July Reads: THE HIDDEN ORACLE by Rick Riordan

I think everyone knows by now how much I love Rick Riordan’s books. I’ve talked about my love for his PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS and THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS series multiple times, and recently, I reviewed the first book of his Norse Gods series, THE SWORD OF SUMMER. I’ve been wanted to get my hands on this book for a while, especially since I learned it contains several of my favourite characters. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

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 disorientated, 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.

(Goodreads)

Beware: here be massive spoilers.

God, I can’t even describe how much I loved this book.

Rick Riordan has a way of writing books that never seem flat. He’s written, what, eleven books in the Greek/Roman world now, not including bonus books? Keeping any story world fresh and new for that long is hard. Most book series flounder by the fourth or fifth book, but somehow, I never get tired of Riordan’s books. He always finds ways to keep me hooked and interested, and I’ve never once gotten sick of his fabulous characters.

First of all, Apollo’s cocky confidence was surprisingly entertaining, as were his many opinions on mortal things. The over-arching plot of this book (and the series as well, it seems) is Apollo’s transformation into a mortal and how that affects him, and through the series, we see just that. Apollo no longer is a god; he’s a human just like us, with human fears and human feelings.

It’s also worth mentioning the fact that Apollo is the first bisexual male protagonist I’ve ever read, and that’s even more important in a YA book. While some people might be angry that Riordan is “indoctrinating” young kids to LGBT lifestyles (things that actual people have actually said), I love the representation in this book. Apollo is not stereotypically flamboyant, nor is he lusting after every girl or boy in the book. His two great loves, Daphne and Hyacinth, are equally important and influential to him, and his sexually is portrayed so subtly and that for the most part, it goes unnoticed. Apollo is not defined by it; it’s portrayed merely as another aspect of his character, and I think that’s awesome.

And Meg was the kind of character I didn’t even know I wanted, but man, am I glad I met her. She’s so different from any of his other characters, and so strong and independent, especially for her age. I want a Meg by my side throwing rotten apples at bullies, man. Actually, scratch that—I want to be Meg, throwing rotten apples at bullies.

Another thing that I have to mention is SOLANGELO. As someone who has a soft spot for precious cinnamon roll characters, Nico has always been one of my favourite recurring characters. To see what he had to go through in HOUSE OF HADES with Eros… man, that felt like a sucker punch. And then to watch him blossom into the confident, self-accepting kid who flat out tells Percy that yeah, he used have a crush on him and whatever, was one of the best parts of the book for me. I honestly didn’t expect things could get any better, and knowing Rick Riordan, who seems to love torturing his characters, I was just hoping they wouldn’t get any worse. And then this book came out, and I got happy, out Nico in a committed, healthy relationship with another boy, and God, it was glorious. I’m a sucker for happy endings. Always have been. And Nico definitely deserves one.

While there were some things I would’ve liked to see but didn’t, like appearances of Annabeth as well as Jason and Piper’s reactions to Leo’s return, I was, for the most part, completely awestruck by the book. Just getting Leo back to camp was good enough for me. And hey, Also, Percy “I can’t die because I have to get into college so my girlfriend doesn’t kill me” Jackson is enough to tide me over for now.

All in all, I found THE HIDDEN ORACLE to be a great book, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

 

What books did you read this month?

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