On the shelf: The Hidden Oracle

Julia Gallop

This summer was jam-packed with book releases, which means every book-lover was over the moon with happiness. One particular book that was released in early May was “The Trials of Apollo, Book 1: The Hidden Oracle” by Rick Riordan.

This first book of Riordan’s new series is about the Greek god Apollo, who is being cast out of Olympus (to find out why, I highly recommend you read the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series and the “Heroes of Olympus” series by Rick Riordan) and turned into a mortal, sixteen-year-old boy with no godly powers at all. As the story goes on, we follow Apollo and his friend Meg as they try to figure out how Apollo can regain his godliness and get back to Olympus.

[/media-credit] The Hidden Oracle, the first book in the Trials of Apollo, tackles many issues through its unique plot, targeted towards young adults.

This is not just another adventure story with demons and monsters. There is plenty of that, indeed, as well as fantastic humor. One very impressive theme in this book is LGBTQ-related. Apollo, we find out, is bisexual. The best part? He doesn’t make a big deal about it. He simply acknowledges it and accepts it. Apollo even says  in the book, “We gods are not hung up about such things. I myself have had… let’s see, thirty-three mortal girlfriends and eleven mortal boyfriends? I’ve lost count.” Apollo certainly does not really understand why people, gods and mortals alike, make a big fuss over particular LGBTQ issues. That matters when it comes to LGBTQ factors, as well, because readers who are exposed to this kind of dialogue can get a certain perspective about LGBTQ persons.

This book is geared towards young adults, like most of Rick Riordan’s books, therefore it is great that he has included the topic of LGBTQ into his novels (including some that were published before “The Trials of Apollo”). Sometimes the uncomfortableness in one’s young adult life can include figuring out one’s sexual orientation. Exploring this, as well as other aspects of the self such as gender identity, can take a toll on one’s emotions, part of that being worrying about what other people might think. These feelings are normal, but what is so good about the younger generations and the ones yet to come, is that sexual orientation is not something to be ashamed about.

Thanks to Rick Riordan, who is now subtly showing in his new series that one’s individual sexual orientation is natural, his young adult audience can perhaps feel better about talking about their sexual orientation and accepting it. For in the end, not something to worry heavily about. With a large population of young adult readers and a large group of seasoned “Percy Jackson” fans, Riordan has and will make us all proud with his new series “The Trials of Apollo.”