Blurb (Goodreads)– 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 favor.
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.
Thoughts- Six years ago, before the Heroes of Olympus even came out, if you told me that I would DNF a Rick Riordan book, I would’ve called you a liar and moved now. And yet, Riordan’s latest book, The Hidden Oracle, left me so disappointed that I don’t even have the effort to finish it. This is going to be a controversial review since I know so many people love this book, so do be warned.
To be quite frank, I felt like a child reading this. Apollo is suppose to be around sixteen and he acts like a spoiled twelve year old. Percy, when he was eleven is 10x more mature than human Apollo. I understand that he’s a god cast down to Earth but oh my god he is the worst protagonist I’ve ever read. Nothing he ever said was funny to me, it was inconsiderate and rude. The only time I even slightly cared for Apollo was when he was trying to bond with his kids because he showed some human emotion. I’m sure his character develops and he stops becoming such a jerkwad but why make your readers wait so long Riordan? It’s insufferable.
Then we have Meg. The mortal demigod that Apollo has to serve, and yet again I don’t think I’ve ever immediately disliked a character as fast as I disliked these two. Meg is bratty and annoying, and a huge downgrade from Riordan’s past female protagonists. Yes, a child of Demeter is definitely interesting, but her interesting parentage is distracted by her personality. Annabeth will always be one of my favorite characters, I have so much respect for Piper and Hazel, and Reyna is an absolute queen. Then we have Meg. I really only like her sickles.
The writing itself has grown increasingly simplistic over the last few series and books. The original PJO series is amazing. The humor is well timed and not overwhelming, and serious moments are actually presented as serious. HoO was even better, in terms of writing style. You could tell it was more developed and once again, the humor was always on point. In this new book, the bad and extremely outdated (it’s not 2005!) puns are overwhelming and take away from the overall story and the simplistic prose is boring to read. You would also think after 10+ books all in the same universe, we would get a more interesting plot line than Riordan’s classic “new demigod given quest to save the world!” plot, but I suppose not.
So, even after being a 7+ year Rick Riordan fan, I’m sad to say this will most likely be my last book of his. After I could never get into the Kane Chronicles, not really loving Magnus Chase, and being disappointed with Blood of Olympus… I’m not too surprised. Unfortunately, this was not the book for me.