The Trials of Apollo, Book 1: The Hidden Oracle (Trials of Apollo, 1)

by Rick Riordan

Hardcover, 2016

Call number




Disney-Hyperion (2016), Edition: First Edition/First Printing, 384 pages


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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member arthistorychick
The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Book #1: The Trials of Apollo Series
Source: Overdrive Audio/Public Library
My Rating: 5/5 stars

For millennia, Apollo has enjoyed life as an Olympian deity! As the god of all that is good and fluffy, and bringer of the sun, Apollo has tended to spend his down time
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messing with mortals and playing pranks on his fellow gods and goddesses. Unfortunately, even a god can go too far, and one of Apollo’s latest stunts has really angered his father, Zeus. Which would explain the how and the why of Apollo waking up in a New York City alley with none of his stunning good looks or powers.

As the reality of his current situation settles in, Apollo turns to the only person who has shown any interest in helping him, Meg. As it turns out, Meg is a demigod and with some clever wording and evil genius trickery, she is also the proud owner of Apollo until his sentence as a mortal is completed. Could it get any worse? Of course, it can always get worse!!!

With nothing else to do but accept his current situation, Apollo, with the help of Meg and Percy Jackson, makes his way to Camp Half-Blood! And this is where it all gets worse . . . . In short order, Apollo understands the world of the gods and demigods is seriously screwed up! Camp Half-Blood is far less populated than it used to be, several campers have gone missing, and no quests have been assigned/granted because no prophecies have been made. It’s a vicious cycle that seems to be getting worse by the day, and if Apollo doesn’t do something, the situation is only going to get worse. The type of worse that has, in the past, has toppled empires and destroyed civilizations.

Undertaking a quest as a mortal is scary stuff, but Apollo is determined to do his part. Though he undertakes the quest for selfish reasons, it isn’t long before he figures out how being selfish for far, far too many centuries has, in fact, caused the current situation. Living as a mortal, fighting as a mortal teaches Apollo a great number of valuable lessons, including, precisely what it feels like to be betrayed by one you call friend, what it feels like to be abandoned by your parents and loved ones, and what it means to truly care for those under one’s own protection. Through a series of painful experiences, these lessons are driven home and convince Apollo he must, under any and all circumstances become a better deity. You know, once he’s allowed to be a deity again 😊

The Bottom Line: It has been many years since I read the original Percy Jackson books and I had forgotten how cleverly written they are. Rick Riordan has a way with words and a way of making the ancient myths and legends come to life, become so very real. The Hidden Oracle was so much fun to listen to, in large part, because Apollo is a very cocky, sarcastic, conceited being. All those qualities and intonations came through so well via audio that it truly enhanced my experience with this book. One thing I did notice and am working on correcting, I wish I had read the entire series of books, the first and second Percy Jackson series before listening to this book/trilogy. There are a ton of references in The Hidden Oracle to things in the second Percy Jackson series that I just didn’t understand in the context of this book. With that being said and based on my star rating, I still clearly loved this book and can’t wait for the next in the trilogy, The Dark Prophecy to download to my phone!!!
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LibraryThing member AlbaArango
After making his father Zeus super mad, Apollo gets punished by being sent down to Earth as a human teenage boy. And not a tough, hot teenage boy, but an average, run-of-the-mill teenage boy with―horror of horrors!―acne. Now the arrogant former god must figure out how to win back his father’s
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favor while fending off the numerous enemies he made as a god, enemies that are all too happy to see the god in his puny human form. Realizing, much to his disdain, that he needs help, Apollo sets off for the one place he knows he has friends and family―Camp Half Blood.

What I liked: Apollo is definitely my favorite of Riordan’s gods. His vanity and egotism, even now as a puny human, is hilarious and caused me to laugh out loud multiple times. I loved the return of some of the previous characters (like Percy Jackson) from other series, as well as the new characters introduced in this one.

What I didn’t like: not much. It was a bit long, but I never felt like I wanted the book to end.

A fun romp through mythology and history.
5 out of 5 stars
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LibraryThing member WhitneyYPL
If you like the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series I see no reason why anyone would not enjoy this new series. At first, I was concerned that with this book, the eleventh set in the Greek, and Roman demi-god world, that it would be dull and redundant. However, I was surprised and
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relieved to find out that a new spin made this book enjoyable.
This time, rather than dealing with demigods the reader is dealing with Apollo who is no longer a god but a lowly mortal having angered his father Zeus.
The best part of this novel is how arrogant and selfish Apollo is throughout. His attitude provides a lot of comedy however, as the novel progresses you can see how he grows and changes and begins to understand what it means to be mortal. Again, there is nothing ground breaking about this novel but it is an enjoyable read with familiar characters.
I would recommend this book for anyone who likes any of Rick Riordan's previous series and for any one who likes books about Greek Gods or myths. This is approprote for ages 8 and up. --RR
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LibraryThing member ceecee83
I’m just going to say it. I have never given a Rick Riordan book less than 5 teacups or stars in my entire life. He has been one of my favourite authors since I picked up The Lightning Thief when I was thirteen. I’ve never read books that are so action-packed, hilarious, and genuinely fun. I
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thoroughly enjoyed this new series debut, and I would highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend it! However, I would strongly encourage you to read Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus before diving into this one. I know that sounds like a huge commitment, but trust me, you won’t regret it! These books are absolutely fantastic, and to grow with, love and appreciate this world and these characters to the fullest I think everyone should start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start 😉)

I’m so glad that Riordan is not finished writing about our friends at Camp Half Blood and Camp Jupiter! I thought with his new Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, we had left our Big Seven behind, but of course good ol’ Rick wasn’t going to let us down. In The Hidden Oracle, we join the god, Apollo, who has been turned into a sixteen year old boy as punishment for his son’s involvement in the war that took place in The Heroes of Olympus. In order to return to his rightful place on Mount Olympus, Apollo must undergo many trials, and needless to say adventure and hilarity ensues from page one!

In my opinion, Apollo was definitely one of the funnier gods we met in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. With his sun chariot, obsession with haiku, and his “totally rad” attitude, he made for some major comic relief in the early series. It was interesting to read this book from his perspective because we still had that hilarious aspect of his character, but we were also able to see one of the gods as more than just a one dimensional parody, which I find the gods in Riordan’s series tend to be. At first I didn’t know how I felt about this because I liked having the gods be these funny, pompous, and somewhat oblivious characters. Although we did get that side of Apollo, the line seemed to blur between his godly personality and that of the demigod perspective we get from characters like Percy Jackson or Leo Valdez. Sometimes I found myself thinking that his voice sounded too much like a demigod and didn’t seem to match the immortal god Apollo. However, Apollo does comment that his fears and thoughts are oddly human and probably an aspect of his punishment. In seeing things through this perspective, Apollo has definitely grown into a much more complex character than we first met a couple of series ago.

And of course, you can’t go wrong with the haiku chapter titles. I laughed out loud at the beginning of every chapter! Here were a few of my favourites:

You’ve got to be kid– / Well, crud, what just happened there? / I ran out of syl–

Up in my business / Always burning Oracles / Romans gonna hate

It takes a Village / People to protect your mind / “Y.M.C.A.” Yeah

The Hidden Oracle was one of the best books I read this year and I’m so excited to see where this series goes! I always know that I’m in for a good time whenever I pick up a Rick Riordan read:) After this, I’m sure I’ll be picking up Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard pretty soon!
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LibraryThing member benuathanasia
Apollo isn't a particularly likeable character (though he isn't supposed to be), that's generally offset in this book by a decent amount of humor. Even still, it isn't nearly as good as Riordan's other books.
LibraryThing member eawsmom
Immortal Apollo has been kicked out of Olympus and turned into the mortal Lester Papadopoulos. Now he has to contend with things such as acne, flab, and the possibility of death--what a comedown! On top of that, he has become responsible for freeing his Oracles from imprisonment before an evil trio
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of megalomaniacs takes over the world and destroys civilization as we know it.

This is a fun visit to the world of demigods and Camp Half-Blood. Several old friends appear in the story (some just in the nick of time) and we also meet new friends who will hopefully appear in future installments.

While this could be read as a stand-alone book, it will be much more enjoyable (and several inside jokes will be easier to understand) if you read the books in the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series and "The Heroes of Olympus" series first.
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LibraryThing member ComposingComposer
Rick Riordan has a tendency to just write variations on all the same characters. This book is no exception. Apollo is Percy Jackson if someone decided to inflate Percy Jackson's head to one-hundred times it's original size. I liked Percy. I liked Magnus Chase. I liked Leo Valdez. They may be the
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same more-or-less character, but they're all pretty likeable. Apollo is these three characters, but unlikeable. Luckily he had had a lot of character growth by the end of the book, and there were still parts where I laughed out loud, but overall this was a weak start to a Rick Riordan series.
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LibraryThing member DebbieMcCauley
Apollo has been cast out of Olympus by his father Zeus, and is now a spotty teenage boy called Lester Papadopoulos with little ability to defend himself. Four thousand years of being an arrogant god have not prepared Apollo for his new reality. If he can only find Percy Jackson and make it to Camp
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Half-Blood then he might survive the attacks from those who seek to destroy him. Great fantasy action adventure with many pockets of humour.
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LibraryThing member shelbel100
Rick Riordan has done it again, this time with a new twist. The God, Apollo, has been cast out of Olympus and into present day NYC. He teams up with a runaway girl with unexpected abilities and they make their way to Camp Half Blood where the adventure begins.

The novelty of this series is Apollo
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has been turned into a nerdy human teenager, complete with acne and no strength or powers. I look forward to seeing what adventures life as a human holds for Apollo and truly hope Mr. Riordan is able to keep up the suspense and novelty in the upcoming series.
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LibraryThing member fyrefly98
Summary: Apollo has been made mortal and kicked out of Olympus before, but this time, it really stings. To start out with, he landed in garbage. He's stuck in the body of a pudgy, acne-ridden 16-year-old named Lester Papadopoulos. He's lost his godly powers of music, archery, and healing. Most of
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his memory of the six months since Gaea's battle with the gods is missing. He's bound to serve Meg McCaffrey, an annoying demigod street urchin with a penchant for throwing fruit. And when he finally makes his way to Camp Half-Blood in search of answers (and as much as he hates to admit it, help), he finds that things there are pretty dire as well. Campers have been mysteriously disappearing, the Oracle isn't working, so they have no prophecies to guide them, communication is down, and Apollo can hear strange whisperings in the trees. Even though he's only mortal, can Apollo and the demigods figure out what's going on in time to stop it from destroying everything, including Apollo's chances of reclaiming his godhood?

Review: Rick Riordan's books are somewhat hard to review, as a) there's a lot of them, and b) they're pretty consistently good. This book, the start of a new series (but also a continuation of the larger Percy Jackson / Heroes of Olympus series), was just as exciting and fast-paced and clever about the blending of mythology with the modern world as Riordan's books always are. But I didn't like it quite as much as normal, since Apollo is not nearly as appealing a main character as Percy Jackson or Jason or Annabeth or Leo or Nico or any of the other demigods, and this book is entirely from his first-person point-of-view. Apollo, even in mortal form, is arrogant, demanding, and blithely unaware of his own faults, and while I get that that is both the joke and part of his character arc, the joke got old pretty quickly. The fish-out-of-water storyline was pretty standard, although it was interesting seeing Apollo interact with his demigod children, given that he is now their same age (and powerless, as well.) There was some impressive ret-conning involved in the plot of this series's Big Bad (or at least I suspect it was ret-conning; maybe Riordan planned it in advance, but if not, it's done pretty seamlessly.) I also quite liked Meg (and her "pet" demon, Peaches), and am interested to see where Riordan takes her character in future books. And since Apollo has gotten over himself to some extent by the end of this volume, hopefully I'll find him a little less annoying in the next book in the series (which of course I will be reading.) 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Although it's technically the first book in new series, it really doesn't do a lot of explanation about demigods / Camp Half-Blood / what happened in previous books / who any of these characters are, so I think it's best read after the two preceding series (which are good fun anyways). It's starting a new storyline six months later, so you don't need the details of the previous books fresh in your mind, but I do think you need some of the background that this one doesn't provide.
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LibraryThing member bookishpeach240
whoa! that was a quick read. loved every part of it, though. Rick's writing was hilarious as always and I was laughing out loud while reading. Thank god I decided to read it at home! I sort of binge read it and am regretting that I did because I know I would have enjoyed it much more if I took my
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time. I'm going to start talking about spoilers so if you have not read this book yet, I suggest you read it and come back.
what I liked about this book was the character development. In the beginning Apollo was having a very hard time adjusting to his mortal state and was arrogant, self-centered, and everything he was when he was a god. I wasn't sure whether he would be able to change but I was very proud of him when he went back to the mission to save Meg and his children. it was very weird that he and his children were about the same age, though... His children were being nice to him but... still weird. I'm guessing he's going on a mission with Leo and Calypso in the next book and I'm looking forward to finding out what's going on. I have so many questions. Who turned him mortal? I'm guessing it's not Zeus because he wouldn't have take all of Apollo's powers. Maybe Nero or someone bigger than him?? Idk... Also, what happens to Meg? I hope she's alright... I have a feeling she's going to be play a large role in this series and I'm interested what is going to happen to her. Also, did I mention that I am soooo happy for Nico? After so many things he went through, he deserves a happy relationship and I looooved reading about Nico x Will. ( in fact Nico and Will moments were my favorite parts of this book) Doctor's note? Really, Nico? couldn't you have come up with a better excuse?? Anyways, loved this book and looking forward to the next book already!
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LibraryThing member lilibrarian
As punishment, Zeus has made Apollo fully human. He isn't handling it particularly well, and turns to Camp Half Blood for assistance. There he discovers, that the Oracles are not working, and it falls to him, in his human form, to resolve the issue. First in a series
LibraryThing member weisser4
As usual, Rick Riordan has written a children's book with adventure, fun, humor, and a lot of research showing in his character development. Love it!
LibraryThing member Baochuan
I like the Percy Jackson series, I am not quite as taken for this new series. The God Apollo comes across as a pertulant and narcassistic teenager. The characters are a bit flat for this first book, hope the next ones will improve somewhat.
LibraryThing member BrendaKlaassen
Since I knew I would be traveling this weekend, I picked-up this book from the library. This author seems to always catch my attention and hold it. Mr. Riordan knows how to write believable imagination. I felt bad when Meg discovered that her step-father was evil at the core. The character of
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Apollo was very self-centered. I can understand why Mr. Riordan is very popular; he know how to write so an elementary student would enjoy the story and yet there are enough details that adults can read them for "escape the life" reading. I will be seeking out this author again.
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LibraryThing member ChrisWeir
First in the Trials of Apollo series. This has the god Apollo being sent to earth as a teenage as punishment.. He lands in a trash dumpster in an alleyway in Hell's Kitchen. There a young girl saves him by magically hurling fruit at his would be attackers. And we're off and running. Just like most
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of Riordan's books that I've read it starts out with something amazing and you get a jump start into a story. I did like this one but he seems to be getting a bit formulaic his heroes and characters seems to all sound the same anymore with changes in location. I did like this book overall and Apollo is very narcissistic and not a very sympathetic character but he's not meant to be. We get some of the old characters back from the previous Percy Jackson books, Percy, Chiron, Nico, Leo makes an appearance towards the end. Will be interesting to see where the series goes.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
Zeus needs someone to blame for the war with the giants, and his eye falls on Apollo. How do you punish a god? You make him mortal, of course. Apollo the scrawny teenager falls to earth in a New York City back alley, and immediately is set upon by thugs, then falls in with a young demigod who has
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some secrets she's not telling. Apollo wants nothing more than to regain his godly status, but how? He's got a sinking suspicion that it has to do with the Oracle of Delphi, which has been retaken by an old enemy of his. And, speaking of old enemies, some shadowy figures from the distant past seem to be making a bid for world domination. In fact, they may have been behind all of the troubles the demigods have faced thus far...

Just when I think Riordan has pretty much run through his source material, he manages to twist in a different direction and set off on a new course. Apollo's perspective is a lot of fun to read, what with the overweening egotism and all -- Riordan does make him somewhat sympathetic by the end of the book. And I'm intrigued by the new bad guys.

I didn't think this book was quite as action-packed as Riordan's other stuff, but it was doing a lot of work to set up the series. It was nice to go back to Camp Halfblood for a bit, and to see some old friends. I wouldn't recommend this as a starting point for readers new to Riordan, but fans of Percy Jackson should certainly take notice.
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LibraryThing member MontzaleeW
The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan is a funny yet exciting fantasy story for kids. Apollo gets kicked out by his dad Zeus and looses his powers but he still acts like a high and might snob at first. Upset he has pimples and not no 8 pack abs. He even gets beat up and saved
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by a girl. The story is fun and has lots of twists, lots of action, and crazy dialogue (mostly from Apollo who is clueless). I can't imagine a kid not loving this story. I got this story from the library.
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LibraryThing member Ray_
This was the most hilarious book by Rick Riordan I've read so far!
I've always loved Apollo when he appeared in the other books, but reading things from his perspective was just a hundred times better!!
I loved this story and how it started as a simple punishment from Zeus but as we went deeper
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things got a lot more complicated.
Meg was a very interesting character and to be honest I never expected THAT from her!
I really hope she gets back to her senses and stops acting stupid.

I was so happy to see Will and Nico, my baby diAngelo was finally happy and I was fangirling so freaking hard!

The best part about this book was definitely the haikus at the start of each chapter, those were just phenomenal!!
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LibraryThing member PardaMustang
The Hidden Oracle is first in Riordan's The Trials of Apollo series. The once great god of healing, prophecy, and music has been condemned to live among the mortals on earth- as one of them. It's not the first time either, but this may just be the worst! He's stuck in the form of an acne riddled
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teenager named Lester, and he's been stripped of every ounce of his godly power. Apollo has to serve the first demigod to claim his services, which turns out to be a seemingly feral one named Meg.

Meg's first task is to get her safe to Camp Half-blood. This leads him to Percy for help since Apollo isn't certain he'd be able to find the camp being mortal as he is. A battle with plague spirits at an orchard bordering the camp boundaries separates Meg and Apollo from Percy, and gives the pair a clue to Meg's godly parent when she summons a peach karpoi. The usually dangerous plant spirits are often temperamental and happy to attack all Invaders to their territory. Peaches, though, is clearly there for Meg. With his help, Apollo and Meg make it to the camp. There, Apollo learns that several Oracles are defunct. Not only that, but the forest around the camp is luring students in, not to be seen again. Can Apollo, and those willing to help him, solve the mystery before it's too late?

I'm gonna admit, it took a bit for Apollo to grow on me. He's arrogant to a fault, and refuses at first to consider his own role in being stripped of his powers and the problem as a whole. He does start to change, over the course of the story, which is good, since he has a quest and needs help. I did love that he prefaces each chapter with a funny haiku! God of poetry, indeed!

I enjoyed seeing Percy again, and others from Half-Blood. A little later, we get to see some of Jupiter's students, too. Leo and Festus were my faves from those earlier books and I'm not disappointed here :) It was odd, though, who the initial villain of this book (and likely the series) was. It's a historical person I have an affinity for, and a more positive outlook now thanks to a duology about them I read recently. That ruffled my feathers at first, to be sure. Oh well, it's an alternate earth anyway!

In the end, Apollo, won me over. And the story in general is typical of Riordan's humourous take on myth and legend. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

****This book was purchased and read for my own enjoyment.
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LibraryThing member SweetKokoro
3.5 stars for this one from me. While I enjoyed the idea of Apollo being punished by having his godly powers removed from him, and being turned into a normal mortal teen. I didn’t care or find the need of him having a new name, considering he never used it.
I cringed every time some modern
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reference from the real world was mentioned (like the kardashians) I get its suppose to be relate-able but it was just annoying, and this goes for the song references through-out the book.
I liked Apollo’s character, you do see him grow and change throughout the book which was nice and Meg didn’t really stand out to me so I’m ehh on her.

Overall it’s a fun book, if I was the target age range, I could see myself enjoying it. It’s a pretty mid paced story, not too fast not to slow. The added addition of Riordan doing his research on the gods makes this a plus for kids who are interested in learning and a plus for those who have no interest but still come away learning a myth or two. It also makes tons of references to earlier books in the world Riordan has created, but not enough that makes you feel like you probably should have read them. I can understand why children enjoy these books.
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LibraryThing member ToniFGMAMTC
This story happens after The Heroes of Olympus series. You don't necessarily have to read Percy Jackson and The Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus first, but I would highly recommend it. It is a continuation of that storyline. Percy, Nico and some of the other characters pop up a few times. Camp
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Half-Blood is visited. Several previous characters are mentioned. Events that happened at the end of Heroes of Olympus are what causes the situation in The Hidden Oracle. Because of what went down with the gods, Apollo is being punished and the oracle is missing. Apollo has been turned human, and he has to complete a quest. I like both series mentioned above and Kane Chronicles series, but I did not like The Sword of Summer so I was worried about this one. If you liked the other Greek/Roman books, you will probably like this one. It has the same humor, action, mystery, sacrifice and family problems.
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LibraryThing member ToniFGMAMTC
This story happens after The Heroes of Olympus series. You don't necessarily have to read Percy Jackson and The Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus first, but I would highly recommend it. It is a continuation of that storyline. Percy, Nico and some of the other characters pop up a few times. Camp
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Half-Blood is visited. Several previous characters are mentioned. Events that happened at the end of Heroes of Olympus are what causes the situation in The Hidden Oracle. Because of what went down with the gods, Apollo is being punished and the oracle is missing. Apollo has been turned human, and he has to complete a quest. I like both series mentioned above and Kane Chronicles series, but I did not like The Sword of Summer so I was worried about this one. If you liked the other Greek/Roman books, you will probably like this one. It has the same humor, action, mystery, sacrifice and family problems.
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LibraryThing member Tehya13
This book was so hilarious, I liked it a lot. Can't wait to read the next one!
LibraryThing member cyderry
What Fun! I love this new series about Apollo losing his "godliness" and being made human where he has to prove to Zeus that he deserves to be made a god again. Apollo is now a 16 year old with "acne and flab" which makes him thoroughly disgusted with his makeover. Having been the god of healing,
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prophecy, and music, Apollo is having difficulty accepting the fact that he can't even heal his own acne let alone help others. Apollo is rescued from a mugging by a feral demi-god, Meg, and together they find Percy Jackson who helps them to get to Camp Half-blood. There, Apollo finds that several of the demi-gods are missing and the Oracles are not functioning. Apollo with Meg's help must find a way to save the missing Oracles so that prophecies are available again.

This book was a great with the characterization of Apollo being a self-centered egotistical teenager who believes that Zeus, his father, just doesn't understand him and how important he is as a god. It appears that Apollo will have to prove himself by performing some heroic deeds before his father stops punishing him.

For a lover of Percy Jackson and mythology this series looks like a winner to me!
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Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Middle Grade — 2019)
Golden Archer Award (Nominee — 2018)
ALA Rainbow Book List (Selection — Middle Grade Fiction — 2017)


148473274X / 9781484732748
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