I’ve been reading Rick Riordan since he first released Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief way back in 2005. Of course this was back when magic and myths were getting into full swing with the Harry Potter series on its 6th book. Riordan has two series dealing with the adventures of Jackson, and began branching out into Egyptian and Norse mythology with the Kane Chronicles and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. His newest book, The Hidden Oracle, is back in Greek mythology, dealing with the aftermath of the latest Jackson and company’s adventures. Apollo has been made a mortal (again) for his failure to respond to the latest threat to Olympus. He must find a way to regain his godhood, dealing with demigods, spirits, and old enemies.
This was a return to Riordan’s roots. I believe that his best work was using the Greek mythos, and I’m excited that he has returned to Camp Half-Blood. However, I am also glad that he has attempted to change up the formula that he has used so much. This stripping of Apollo’s godhood is a new development, but I think that Riordan is running out of ideas on how to create his stories. It seems that every Greek story arc starts with the introduction of a new character, a prophecy (or lack there-of), the traitorous twist, and then ends with a grand prophecy. I can respect how Riordan’s done his story building; it is a well-established means of creating a story. However, I don’t think it is necessary for Riordan to do this anymore. The universe has been well established, and Riordan even keeps reusing the same characters from his previous stories. I look forward to this series, but I am slightly worried that it will take the same old story line as his other Greek adventures.
I have been engrossed with Riordan’s storytelling. He’s taken mythologies of multiple cultures, stories that I grew up hearing about, and has turned them into child-friendly, entertaining stories. Riordan has built an incredibly interesting universe, wherein all the old religions; Greek, Norse, Roman, and Egyptian, are all true and have a place in the modern era. Characters from the different series have been mentioned in his books, but The Hidden Oracle is the first book where a god acknowledges gods and goddesses of other religions. It will be interesting to see how or if Riordan decides to try to tie his different stories together.