The Hidden Oracle – Book Review

Finished reading

The Hidden Oracle

(The Trials of Apollo, #1)

by Rick Riordan

★★★★

Expectation

At first I wanted to read the new book from the Magnus Chase book series The Ship of the Dead. But then while I was settling in for a comfortable afternoon of reading I started noticing how much what happened at the end of the book The Hammer of Thor is actually in sync with things that are happening in The Trials of Apollo book series. This left me with having to close the book and put it back on the shelf AND in its place I took The Hidden Oracle and started with a new book series. I planned reading it anyway and I’m even buying them along with Magnus Chase books. I was a bit more interested in Norse mythology. I fully intended to learn what was happening with the characters from The Heroes of Olympus book series from which I only got a few glimpses of Annabeth of since she is related to Magnus. The last line in The Hammer of Thor left me more than giddy! All hype aside The Hidden Oracle was kinda a means to an end – finally getting to reading the last Magnus Chase book and having  a grasp on all the subplots and many characters in this mythic universe.

Summary

I am mostly out of the loop on other people reactions and comments of Rick Riordan’s book series until I finish reading them. This way I avoid spoilers since I usually don’t get to buy the books as soon as they come out. For all those who are not familiar with these books a few sentences of caution: Starting with the Percy Jackson book series the author has created the intricate collection of book series and characters who live in the same world and sometimes appear and visit each other. Percy has five books and two heartbreaking movies – heartbreaking since the plot was so messed up and different than the books in the first movie that they barely managed to scrape up enough ties and make a second movie. After the Percy Jackson five books series comes The Heroes of Olympus book series that introduces the Roman deities to the  original Greek ones. Somewhere along those lines is a separate trilogy Kane Chronicles that deals with Egyptian mythology. There are a few short stories and novellas where Percy and Anabeth meet Carter and Sadie. Otherwise the Kane Chronicles are not mentioned much. After Heroes of Olympus comes Magnus Chase book series and shortly after the first Magnus book come in The Trials of Apollo.

Now after that not so short introduction let’s get down to the actual book The Hidden Oracle. I had certain issues with grasping the character of Apollo. The plot was very easy to follow and the scenes were easy to imagine. Rick Riordan has a way of making scenes in his books easy to picture as a movie or a TV series scenes. The introductory “Fall of Apollo” was a great start of the book. Making the beautiful god Apollo mortal acne troubled teen was a punishment indeed.

I like how the story of this book builds on the books and characters from the previous books. Apollo is a likable character but I found Meg very interesting as well. I hopped along on getting to know more details on some historical figures and learning about the new bad guys.

Some might consider this next part a spoiler so be aware that I will bring out some characters from other books that drop by in The Hidden Oracle.

Reading about fan favorites like Nico and Percy and even Chiron was great. It gave me a serious craving to watch the Percy movies again even though they seriously suck in comparison to the books. Don’t get me wrong movies are kinda okay for someone who did not read the books and I can even enjoy them but thinking on how much better they could have been chafes a little…

While reading The Heroes of Olympus I grew rather fond of the character Leo Valdez and I was glad to see him come back to the story center.

Conclusion

I was a tad bit apprehensive about reading this book since I’ve grown quite fond of Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase book series. The witty banter and the slightly sarcastic humor was there but the appeal that Percy and Magnus hold for me was not really there for some reason. I liked this book and will continue with the storyline and the next book but I still love Magnus and Percy better!

Reading in June 2017 – Bratislava edition

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This June I joined my boyfriend on a business trip to Bratislava, Slovakia. While he was busy with work in the mornings I wandered the city for bookstores and did some reading.

The first picture shows one of the few bookstores I visited located in the immediate center of Bratislava – Oxford Bookshop. While it holds books in many various languages it had by far the best selection of books in English. The reason the street looks empty is that all the shops in this street open after 10 AM and I went a little earlier. Just a few hours after this picture was taken this street was one of the busiest in the city with hordes of tourist groups walking around.

I loved that the opening hours were from 10 AM to 19 PM. And was actually jealous and envious of the people who worked there for having such working hours. I browsed for a long time and treated myself with a book that I noticed earlier this year on GR.

51UfFXHe9ILThe Vegetarian by Han Kang

This book by Korean author recieved The Man Booker International award last year and has not been translated into Croatian at all. I was intrigued by contemporary story from a Korean cultural perspective. I liked the cover quite a bit too.

19092899_10155759539809026_643437314163476352_oNext I visited two bookstores in two different shopping malls. Both were part of the Panta Rei bookstore chain. While in the company of Starbucks and Cinema City both bookstores had a small Coffee Shop inside the actual bookstore premises. It looked quite cozy and casual. While most of the books were in Slovakian they had a pretty decent selection of bestsellers in English.

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As an avid reader I had to take some books with me on the trip. I could not decide which I would like more so I’ve packed four different ones. I also packed one additional for my boyfriend to read just in case.

Books I’ve brought with me were:

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Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1) by Anne Rice

I’m very happy with my progress with this book. This was actually the third time I started reading and have gotten more into the book. I used to have real issues with separating the book and the movie since they are completely different. I’ve seen the movie many times and I’m glad I’m finally getting somewhere with this book that’s been on my TBR for years!

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The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

Apollo was the name of the hotel in Bratislava that we were supposed to stay in. We ended up in a different hotel but I brought this book with me anyway. Sad part is that I haven’t really gotten to reading it on the trip at all!

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Žena s drugog kata by Jurica Pavičić

This is a book by Croatian author and columnist we had as a RL book club assignment. I’ve read this book earlier this year. I brought the library copy with me to brush up on since we had a meeting just after I came back from the trip.

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The Scar by China Mieville

This book I brought for the boyfriend to have something to read. It is the chubbiest from all the books I brought with around 800 pages. Boyfriend barely started it during the trip.

As an added bonus I brought my tablet for some Kindle reading just in case and I also ended up reading:

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Captured by Gerran (Dragons Take a Princess  #2) by Dalia Wright

None of the books above are actually finished reading yet and I hope to get to them soon. I am glad that I can say: “I read Interview with the Vampire in Bratislava!”

Taking on my TBR pile

I am finally set to do something about my pile of TBR (To-Be-Read) books! Big part of the problem are the books I hoarded over time. I believe the Japanese even have a word for this apparently not so uncommon hoarding disorder – tsundoku!

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Mostly all were and are still the books I am genuinely interested in reading. Some of them were collected since they simply fit the profile and genre I like to read. Some were the books I heard enough about to get me interested to get them and put them on my TBR. Some are gifts and I’m not so sure about those :/

TBR pile

One of my goals is to cut this pile to be closer to 300. I know it doesn’t seem like much but most of the books I end up reading every month are not already in my TBR pile. I usually read two books a month for my RL book club. Those are mostly books that come as a group choice and offer a variety of genres and authors I don’t normally read.

Also, since I work in a bookstore there are always new arrivals that grab my attention. Reading those can be a part of the job. (Almost a dream job there :p )

Type of books I mentioned above take up almost half of my reading for any given month. These are not the books I can always count on or expect in the form of the time that it takes me to read them trough.

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The books I can do something about are those that are already on my bookshelves. Right there! (right behind my computer screen, right of my desk, left of my desk, on the shelf by my bed, on the shelf by my BFs computer…)

I have gone trough my GR TBR list and sorted out the books I already own. I wrote the title of each on a little pink piece of paper. On the list were lots of books that were part of a book series. With those I only wrote down books that were first in the series or those that continue on the books I already read. I took all the little pink papers and put them into a glass bowl.

IMAG0404I realized too late that since the glass is dyed turquoise I should have used blue or green paper :/

As it turns out there are exactly 82 little pink papers with titles of books that are waiting patiently on the bookshelves in my room for their turn to be read.

Starting this month I will draw three titles from the bowl and pick at least one of them to read in the current month. The ones not chosen for the month will go back into the bowl, and if by chance I draw the same ones for three times I will forgo the choice and read the one that has been drawn the third time!

First three titles I’ve drawn are:

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1 # Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden Vol. 01 by Yu Watase

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2 # The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) by Kim Harrison

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3 # The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

 

I am actually pleasantly surprised by the titles I’ve drawn. For now I will keep all the choices until the end of the month. I’m undecided which one to start first. Since one of them is a manga I might go and read more than one! I’m just too damn pleased with what I’ve drawn right now 🙂

Hopefully this will start a habit of reading more of the books I already own 🙂

Wish me luck!

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