Marshmallow reviews The Hidden Oracle (Book 1 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan

In 2020, Marshmallow reviewed several books by Rick Riordan. First she reviewed three books from his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: check out her reviews of The Lightning ThiefThe Sea of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse. Then she reviewed all five books of his Heroes of Olympus series: The Lost HeroThe Son of NeptuneThe Mark of AthenaThe House of Hades, and The Blood of Olympus. She also reviewed Riordan’s books on Greek gods (Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods) and on Greek heroes (Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes). In her last review for 2020, she wanted to talk about the first book of Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series, his third on Greek and Roman mythology: The Hidden Oracle. Sprinkles, who has not yet started this third series, wanted to know more and so is asking questions and taking notes for this post.

Marshmallow reviews The Hidden Oracle (Book 1 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Hidden Oracle (Book 1 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan.

Sprinkles: So Marshmallow, you finally got your paws on Rick Riordan’s third series on Greek and Roman mythology. How did you like this one?

Marshmallow: Well, I have only read the first two books so far, but I think that they are really successful. The previous series were written by demigods, but this one is narrated by Apollo, the sun god. Except that he is no longer a god: he has become mortal because Zeus got mad at him for something he did in the Heroes of Olympus series and turned him into a mortal as a punishment.

S: That sounds like an interesting premise for a new story line.

M: Yes! Apparently he had been made mortal before and he knows what he is supposed to do to become a god again. He has to find a demigod who will claim him and he has to serve this demigod as they together attempt a quest.

S: So there is again a quest in this series? Or a series of quests, one per book?

M: Sort of. There is one big quest, involving oracles, but there are smaller things Apollo has to do in each of the books.

S: So you said this book is narrated by Apollo, or—what is his mortal name?

M: His name is now Lester Papadopoulos. And yes, he is narrating the story.

S: How do you like that?

M: He is a fun narrator to read. He is funny and likes to glorify himself. As the god of sun and poetry and such, Apollo is a bit full of himself. When he becomes mortal, he is still full of himself. Listen:

“The only thing I knew for certain: my punishment was unfair. Zeus needed someone to blame, so of course he’d picked the handsomest, most talented, most popular god in the pantheon: me.”

pages 2-3

S: That does sound hilarious! I thought that in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Riordan really seemed to enjoy narrating through Percy’s perspective. And in the Heroes of Olympus series, I had the sense that he most enjoyed being Leo, even though the narration was in the third person, listening to him go on and on as Leo, I felt that he was at his best. So here we now read through Apollo / Lester’s voice, and it sounds like it is once again pretty good.

M: I think Riordan likes humorous narrators. Making them goofy and making us laugh with and at the narrator. Apollo is really fun to read. He puts haikus at the beginning of each chapter.

Marshmallow is reading The Hidden Oracle (Book 1 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan. Here she is showing us how each chapter starts with a haiku.
Marshmallow is reading The Hidden Oracle (Book 1 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan. Here she is showing us how each chapter starts with a haiku.

S: It sounds really like I might have to read this book Marshmallow! So tell me a bit more about this first book. This is when Apollo is coming to terms with being mortal and figuring out how to get back, right?

M: Yeah. We see him try and find a demigod to serve. And it seems like he wanted Percy Jackson to be the one but he was claimed first by a girl named Meg.

S: Ooo, so we meet a new demigod! Meg.

M: Yes. Meg is yet undetermined. We do not know her godly parent at the beginning. There are some clues already in the first few chapters, and we figure things out by the end of this first volume.

S: That is intriguing. Hmm, so Percy is still around in this book, too?

M: Yes. And later on in the other books, some of the other demigods we know from the earlier series begin to show up too.

S: So who is your favorite character in this book then?

M: There is a peach spirit, named Peaches. I think that he is my favorite character because he is really loyal. He is kind of a demon baby, but he is nice to the good people in the story. But back to Percy and Apollo and Meg. Here is a dialog Apollo has with Meg about Percy that can give you more of a sense of what Lester / Apollo is like:

“Meg,” I said, “I realize some demigods are not good. I could tell you stories of all the ones I’ve had to kill or transform into herbs–” “Herbs?” “But Percy Jackson has always been reliable. You have nothing to fear. Besides, he likes me. I taught him everything he knows.” She frowned. “You did?” I found her innocence somewhat charming. So many obvious things she did not know.

pages 24-25

S: That sounds like a book I want to read! So let us wrap this up so you can give me the book! How do you want to rate The Hidden Oracle?

M: I rate it 95% only because one has to have read the earlier books to get all the jokes and really appreciate this book. (You might also benefit from knowing some things about the Beatles…)

S: That is perfect Marshmallow! Let us now wrap up your last review of the year. Do you want to say something to our readers?

M: Yes. Happy holidays and happy new year to everyone! I will have more book reviews for you in February 2021!

Marshmallow rates The Hidden Oracle (Book 1 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan 95%.
Marshmallow rates The Hidden Oracle (Book 1 of the Trials of Apollo Series) by Rick Riordan 95%.

Caramel reviews The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

A couple weeks ago Caramel reviewed the graphic novel version of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey. This week he talks about the second book in the series: The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey. As usual Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

(Marshmallow has already reviewed the original; see here for her review.)

Caramel reviews The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel reviews The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, let us hear what you have to say about this book.

Caramel: If you already read the graphic novel version of The Lightning Thief, then this is a good book to read next.

S: So readers need to have read the first book of the series, right?

C: Yes.

S: Would it be enough to have read the original book or the graphic novel?

C: I think reading the originals first makes it easier to follow the graphic novels too.

S: But I am guessing that someone who only reads the graphic novel versions will still get a good story, is that correct?

C: Yes, definitely.

S: Then tell us that story a bit.

C: Percy Jackson, and his friend Annabeth (who eventually becomes his girlfriend) go on a quest that they are not even supposed to go on! Percy Jackson never listens to instructions.

S: Wait, so there is a quest and someone else is supposed to go ..

C: Yes, Clarisse La Rue, a daughter of war god Ares, is the one who is chosen but Percy and Annabeth don’t let go.

S: It is interesting how a lot of main characters in books don’t listen to instructions, right?

C: Yes, Harry Potter never listens to Professor Dumbledore, or Hermione, who is almost always right.

S: That’s true. But maybe through their mistakes we the readers learn some things, like listening to those who are older or wiser than us might actually be a good idea.

C: I agree with that! I do get mad at Harry or Percy when they don’t listen!

Caramel is reading The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel is reading The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.

S: Okay, yes, let us get back to the book. What is this quest about?

C: They need to get the golden fleece. The golden fleece is a mythical object that heals anything.

S: Like that little scab on your knee?

C: Yes, I think if we had the golden fleece, my knee would get better much faster.

S: I think your body is doing really well healing on its own though? I think you will not even see it in a couple weeks.

C: I guess. But the golden fleece heals things much worse than a scarred knee. And it is hidden far far away.

S: And so our heroes have to face many new challenges to get to it, right?

C: Yes, and many new monsters!

S: Which monster was the most interesting one for you in this book?

C: I thought the monsters that wait in the sea of monsters to swallow up ships and heroes are the most interesting ones. Let me see… they are called Scylla and Charybdis. Together they destroy many ships.

S: And that is how in this story world we explain the Bermuda Triangle myth, right? Many people believed that in this region of the North Atlantic ocean, there was some mystery that led to disaster for many ships.

C: Yes. They talk about this in the book too, at least in the original book. And this is the book where Percy meets his half-brother Tyson, who is a cyclops.

S: So half-brother means Tyson is also a son of Poseidon, right?

C: Yep.

S: But aren’t we supposed to dislike and fear cyclops?

C: Some might not be nice, but Tyson is a really good cyclops, and he is a good brother to Percy.

S: I see. Okay, then, maybe we should tie this review up here before we give away more details. What three words would you use to describe this book Caramel?

C: Colorful, Greek mythology, and Percy Jackson.

S: Well, some of those are not descriptive words, but I’ll let it slide this time. What else do you want to say to our readers as we wrap things up?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Tamas Gaspar, and Chris Dickey.

Marshmallow reviews The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has already reviewed the first four books of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series: The Lost HeroThe Son of NeptuneThe Mark of Athena and The House of Hades. Today she shares her thoughts on the fifth and last book: The Blood of Olympus.

Marshmallow reviews The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about mythology or if you have enjoyed reading other books by Rick Riordan, then this might be the book for you. (But again, if you have not read the first four books of the Heroes of Olympus series, you will not get too much out of it.)

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): After spying on their enemies, Jason, Piper, and Annabeth summon Juno, who tells them that they must find Nike, and then they must find Artemis and Apollo, both of whom were banished by Zeus. The crew of Argo II finds the place that Nike should be, and sends Frank, Hazel, Leo, and Percy, since their godly parents don’t have any rivalries. (Nike is all about victory, and she gives off an aura of fighting that leads to fights among people with any underlying conflicts between them. If they had sent Annabeth, Athena’s daughter, with Percy, Poseidon’s son, the two might have fought and killed each other since their parents are rivals, even though Percy and Annabeth are friends.)

Nike tells the four friends that one of them will die and that they will need the Physician’s Cure to survive. They take Nike hostage to stop her from giving off her war aura, which is making the Romans and Greeks fight. They start to look for the ingredients needed for the Physician’s Cure.

Meanwhile, Leo is starting to make a plan to defeat Gaea. Remember the prophecy: 

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire, the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Leo is sure that he is the one meant to die, since Argo II’s crew thinks that the “To storm or fire” line in the prophecy means that one of the storm or fire people will die. Jason, being the son of Jupiter, is storm and Leo, who as a child of Hephaestus, has the power to create fire, is fire. But Leo is the only one that overlaps both of the groups, storm or fire, and the people who captured Nike.

Meanwhile, Reyna, Nico, and Coach Hedge are trying to get Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood as a peace offering to stop a full-on war between the Romans and the Greeks.

Marshmallow is reading The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book to finish a great series. And I think that this is one of the best books in the series. Rick Riordan satisfyingly ties up the story about Greek and Roman gods and goddesses.

An interesting thing about this series is that the story in each book is told from more than one person’s point of view. And sometimes the narrators following one another are not in the same place, so we switch from one scene to another when we change narrators. For example, in the chapters told by Reyna, my favorite character, she is not in the same place as the crew of Argo II because she is with Nico and Coach Hedge, trying to bring Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood.

The narrators in The Blood of Olympus are Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Jason Grace, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, Hazel Levesque, Nico di Angelo, and finally Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano. So we do read the point of view of each of the seven belonging to the prophecy but also two other characters, Nico and Reyna, who are not part of the seven but turn out to be very important to the quest and the story.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Blood of Olympus (Book 5 of the Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Caramel reviews The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

The book bunnies have all read several books by Rick Riordan, and Marshmallow has reviewed many of them. This week Caramel wanted to review a graphic novel version of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief, adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

(Marshmallow has already reviewed the original; see here for her review.)

Caramel reviews The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel reviews The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what do you want to tell us about this book?

Caramel: It’s a graphic novel version of The Lightning Thief, which Marshmallow already reviewed.

S: So does one have to have read the actual book to follow this graphic novel?

C: Well, this book does not seem to have everything that is in the other version of the book.

S: That makes total sense. This is a much slimmer book, and graphic novels have much fewer words. So I would expect that it would skip some things.

C: Yes but I think they skipped some important things!

S: Yes, that is bound to happen, too. But if you were to read only this book, and not the full book, would you get a good story?

C: Yes!

S: So tell me that story. What happens in this book? Tell me as if I have not read the full book.

C: Okay. There is a prophecy. It’s about a god and something stolen.

S: So is the thing that is stolen the lightning mentioned in the title?

C: Yes. Kind of. It is Zeus’s lightning bolt staff. It’s called the Master Bolt. And someone stole it. And Percy Jackson is the prime suspect.

S: So we meet Percy Jackson in this book, right? If we did not read any of the other Percy Jackson books, what should we know about him when we start this one?

C: You don’t need to know anything. The book tells you who he is.

Caramel is reading The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel is reading The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.

S: So who is Percy Jackson?

C: He is a modern-day halfblood. A halfblood is a demigod. That means his dad is a god and his mom is a mortal. He learns about this in the book too. He thought he was just a regular kid before.

S: So I understand that if you liked the Percy Jackson books, you might also like to check out the graphic novel version. But let us assume you have not seen the movie or read any of the other Percy Jackson books. Would this still be an interesting story?

C: Yes. I think so.

S: To fit all the things in the original books into such a slim book would be hard, so they probably have cut out a lot, but is it still pretty action filled and exciting?

C: Yes. A lot happens. Percy fights a lot of monsters and gets into a lot of trouble. A lot of big big trouble.

S: That sounds like it would be fun to read!

C: Yep!

S: The Percy Jackson books all are connected to Greek mythology. This one also makes the same types of connections, right?

C: Yes.

S: So what three words would you use to describe the book?

C: Action, colorful, and mythological.

S: Hmm, I like those words. So let us wrap up this review then.

C: Yep! Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel, written by Rick Riordan, and adapted by Robert Venditti, with Attila Futaki, Jose Villarrubia, Orpheus Collar, and Chris Dickey.