Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Four: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Monday, November 29, 2010

The second to the last book for most, if not all, sagas or series has a certain degree of significance that any reader should be aware of. Authors will improve on early foreshadowing they’ve laid in the early instalments, either bring it nearer to a close or make it more cumbersome, or intriguing, until one reads the last book. The Battle of the Labyrinth surely did both, but more of the latter.


Author: Rick Riordan
Released: May 6, 2008
New York Times children’s best seller series

Synopsis
Luke, son of Hermes, and a follower of the titan Kronos, was ready to lead their army to destroy Camp Half-Blood. He intends to use the labyrinth for his army to pass through. This discovery brought anxiety to the entire camp, perhaps how any camp should feel had they known an entire army of mythological Greek demons and traitors are to wage war against them.

Annabeth Chase; daughter of Athena, receives a quest, to find Daedalus, creator of the labyrinth, and prevent Luke’s army from getting Ariadne’s string, the string that can help one find his way through the labyrinth.

The labyrinth is known to cause madness once inside. It is also known to grow and extend, further mortifying those inside it to be more lost, the only setback for Luke, so he also sets out to find Ariadne’s string.

In the labyrinth, Annabeth is accompanied by, of course, Percy Jackson; son of Poseidon, Grover; a satyr, Tyson; Percy’s cylopes brother, and Nico di Angelo; son of Hades. In their misfortune, they found themselves, like many others, lost in the labyrinth despite Annabeth’s wisdom and inclination to architecture.

Percy seeks the help of Rachel Elizabeth Dare. Rachel, despite being a mortal, possesses the ability to see through the mist and which makes her an effective GPS in the labyrinth. So it becomes a race between their party against Luke’s army, as the countdown begins for Camp Half-Blood’s probable final hour.

But what they found in the labyrinth, was more than any of them intended, and wanted to find.

Reading Experience
Had it not been for Pacific Rims by Rafe Bartholomew, I would’ve finished reading and writing The Battle of the Labyrinth earlier. But since my reading has been preoccupied for quite some time, I only had this chance to write my review.

Riordan maintained his sprint paced storytelling prowess. It is also good news, though expected, when I say that humor is inserted in the plot’s entire run.

Though there were quite a few more additions to the original myths, he was able to include the well-known factoids about the labyrinth. No, Icarus did not make an appearance, but Daedalus surely did. More so, Riordan touched a bit more metaphysical, should I say subjects or rather concepts, when he dabbled on Daedalus’s form (that’s for you to read) and his labyrinth and its sprawling behavior.

Those who know about the labyrinth’s story would be very familiar with Daedalus and Icarus, and their wax wings, but be prepared for King Minos’s portrayal which may eventually make you grind your teeth.

Luke is bound to play a very intriguing role. What Riordan has written about Kronos and Luke in this book will make one more curious of how things would turn out in Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian.  Another character whom Riordan has made more pivotal in the series is Nico di Angelo. My interest in him being the son of Hades, grew more as he demonstrated his capability to call the dead and even command them, but I do have a special interest in the book’s last scene.

In Conclusion
In a nutshell, the pacing and build-up is nothing short of laudable, a satisfying second to the last book of the series. Reading The Battle of the Labyrinth will surely intrigue, since it feels it was meant to intrigue, the reader to join Percy Jackson in his next and last adventure.

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I'm a young professional working in a call center; a licensed nurse who's not practicing the profession, out of choice; gay, and proud to be; sporty with an active lifestyle filled with badminton and running; a reader who easily gets lost in a well-written story; a wannabe-author and wannabe-successful. But more importantly, I'm a writer with a hunger for life.

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