been intrigued with this part of the story-line. I really enjoyed learning about the other oracles and the end explanation for what was going on. Riordan does a good job of making things seem irrelevant to each other, and then bringing them back so it make sense at the end.
  5. Apollo learns a lot in this book.  I didn’t particularly like him much at the beginning, but by the end I was rooting for him. He grows a lot and learns a lot. He makes some connections with his kids and Meg.
  6. Meg was an interesting character.  I can’t say too much about her without spoiling things, but I really liked her and her history.
Things I didn’t like about this book:
  1.  Apollo was way too self-absorbed at the beginning. While I understand that it’s the personality of the God, it just didn’t translate well in book format. I also think that Riordan may have over done it so that it was more obvious the growth that Apollo has in the book.
  2. The book was a little slow in the middle. Not a lot of action happens in the middle of the book and you are not given many answers…which leads me to #3…
  3.  I HATED the plot device Riordan used of Apollo’s amnesia-like situation. Apollo would know everything and have the background info you needed, but then he’d always conveniently “forget” it before he translated that info to another character and the reader. As a reader, it’s infuriating to be teased with info and answers, to only have it dangled there and then pulled away.
Overall I enjoyed this book. I feel like it was a little better than Heroes of Olympus, just because more happened in the book when it wasn’t following 7 characters at the exact same time, and you really got to know the main character much better in one POV.  But it didn’t surpass Percy Jackson.  Riordan just does Percy right, so I don’t think he’ll ever be able to top his original series – unless he goes back to writing only from Percy’s POV.

I’m interested to see how the remainder of the series goes and how often we’ll see previous characters and how involved they will be in helping Apollo with his quest.


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