Friday, October 10, 2008

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Main character: Percy Jackson
Location: Camp Half-Blood in upstate New York, among other places
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: YA Fiction, Fantasy, Greek Mythology
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4

As with Raven Rise, I had a little trouble at the beginning of this book because I had forgotten some of the details of the previous book. (That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the earlier books--I also had trouble remembering details in each Harry Potter book.) Sometimes, I think I should wait until an entire series is finished so I can read them all at once. But that's no fun either.

Anyway, Percy is about to start another new school, one where Paul Blofis (his mother's boyfriend) teaches. Percy wants everything to go well so he won't make trouble for Paul, but his track record at schools is not good. Sure enough, some mythical monsters--empousai, disguised as cheerleaders--attack him and a fire starts. Fortunately, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, the mortal who can see through the Mist to the monsters' true form, helps him out and he escapes to Camp Half-Blood.

A lot is happening at Camp Half-Blood. There's a new teacher, Quintus, who has a giant hellhound named Mrs. O'Leary. Despite her fearsome appearance, she is really quite affectionate. Grover has been searching for the great god Pan without success and is now given just a week to find him or lose his searcher's license. Someone is sending Percy Iris-messages concerning Nico. And Annabeth finally gets to lead a quest of her own--into the Labyrinth of Daedalus to find a way to prevent Luke from using to invade the camp at the head of Kronos' army.

What follows is what we've come to expect from this series--plenty of adventure, plenty of humor, and an intriguing take on Greek mythology blended with modern times. Percy continues to grow though he does remains clueless as to just why Annabeth seems to dislike Rachel so much. He celebrates his 15th birthday, knowing that a prophecy says he may not make it to his 16th. Still, he tries to protect his friends, especially Nico who, as the son of Hades, might also be the subject of that prophecy.

Rick Riordan announced on his blog that the title of the 5th book will be The Last Olympian (I wonder if that means it will be the last book?) and the release date is set for May 9, 2009. BTW, have you heard about the Mythology Bee? Grand prize is a trip for 4 to Greece with author Rick Riordan! Things like this make me almost wish I was a middle schooler again.

No comments: