The Trials of Apollo, Book One: The Hidden Oracle

Narrated by: Robbie Daymond
Series: The Trials of Apollo, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: Teens, Ages 11-13
4.5 out of 5 stars (5,705 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the 4,000-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus' 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.

©2016 Rick Riordan (P)2016 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"[Narrator] Robbie Daymond is completely charming as the god Apollo.... Apollo is conceited and self-important, but Riordan's funny writing and Daymond's narration make sure the listener is always on his side as he learns how to manage without his godly gifts." ( AudioFile)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!!

What made the experience of listening to The Trials of Apollo, Book One: The Hidden Oracle the most enjoyable?

Rick Riordan did it again! He brought us a new series that leaves us vying for more! Sadly, I finished the book quickly after I started, which means I have to wait another year for the next book :( But this series is going to be great! I love the character development throughout the book. The book brings us a slew of new characters, yet with enough familiar characters to make us smile.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Trials of Apollo, Book One: The Hidden Oracle?

The most memorable part that sticks in my mind is probably how narcissistic Apollo is at the start of the book, and how he grows into a character that cares for others and is willing to put others first.

What does Robbie Daymond bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Robbie Daymond did a great job of reading the characters voices. It really brought the story to life.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

And the end of the world is coming... again....

Any additional comments?

As much as I love Percy, Anabeth, and the 7 demigods, I like that Riordan has given them a little bit of a break from having the fate of the universe on their shoulders. They deserve a break... I mean poor Percy! every time he wants to have a normal life, the world is ending and he has to save it... So I am glad he has taken a break from that. Even so, I am glad that we find out snippets of what is going on in our favorite characters lives since Gaia tried to rise. Its neat to see what they are up to!

27 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story marred by narrator

Told from the perspective of Apollo, this story has much to offer the fans of Riordian's other series featuring Roman Greek demigods. Unfortunately, the narrator was the death knell for this audible book. The narrator was bland, lacking color and animation. I suggest you skip this audible and read the book yourself.

6 people found this helpful

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Decent book

Interesting concept. Fairly well written. It's repetitive in parts. Worthwhile listen if you're into fantasy books.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Finally a good narrator

The world of Camp Half Blood is once again filled with the drama and adventure that makes Rick Riordan's YA novels thrilling for readers/listeners young and slightly older. This new series revives the humor and unique perspective that made the original Percy Jackson series so great. But what impresses me more is the fact that Listening Library has finally cast another quality narrator. After sending listeners through disappointing series of narrators in Heroes of Olympus and the new Magnus Chase, Robbie Daymond finally gets Riordan's style and characters right.

35 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

This is definitely NOT the Percy Jackson series. It seems like the basic storyline gets lost, derailed, then picked back up, but derailed again due to the detour into lengthy, numerous and redundant characterization essays. I thought about asking for money back but it finally ended decently; it just took a LONG TIME getting there.

3 people found this helpful

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Well Earned Mega-Success

I'm an adult (with a Grandson who LOVES these books!), and I certainly enjoyed finding and promoting an author who quickens and enriches kids' appreciation of mythology.

But, can he produce that quality over and over again? Well, yes, apparently! "Apollo" is a case in point: there's reference to earlier books and some overlap of familiar and loved characters; new characters are just as sympathetic (or horrifying!) and fresh as in earlier series; and Riordan's enthusiasm for myth and expanded detail seems not to have diminished at all.

I always wonder if kids really "get" his many jokes and references devoted to the 1960's and '70's, but, if you can go by my grandchildren's reactions, these seem not to phase them at all or reduce enjoyment. If those babyboomer sections are skipped over, there are still plenty of age-appropriate bits of humor and current pop culture quips to please the target audience. We all loved, for instance, this book's mention of "Groot", and my grandkids are now running around shouting "Peaches!" at every opportunity.

And, thank you, thank you for this new narrator! While still sounding appropriately like a youngster, Robbie Daymond's delivery is so much less cartoonish than the previous reader. He interprets all the characters well and brings the whole thing to life for listeners of any age.

Rick Riordan deserves his fame and success.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly Awesome

I wasn't sure about this book at first. But, since I love the other Olympian books, I gave it a shot. Riordan stunned again.


At times, you hate Apollo, at others, you want to cry for him and what he's been through. Admittedly, there were a few soapbox moments, but they didn't detract from the plot and were funny and appropriate.

I can't wait for the next book.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but not great.

If you're reading this then you have read the past two series. The first and second were really well done. This one in the 3rd part first book felt shorter was quicker then the others. The reader wasn't bad at all just felt so much gloom to the story. felt like nothing right was going to happen even tho it did it felt no excitement from it just like one task done on to the next impossible thing. But all in all it was a ok read.

2 people found this helpful

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I did miss Percy, At least Apollo was Great, That’s About It.

The Hidden Oracle is the first book in Riordan’s third Greco-Roman Modern Mythology series, the Trials of Apollo. To start my compliment sandwich there, the premise of our protagonist being an extraordinarily flamboyant Greek god forced into an all to ordinary mortal form is undeniably effective. Apollo’s near nonstop commentary, whining, and occasional moments of self-reflection make this easily one of the most amusing books I’ve read in quite some time, but not necessarily at the cost of story or character development.
(I’ll be taking pains to avoid specific spoilers, but the hyper-cautious would likely do well to skip the following paragraph regardless)

Unfortunately, that brings me to the meat of my thoughts on this book, which is that this is the third five book series focusing on the Greek pantheon, and that— fun mortal Apollo gimmick aside— the seams of this series have become a bit too strained for my liking. So, it turns out that the last 2 wars were just warmup rounds for the REAL masterminds! Excellent, glad to know that the last 2 series’ worth of conflict was all just fodder for the big guns, maybe if we’re lucky this bad guy will last 45 seconds before being supplanted in the next series! Pardon my sarcasm, but I hope it got the point across. Quantity runs the risk of eroding quality, and when you’re building your new toys on the backs of the old— particularly if people already think the execution was rushed last time— you run the sincere risk of desensitizing your audience to your product before its barely left the gates. Take new intrepid demigod Meg McCaffrey, for instance. Hero with an uncommon godly context? Check. A magic sword and an unreasonably high skill level to go with it? Double check. A tragic history that must be overcome for the sake of her future. Check and then some. It’s this last point in particular that Trials of Apollo wants me to focus on- Meg’s trauma. Unfortunately, I’m a full book into this series, and I’ve already determined that I don’t particularly care for this lead character. I applaud Riordan for planting another bold flag in his ever expanding banner of diversity, and genuinely hope that Meg McCaffrey is the character that Percy Jackson was for so many. But I’ve been reading these books since 2009, when I was 11. I’ve seen this author craft 3 and a half world’s based in Mythology(my favorite subject), and populate them with fun and impactful characters, each fully equipped with their own stories to tell. I’m not sure if there will come a day where these stories and I go our separate ways, but the day I finished The Hidden Oracle, I knew I’d reached a turning point. The law of diminishing returns had been enacted, I was struggling to care. This book is too closely tied to PJO & HoO for its own good. The characters I’ve already grown to care about are a touch too sparse for my liking, while they’re still too close to let this new series breathe. Pun very much intended, it’s the worst of both worlds.

And then there’s Robbie Daymond, the narrator, the thing that separates the Audible version of Trials of Apollo from just any other version of the book. And gods, what a defining feature to have! Daymond’s cadence PERFECTLY captures every angle of Apollo’s character: The proud Olympian, the whiny teen, the grieving man, the extravagant immortal. This is easily one of the best voice actor to character marriages I’ve witnessed since the likes of Mark Hamill and the Joker, and I don’t say that lightly!

Final thoughts:
Riordan’s old magic is still hard at work in this new series. I easily recommend this to new and young readers, there’s a good chance you’ll learn something about mythology, and maybe even the world around you. Even if you don’t, it’s still another fun misadventure in the world of Modern day mythology, and I’m sure somebody will enjoy the ride. Be for warned that the book eludes to the 2 previous Greco-Roman series multiple times, making this a somewhat unideal jumping point. Also, while all subjects in this book are paired to a mid-reader Level, there are still mature themes and concepts on display here that are not to be taken lightly, Chief among them the subject of childhood emotional abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

As to the more seasoned veterans or older prospective readers, your enjoyment of Trials of Apollo will be dictated pretty thoroughly on your present appetite for Riordan’s formula. The parts have been swapped out, but the mechanism is largely the same. If you’re as hungry for more of this style of writing as you were 10 years ago, then by all means, I hope Trials of Apollo is what you’re looking for. But if you were looking for further iteration on the characters you’ve already become endeared to, are are weary after the controversial Blood of Olympus, or have reader fatigue after 10-16 books of something similar, then maybe you’re better off stopping here.

2 people found this helpful

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Rick you're a genius

We get to see the world through the eyes of an ex god, reconnect with our favorite demigods, meet the new face of evil, and meet some amazing new characters.
I also extremely appreciate the very respectful portrayal of a young bisexual boy, and the true natures of the gods.

17 people found this helpful