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

BUY HERE

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan is another of his most fabulous modernised retellings of Greek Mythology! It’s set in the same world as Percy Jackson and Camp Half Blood, but this series centres around Apollo, a fallen god who’s being punished by Zeus to be a teenager until he earns his powers back. I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of the hilariousness that are Riordan’s Greek  retellings. This This was brilliant. I laughed my head off at the perfectness of the humour and sass. Apollo’s narcissism was witty and glorious. TRULY GLORIOUS. I also enjoyed how this series isn’t following the same plot-arc as the other Camp Half Blood books.

FUN THINGS TO EXPECT IN THIS BOOK:

  • The hilarious idea of the god Apollo, now as a mortal teenage boy with acne.
  • Percy Jackson himself (!!!!) And I’d say he has more than a cameo because he’s at the beginning and helps out in the finale too.
  • Witty dialogue that will have you snorting your socks off.
  • Laughter. Expect yourself to be laughing basically the whole time.
  • A stubborn 12-year-old heroine who claims Apollo’s servitude while he’s mortal. Arguing ensues.
  • Evil ants.
  • Plenty of people being lost / beaten up / stabbed / licked by lions.
  • Epic and obscure Greek mythology references and tales so that you’ll be forced to LEARN THINGS while having a good time.
  • Peaches,
  • Really really really bad haikus.

I loved reading about Apollo’s character. He had a really different voice to Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase, which was refreshing. He spoke rather formally, like a god would, but also like a god attempting to be a teenager — ergo an epically ridiculous combination ensued. And he was absolutely full of himself. I may have snickered quite copiously. He also has an interesting relationship with Meg, who’s claimed his servitude as a fallen god. Meg was stubborn and opinionated and tended to be annoying an annoying little gnat. Their friendship develops over the course of the book from hating each other to working together. Just envision Apollo, a narcissistic gangly ex-god teenager, now having to do whatever a 12-year-old girl (who occasionally blows raspberries at him) says as they navigate monsters and mayhem. Levels of adorable = 110%

“Are you all right?” I asked.
“Fine,” she snapped.
Clearly that was not true. She looked as if she’d just gone through Hades’s haunted house. (Pro tip: DO NOT.)

BUY HERE

I’m also glad that the book actually left the romance out! It is definitely aimed at middle-grade and lower young-adult audiences, but it was just refreshing to have a story focused on friendship and quests.

The plot, of course, had plenty of action. And weird monsters and crazy twisty mythology that wasn’t hard to follow. Although I do think there could’ve been less talking and more questing. But I was pleased it was a fun, concise and fast moving tale.

Much to my disappointment, the Jacksons did not have a spare bow or quiver to lend me.
“I suck at archery,” Percy explained.
“Yes, but I don’t,” I said. “This is why you should always plan for my needs.”

And of course, it’s always the BEST to be back in Camp Half Blood. Although I wonder how all those kids are even alive with all their near-death-training-accidents…but ah well. Children bounce. Demigods go missing or lose a limb and they just patch them back up and feed them Greek food. The whole atmosphere is rather “Oh don’t wander over there YOU’LL DIE but we’re roasting s’mores later on, be there!” which is lovely. Gotta love Camp Half Blood.

I definitely enjoyed myself a lot with this starter of Apollo’s series! I laughed (OUT LOUD) so many times and appreciated the fast pacing, diverse characters, and interesting storyline. I don’t think it’s the best book to start with if you’ve never encountered Percy Jackson though. Definitely start with Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Then get thee through those books fast so you can try The Trials of Apollo. This is definitely one of my favourite Riordan books!

YA, NA and MG Fiction Defined With Recommendations

Most readers will be familiar with the genre of books referred to as YA, but what about NA and MG?

Young Adult (YA)Eleanor & Park
YA fiction generally contains novels written for readers aged in their teens, or more specifically between the ages of 13 and 20. The stories feature teenage protagonists and often explore themes of identity and coming-of-age. Having said that, YA novels can be from any genre, science fiction, contemporary, fantasy, romance, paranormal etc. Some popular YA novels include the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games series, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Middle Grade (MG)
MG novels are generally written for readers aged between 8-12 years, with main characters less than 13 years of age. Themes can include: school, parents, relationship with siblings and friends, being good or misbehaving. Just like every genre, some MG books can have an underlying message (e.g. be kind to animals).

Some examples of popular MG novels include: Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

New Adult (NA)A Court of Thorns and Roses
NA fiction is a relatively new genre in publishing, and in my opinion grew from the popularity of adult audiences reading and enjoying YA novels (Twilight and The Fault in Our Stars). The genre is situated between YA and adult fiction and protagonists are generally between 18-30 years of age. Themes include leaving home, starting university, choosing a career, sex and sexuality.

Some popular NA novels include: Slammed by Colleen Hoover (called CoHo by her fans), The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and The Elephant Tree by R.D. Ronald.

On my TBR ListInheritance
I have a number of books on my to-be-read pile from the genres mentioned above, including: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, Matilda by Roald Dahl, Reasons She Goes to the Woods by Deborah Kay Davies, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition by Jacob Grimm, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes and 100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson. What’s on your list?

Whether you enjoy MG, YA or NA fiction, the most important thing is that you don’t allow yourself to become pigeon-holed. Enjoy your reading, keep an open mind and explore new authors. You never know where your next favourite book might come from.

Review: The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan

9780141325491I absolutely adored The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan! It’s the first book in his secondary series about Percy Jackson. The first series and I had a mildly rocky start. Oh don’t get me wrong! I love Percy Jackson and the middle-grade series was cute and quirky and fun. But it lacked punch. And, for me The Lost Hero was just EVERYTHING. It’s also more Young Adult, compared to the first series Middle Grade feel, which makes me chortle like a gleeful penguin because I LOVE YA.

I’ve been converted into a Riordan fangirl. #notevensad

We have 3 POVs: Jason, Piper, and Leo. They are so fabulous and interesting! And diverse! And there was so much mystery surrounding these three. So much backstory. I just kept gobbling pages wanting answers.

So a quick look at the characters individually!?

  • JASON: I have to admit that he’s my least favourite. He’s typical “mysterious hero” material anad  a little cliche with his fabulous looks, tattoos, and amnesia. Where is Jason from? Who is he? Why does he randomly speak Latin? But he still felt…flat? He’s the kind of kid that does no wrong except is perfect.
  • PIPER: I loved her! She’s got a real soft side and yet is a bit of a kleptomaniac. She’s also half Cherokee, which is nice and refreshing to have diversity!
  • LEO: Easily my most FAVOURITE CHARACTER EVER. He’s funny! His hands can spontaneously bust into fire. He’s a whiz at making things and is usually covered in grease. He’s also Latino. He’s so fuuuuuny. (Just in case I haven’t mentioned it enough.) He’s the side-kick, the comic relief, and everyone totally takes him for granted. I love you, Leo. You are easily the best character in the book.

The plot followed the typical Send-Kids-On-Potentially-Lethal-Quest format that all Riordan’s books have. I mean, technically this is the sixth book of his I’ve read with this layout. And while it’d be nice to have a new plot structure once in a while…in a way it’s comforting to know how the book is going to be laid out. The story has plot twists and weird prophecies and gnarly action scenes.

 

“What about a compromise? I’ll kill them first, and if it turns out they were friendly, I’ll apologize.”

 

Although, I do have to admit….The book is way too long. It’s like nearly 600-pages. There were too many detours that didn’t do anything for the plot.

I’m not a Greek myth buff, but I love how the mythology is woven in flawlessly and I accidentally learn a lot while enjoying a delicious and hilarious story.

I basically enjoyed it a lot and loved the cliffhanger. One needs to have The Son Of Neptune on hand to devour straight away, is all I can say. I enjoyed the deeper plot and the maturity of the characters and I loved being able to laugh my head off at this hilarious quips.

 

“If possible, try to avoid pushing each other over the edge, as that would cause me extra paperwork.”

[PURCHASE HERE]