The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Characters (the list is long, but it will be a reference for later books as well):
Apollo = used to be a god, now a human named Lester Padadopoulos
Artemis = Apollo’s sister
Cyrene = Apollo’s old girlfriend
Mikey & Cane = beat Apollo up under orders from their boss, have snake tattoos on their necks
Margaret “Meg” McCaffery = saved Apollo from Mikey & Cane, a child of Demeter, a demigod, adopts Peaches a grain spirit
Percy Jackson = Poseidon’s son, a demigod, helps Meg and Apollo get to Camp Half-Blood, working to graduate high school and pass exams
Sally = Percy’s mom, pregnant
Paul = Percy’s dad
Nosoi = plague spirits, can’t be killed
Peaches = a karpos, a grain spirit, can be a serious fighter
Will Solace = Apollo’s son with Naomi Solace ( an alt-country singer), a healer, dating Nico
Connor Stoll = son of Hermes, trickster
Sherman Yang = son of Ares
Austin = musically inclined son of Apollo
Kayla = daughter of Apollo, skilled archer
Rachel Dare = priestess of the Oracle Delphi
Nico di Angelo = son of Hades, dating Will
Chiron = centaur, professor in the mortal world, running Camp Half-Blood
Daphane = former love of Apollo, did not end well
Hyacinthus = former love of Apollo, did not end well
Julia Feingold & Alice Miyazawa = daughters of Hermes
Dionysos = head of Camp Half-Blood, has not been at camp since the battle with Gaea
Leo Valdez = off saving Calypso, unknown where he is for the last 6 months
Miranda Gardiner = senior camper, went missing, child of Demeter
Cecil Markowitz = child of Hermes, went missing
Ellis Wakefield = child of Ares, went missing
Paolo = son of Heve (goddess of youth) had his arms reattached, and one leg, only speaks Portuguese
Harley = 8 year old son of Hephaestus, sort of a Camp Half-Blood mascot
Nyssa = Harley’s older sister
Billie Ng = child of Demeter
Woodrow = satyr, teaches music at Camp Half-Blood
Valentina Diaz = daughter of Aphrodite
Damien White = son of Nemesis
Chiara Benvenuti = Italian demi-god, has a thing for Damien
Holly & Laurel Victor = daughters of Nike
Python = monster blocking Delphi
Beast = lives in New York City, uses or trains demigods to be servants or soldiers (aka Emperor Nero)
Grove of Dodona = the 5th Oracle
Sybil of Cumae = an oracle, wrote the Sibyline Books, Ella the harpy memorized them
Oracle at Erythaea & Cave of Trophonius = the other 2 oracles
Rhea = Queen of the Titans
Pete & Paulie = Geyser Gods
Triumvirate = three Roman emperors that are seeking to destroy the Greek Gods, currently Nero is the only known member, but the other two have been seen just not names.
I love Rick Riordan, and he has gotten me hooked into another one of his series. This book brings you back to Camp Half-Blood and catches you up on some of your favorite demigods, while bringing a new group into play and sending them on a quest.
Apollo angered his father, Zeus, and was cast out of Olympus as a mortal landing in a dumpster in New York City. Attached to serve demigod, Meg, they make their way to seek help from Percy Jackson. Using a world that already exists and characters that readers have grown to love, hate, care about, and cheer for the stage is set. New readers can pick up without ever having read the Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus Series and start to learn about characters.
Once at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo realizes there are more problems than just him being mortal. As Apollo comes to grip with his mortal state, he and Meg start a quest and learn what is really happening to the demigods and why communication between them has been interrupted. Meg’s true parentage is explained, as is her current family state. Apollo starts to have mortal feelings towards his children and the other demigods. Seeing how Camp Half-Blood is accepting of him, even in his mortal state, makes Apollo realize how as an immortal god he didn’t pay enough attention to his children or what was happening in the world.
After some heartbreak and a betrayal, Apollo saves Camp Half-Blood with some help from Percy and the rest of the demigods. The camp is safe, at least for now, and Percy is reunited with old friends. Leo boosts Apollo’s spirits when he decides to help Apollo on his trials, of saving the oracles and freeing Delphi.
While is might sound as if there are spoilers, readers of previous Rick Riordan novels know there is more to the story than what I wrote and that the pattern of what is written is similar to all his books involving demigods. If you enjoyed Magnus Chase & The Gods of Asgard (book 1) or Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus you will enjoy and be hooked on another great series.
I really like how the author can keep the same world and characters evolving while creating new characters to expand the world and tap into briefly mentioned characters or plot points that were minor in one series but can make a great series on their own. I might be biased because I love the sub-genre of sci-fi that creates a magical or mythical world living right along the normal world with only a chosen few who can see it. I was hesitant about this series, afraid it might not live up to Percy Jackson, the first series I read by this author and therefore the one I hold the rest up to since I love Percy, Annabeth, and Grover so much. The character development is good and characters have depth, which is always a plus for reading the book.