Monday, 27 June 2016

The Hidden Oracle

Apollo has upset Zeus again, he’s just not sure why. Cast down to earth as a mortal teenage boy, Apollo must find a way to get back his godly powers, and looks, perhaps he needs to serve a demigod for a year or two. When street urchin Meg saves him from an otherwise certain pummelling, the two make their way to Camp Half-Blood to get to the bottom of what’s really going on.

I absolutely loved Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series but had never got round to reading the follow up, Heroes of Olympus series. So when I saw there was a new series set in the same world, I was excited to give it a go without feeling the need to catch up, so to speak. Unfortunately, I felt The Hidden Oracle was very much a follow on from the other books and it seemed like I was missing information in places. It also contains spoilers for those Heroes of Olympus books if you haven’t read them.

The idea of Apollo falling to earth in a mortal teenage boy’s body was a good one and the story is narrated by Apollo which gives a bit of a different point of view. But I didn’t feel all that attached or sympathetic towards him. He’s a bit of a self-entitled whiner, and his self-discovery that he’s not all that likeable was a bit clich├ęd.

Maybe the thing that really didn’t work for me was the fact that Apollo is thousands of years old and quite wise to the world but he’s narrating a book for children. So he’s not quite got the voice of the teenage boy he has become, but he’s not convincing as a god either. This is probably less of a problem for the book’s target audience.

Exercise is nothing more than a depressing reminder that one is not a god.

I mean, there’s loads of fun, because this is a Rick Riordan book. Yet it was lacking all those wonderful mythology in jokes from the Percy Jackson days. I would have liked a bit more inkling to what Apollo had done and some development towards him becoming a god again. I guess Rick must be planning on keeping him mortal for the whole “Trials of Apollo” series though.

If you like haiku, each chapter starts with one. Although they are of varying quality and humour as Apollo has also lost his godly poetry skills too.

The Hidden Oracle is published by Puffin and is out now in hardback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

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