The Trials of Apollo Book One The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan is the start of a new Greek mythology series from middle grade staple Rick Riordan. This new series centres around the god Apollo, who has been stripped of his godly powers by his father, Zeus. Naturally, adventures and shenanigans ensue.
For me this read a little younger than the Heroes of Olympus series, more in line with Percy Jackson. Apollo’s human persona is aged 16, but he spends a lot of time hanging around with 13 year old Meg which naturally makes the feel of the book somewhat younger. Also, there is no emphasis at all on romantic relationships.
What I liked
Riordan’s writing style. After many series including Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Heroes of Olympus, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Riordan’s light, witty style should be familiar to most readers. If you enjoyed the earlier books, you will certainly enjoy this one. They are very funny. I breezed through The Hidden Oracle in an afternoon. While it is not necessary to have read the earlier series, I would strongly recommend doing so before picking up this latest one. There are many references to characters and events from previous entries that, while not necessary to enjoy the story, are enhanced by knowledge of both of the other Olympian series.
The protagonist. I was amused by Apollo – his attitude and the circumstances he kept finding himself in. In theme it’s very similar to Marvel’s Thor movie in which a god becomes mortal but takes some time to adjust to his new situation. I enjoyed Apollo’s character development and how he changes throughout the course of the adventure. I do have some concerns if that level of character development can be sustained through the other four planned books in the series, but time will tell.
Catchups on our other favourite demigods. In this book we touch base with our heroes from the previous series. It was good to hear how Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Leo and the others are all getting on with their post Gaea lives.
What I didn’t like
Perhaps because this was aimed at a younger audience, at times it was a little formulaic, especially if you know the previous book. Still, it’s more than made up for by Riordan’s wit and humour.
In summary, if you’ve enjoyed the previous books, you will certainly enjoy The Trials of Apollo. I gave it four stars out of five.