In case you’ve accidentally stumbled onto this then these are my more spoilery thoughts on my The Hidden Oracle review.
We get to see Nico and Will Solace in this book and they are a couple! And completely adorable. I may have yelled. Will is of course Apollo’s son. I don’t know if you’re aware but when Rick Riordan revealed that Nico was gay in the HoO series so many people complained. There was an influx of angry Amazon reviews from parents saying how appalled they were that Rick put something so “controversial” in a book for Middle Graders and how their children were “never reading his books again” ect.
However, in The Hidden Oracle, Rick said a giant “Screw You” in the nicest way possible to all those people. Apollo specifically brings up a point about how you might be wondering what he thinks of his son having a boyfriend and not a girlfriend. Whilst some people might think it was unnecessary because obviously we should be able to live in a world where it doesn’t need to be singled out, you need to remember the target audience of these books. With how actively involved Rick is in with blogging and social media there is no way he wouldn’t have seen those reviews. Apollo mentions that he does not care at all and all that matters is that Will is happy. He then goes on to mention that he was once in love with Hycanthius – a mortal prince. Apollo continues to be amazingly bisexual, maybe even pansexual? I don’t want to define anyone’s sexuality, but throughout the book Rick continues to acknowledge Apollo’s attraction to both men and women.
I actually got quite emotional reading this because it’s just such a positive message to be sending to kids. It would have been so easy to only focus on Apollo’s other love, Daphane, but Rick specifically mentioned BOTH. I’m just so happy and I’m sure this has made so many kids out there feel less alone. I’m not saying this is some kind of great act of social justice, but it is still really important and of course once again The Parents started sending in their “disgusted reviews” to Amazon and just ugh. I hate society. I’m so glad Rick is bringing this kind of representation in his books for younger audiences.
The other important issue that bought up is parental abuse – or emotional abuse in general. Rick handles it fantastically and it was so refreshing to see. This isn’t in a Typical YA Absent Parents trope either. It’s brilliant representation.