The Hidden Oracle
The Trials of Apollo: Book One
From the book jacket: “My father’s voice still rings in my ears. Can you believe Zeus blamed me for the god’s battle with Gaea? Just because the earth goddess duped one of my progeny—Octavian—into plunging the Greek and Roman demigods into a civil war that nearly destroyed human civilization. I ask how was that my fault?
“Now I’m cast out of Olympus in the form of a sixteen-year-old mortal boy, acne and all! Sadly, I’ve been punished this way before. I know I will face many trials and hardships. I can only hope that if I suffer through them and prove myself worthy, Father will forgive me and allow me to become a god again.
“But this time my situation seems much more dangerous. One of my ancient adversaries knows I am here and is having me followed. The Oracle of Delphi remains dark, unable to issue prophecies. Most embarrassing of all, I am bound to serve a demigod street urchin who defends herself by throwing rotten fruit.
“Zeus could not possibly expect me to fix the Oracle problem by myself. Not in my present week condition. It’s time for me to drop in on Camp Half-Blood, where I might find some talented fodder … er, I mean heroes to help.”
In the beginning of the story the sun god Apollo has been rendered a human teenage boy and he is very annoying – arrogant, self-centered, and obnoxious. But I like the way Riordan evolves him through the events and tragedies in the book so that by the time we get to the end, Apollo, while still self-centered and a teensy bit arrogant, has begun to feel compassion, regret and dare I say it (?), somewhat humbled.
As with all of Riordan’s mythology books, this one is jam packed with action from the beginning and like Mrs. O’Leary (an oversized hellhound—quite literally a hound from hell, or the Underworld) with a bone, it shakes you and won’t let go. I will admit it follows the same formulaic pattern all of his other demigod books do, but I will forgive the author because the book is just too much fun. And for you Percy Jackson fans, he does make a reappearance in this story, but he’s too busy growing up to get very much involved in Apollo’s drama.
I am looking forward to the next installment which probably won’t be until next year. I’m sure it will be well worth the wait!
Rating 4 out of 5 paws!
Reviewer: Toby (yes, I finally get to review a book after 2 months of picture books!)