Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle brought back many fan-favorite characters to kick off this new series, and we’ve got a breakdown of all the best ones.
We knew from the start that we’d be checking in on many of our previous heroes, but it didn’t make it any less exciting when we finally heard from them again.
Obviously, there will be Hidden Oracle spoilers ahead. If you’ve read the book (or just can’t wait to see who shows up), check out our list and let us know which was your favorite cameo.
Percy’s cameo was the first one we got and, objectively, probably the most important. He takes Apollo in after the god-turned-mortal gets beat up by a couple of kids in an alley and is subsequently saved by the mysterious Meg. We get a little snapshot of his life outside of being a demigod, and it’s nice to see him laying low, focusing on school, and trying to stop himself from doing anything to make Annabeth angry at him.
Smartly, Percy stays out of the main conflict. He has a lot on his plate and he’s been through so much in the last two series that you can’t blame him. Plus, it allows the focus to shift to other characters who maybe haven’t been in the spotlight as much. Still, it was such a relief to see him again and know that he’s doing great after the events of The Blood of Olympus.
Sally’s presence is even more minor than her son’s, but it was also a great throwback to see her again. Knowing she and Percy are still together and in a much happier place makes me so proud to see how far they’ve both come. Although Paul didn’t make an appearance, it’s clear he is still a positive presence in both of their lives — not to mention Percy is getting a baby sister!
I love that despite everything she has been through, and everything she’s seen her son go through, Sally has not turned bitter against the gods. Sure, she might not love everything they do, but she’s still willing to take in their children, related or not, and bake them a batch of blue cookies. Her generosity continues to be heartwarmingly influential on Percy.
Will’s role in this book is vital in showing a different side to Apollo. Being the god’s son is further complicated by the fact that they’re now the same age. It offers up some Once Upon a Time-levels of weirdness, and yet their strange father-son-friend relationship never feels forced. It makes for some interesting dynamics, but it also allows for Apollo to learn from a fellow mortal about what it means to be human.
Will’s romantic relationship with Nico also provides an opening for Apollo to address the topic of sexual orientation. The god is, himself, bisexual, and makes no qualms about his son being in a gay relationship. In fact, because of Will and as a result of Apollo’s past experiences, this theme of non-judgmental love is threaded throughout the story, especially as we learn more about Daphne and Hyacinthus, and the story is all the more diverse and encompassing because of it.
Nico di Angelo
Nico is, without a doubt, one of this series’ most prominent fan-favorite characters. He was such a breath of fresh air in Heroes of Olympus that I would’ve been disappointed if he’d had a smaller role in Hidden Oracle. It’s true that he is mostly involved by proxy, thanks to his relationship with Will, but he also makes himself quite useful in the final battle against the colossus.
This character has always been dark, brooding, tragic, and complicated, and yet as his solemnity grows, so does our love for him. We want to see him happy, and with the introduction of Will, we’re seeing that now more than ever. His quips about having a doctor’s note saying he has to hang out with Will — and Will’s quips about how he’s the doctor who authored the note — are precious and always cause a goofy grin to spread across my face. #Solangelo
When Percy struggled to find his place in the world, Chiron was always a steady presence for him. He was a teacher, a solid foundation, and a friend. He has taught demigods to be brave in the face of danger, and he has taught readers that wisdom and courage can defeat any evil.
Chiron continues to play this role in the first Trials of Apollo book, and it was almost as welcome a sight as seeing Percy again. For me, he is just as iconic to that original series as Percy and Annabeth, and seeing him again brought me right back to that first time the son of Poseidon realized his teacher was just a little bit more than he let on.
Though not a major character, Connor (and his brother Travis) have been threaded throughout the Percy Jackson series as a minor foil to Percy and his fellow campers. The two peas in a pod have been separated, however, and it’s interesting to see Connor sulking instead of scheming. That’s okay, though. There are plenty of other mischievous demigods willing to pick up the mantle of camp prankster.
Rachel Elizabeth Dare
The eccentric and enigmatic Rachel Elizabeth Dare quickly won over my heart, and as soon as we figured out who she really was, I found myself rooting for her every cause. Being the Oracle can be just a wee bit complicated, but Rachel has found a way to balance her role as a daughter, a friend, and a Seer.
As much as we feel sorry for Apollo in this book, we can at least place some of the blame on his own shoulders. He has a lot to learn, and that’s the entire point of these trials, but he’s also paying the price for his past mistakes. Rachel never had a choice in the matter, and as Apollo’s divinity went out the window, so did her ability to tell the future. Like I said, it makes for a complicated life, but it’s also one she has embraced over the years. To have that taken away must make her feel like she’s missing a piece of her soul.
What a pleasant surprise to see Percy ride into battle on a shadow-jumping Mrs. O’Leary. Her time fighting the colossus was short, but she made quite an impression. Is there anything funnier than a dog landing on a giant metal statue’s head and then proceeding to pee on it? Her fetching skills are otherworldly, and I can only hope this isn’t the last we see of her.
Oh, where to begin! At the end of Blood of Olympus, we knew Leo wasn’t dead, but that didn’t exactly make us feel better. Where was he going and how long would he be away from his friends? His and Calypso’s story felt very much unfinished, so we knew it was only a matter of time, but once I realized he really was coming back, I may have danced in my seat.
Everyone else was both angry and overjoyed to see Leo again. Even Chiron got in a good whack, but it’s all because they missed him so much. It was nice to see how loved Leo was, and it’s even better knowing that Leo will be making his mark on the next book in the series. (It’s called The Dark Prophecy, in case you were wondering.)
Speaking of being loved, our last major cameo comes from Calypso, the girl who stole Leo’s heart. And he stole hers right back, which is made abundantly clear by their adorable bickering and comfortable interactions. Their relationship was just starting up when we last saw them, so I’ll be interested to see their quirks and flaws as we move forward.
Interestingly, Apollo and Calypso do have a history, so it’s perhaps going to make for an awkward dinner or two. Calypso is without her powers now, though, so perhaps the two have more in common than they had in the past. I have a feeling they’re going to move past their old difference, and perhaps we’ll even have time to see them become friends.
Out of sight, but not out of mind
There were plenty of names dropped in Hidden Oracle, even if we didn’t get to see every single character we wanted to. Of note, we learn that Annabeth is still in Boston dealing with a “family emergency,” though it sounds like Percy doesn’t really know what’s going on. (In case you haven’t picked up Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer, suffice it to say that family emergency is her cousin.) The two of them are spending their senior year in New York.
Meanwhile, Frank and Hazel are at Camp Jupiter, both part of the Twelfth Legion, and Jason and Piper are in Los Angeles, accompanied by Coach Hedge, Mellie, Little Chuck, and Piper’s dad. Grover is dealing with natural disasters in California, while Ella is at Camp Jupiter, still giving out broken prophecies.
The setup for the next few books is that Apollo must make his way across the country, his next stop likely being in Indiana. If this is indeed the case, we’re probably going to see these other heroes regroup with their friends too, if only briefly.