Review: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Title: The Hidden Oracle
Author: Rick Riordan (site)
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 376
Release Date: 3rd May 2016
Edition: Paperback, Purchased
Goodreads | Book Depository

Synopsis (from Rick Riordan's site):

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 favour. 

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.

The Hidden Oracle follows Apollo, who is punished by Zeus to become mortal, and his journey to prove himself worthy enough to become a god again. Upon falling into the mortal world, he is rescued by a 12-year-old girl, Meg, and the two set off to Camp Half-Blood to find help.

Apollo is a hilarious protagonist. His arrogance and lack of mortal experience created laughters for the readers. Most of the time, I don't take him seriously, but he is quite mature in some intense moments. I absolutely love his reflection on the difference between gods and humans and his admiration for the bravery in mortals.

"The truth is we gods are a little in awe of you mortals. You spend your whole lives knowing you will die. No matter how many friends and relatives you have, your puny existence will quickly be forgotten. How do you cope with it? Why are you not running around constantly screaming and pulling your hair out? Your bravery, I must admit, is quite admirable."

As for Meg, she reminds me a lot of the student that I am tutoring for. I think she can really kick some ass if she further masters her powers. I'm giving anything away, but she is a significant character and I know the rest of the series will depend a lot on her choices.

Yet, I think the plot moves really slow. In my opinion, a lot of pages are wasted to illustrate the atmosphere in camp, and there are a lot of times where Apollo forget about important memories. Most of the time he has remembered, but before he can tell somebody, he forgets what he wants to say. I find that quite annoying because I know Riordan is trying to save the revelation for the last 1/4 of the book. It doesn't work for me. Nevertheless, I'm glad there is a plot twist, or else I don't think this book has anything gripping enough for me to continue reading.

I'm happy some characters in the past series are in this book. I didn't read The Heroes of the Olympus series, but I've read Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I did go on wikia to read about HoO after the first few chapters of this book because there are references I don't know about. I think fans of Riordan's books will love the last 80 pages of the book.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Besides introducing the new threat Apollo faces, The Hidden Oracle doesn't have much plot to talk about. I don't think I will read the next instalment even though I love the companions Apollo is going on the adventure with. I guess this book is just for Riordan's fans but not for book lovers who want to pick a new series to read.


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