Book Reviews

Book Review :: Trials of Apollo (Book One) The Hidden Oracle

🚨SPOILER ALERT🚨

RATING :: 🌞🌞🌞🌞

BOOK AUTHOR :: RICK RIORDAN

GENRE :: YA FICTION

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 disoriented, 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.

“How do you know which demigod?”

I blinked. “What?”

Which demigod you’re supposed to serve, dummy.”

“I … uh. Well, it’s usually obvious. I just sort of run into them. That’s why I want to get to the Upper East Side. My new master will claim my service and—-“

“I’m MegMcCaffrey!” Meg blew me a raspberry. “And I claim your service!”

Overheard, thunder rumbled on the gray sky. The sound echoed through the city canyons like divine laughter

Whatever was left of my pride turned to ice water and trickled onto my socks.

-Trials of Apollo, The Hidden Oracle


REVIEW ::

First, let me just say that I might have definitely fallen into the group of “THOSE people” who judge a book by its cover too soon.

*hangs head in shame*

Much like Eliza & Her Pet Monsters, I underestimated the awesomeness of this book. The reason why I’d even picked this book up was because my baby sisters had suddenly gotten into Greek mythology and had been reading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Since I’m a fan of Greek mythology, I decided to pick up on the books they’d been reading to see if they were any good… Now I’m just wondering what took me so long to get started.

Sigh*

Judging by my 4 sun rating ( Ha ha! Get it? Because, like, Apollo is the god of the SUN? Ha? No?), you [the reader] can just about imagine how much I enjoyed this book.

There are many reasons why I fell in love with Trials of Apollo…

Let me start with the sun god himself- Apollo…

Charming, proud, arrogant, and four-thousand going on 16… Apollo find himself in a mortal teenaged body with white heads on his face and the lamest human name possible- Lester Papadopoulos. He has angered his father Zeus and, as punishment, is stripped of his powers and forced to live in the human world as a mortal.

Apollo narrates his entire journey from beginning to end in what has to be one of the most entertaining first-person POV story I’ve ever read. He truly has such a way with words.

Apollo’s arrogance and pride, annoying as they may be, is the hallmark of his character. I couldn’t help laughing at the irony of Apollo’s situation; his desperate attempts to assume the role and superiority of a god while in a mortal’s body only to end up in hysterical failures again and again had me re-reading countless paragraphs just for amusement.

I do wish there had been a little more chemistry between Apollo and his children, but given the fact that he is an arrogant god who knows little to nothing about his kids… well, you get it. This changes as Apollo begins to experience positive character development, most of it thanks to Meg McCaffrey, his new demigod master who tests Apollo’s patience almost throughout the entire story.

Their tense relationship evolves into a friendship that brings out the soft, caring side of Apollo. And since Greek gods are normally portrayed as powerful beings that seldom show emotion (or humor), it was a great to see the god Apollo in a different light.

I do have to say, however, that as nice as the plot was- building up nice and slowly till the end- it was Apollo’s character development that I found most fascinating.

What I did enjoy about the plot were the sudden twists and surprises. Meg McCaffrey’s origins and background were definitely one of the highlights of the book. Being a fan of Percy Jackson, it was pretty sweet to have him joining Apollo and other demigods. And boy, Emperor Nero’s (yes, THEE Emperor Nero) sudden grand entrance had to be one of the best jaw-dropping moments in the story.

The history of the ancient world combined with the events of 21st century kept me engaged and excited. Reading how the gifts and powers of the gods remain relevant through the ages, from the Rise of the Roman Empire to the downfall of Britney Spears, 2007, was fun and absorbing.

“I visited my wrath upon Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards.”

Pretty cool of Rick Riordan to also take the time to add historical facts, too, about Emperor Nero’s treatment of the early Christians.

By the end of the book, a more humane Apollo finds himself getting ready to enter a new journey which hopefully may involve him getting some of his powers back to fight enemies like Python and Nero. Onto book 2 now which, guess what? I bought it before I finished this book.

All in all, I felt that this book was not so much about what is going on in the lives of Apollo’s kids and companions, but more about a journey of self discovery and humility… well, at least for Apollo. Lol.

Can’t wait to read Trials of Apollo, Book Two: The Dark Prophesy.

What did you think of Trials of Apollo?
How would you describe this Apollo vs the one you probably read in your school textbooks?

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