April 20, 2011

A-Maze-ing Feats • The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth book cover
The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson & The Olympians #4
Previous Books: The Lightning ThiefThe Sea of Monsters + The Titan's Curse
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Publication Date: March 6, 2008
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

Percy Jackson's fourth summer at Camp Half-Blood is much like his previous three—high-octane clashes with dark forces, laced with hip humor and drama. Percy, Annabeth and the satyr Grover are furiously working to prevent former camp counselor Luke from resurrecting the Titan lord Kronos, whose goal is to overthrow the gods. When the heroes learn that Luke can breach Camp Half-Blood's security through an exit from Daedalus's Labyrinth, they enter the maze in search of the inventor and a way to stop the invasion.

The one thing that I came to appreciate about this series is that each book has it's own specific adventure, which are all leading up the big finale in the next and final installment. The Battle of the Labyrinth proves no different as it brings us more monsters, more secrets, more gods/goddesses and a big, action-packed story.

Percy, Annabeth, Grover and Tyson set off on an adventure through the Labyrinth designed by the genius Daedalus, an adventure which brings them face to face with a great many horrors, but is necessary in order to prevent Luke from entering Camp Half-Blood and waging war through an entrance from the Labyrinth.

As always, I was pleased with the amount of action and the variety of enemies that they encounter through this book, including Kampe (half-woman, half-dragon), a couple of empousai, telekhines. It's always interesting to have a new type of enemy thrown in, especially when we draw on Greek mythology to understand what they are.

The Labyrinth itself is already an interesting piece of work. I love the concept of a maze that keeps building and growing and expanding, where you could encounter different types of architecture and pop out in different places upon using different entrances. The whole concept fascinated me as much as it did Annabeth, although more from an imaginary standpoint as opposed to an architectural one.

We welcome some of my favorite characters back in this book - Rachel Elizabeth Dare and Nico di Angelo. I love Rachel because she's refreshingly and uniquely mortal, but able to see through the Mist; she's also a redhead and I have a particular fondness for them. I love Nico, on the other hand, because he's just so cool (for a kid) - I mean, he's the freaking son of Hades and it doesn't really get more suave than that.

The mystery of Pan (whom all the satyrs have been searching for) is resolved in this part of the series - and it's a resolution that I wasn't expecting, but am sort of pleased by. It serves as a gentle reminder of the importance of believing in something, as well as taking action to preserve the world we live in.

The Battle of the Labyrinth ends, as always, with a cliffhanger - and it's definitely one that'll make you want to go straight into reading the fifth book straightaway (which I did)!


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