Review: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olypians #4
Published: March, 2008
Genre: fantasy, mythology / middle grade
Goodreads

Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to diabolical. 

In this latest installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop them, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth-a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this fourth book promises to be their most thrilling  

One of the things I enjoy most when reading books are the character dynamics, not only about the main characters, but all the characters. I was very happy to get different character pairings and groups, which allowed for a great variety of scenes and interactions that we would not have gotten otherwise. Some of those parts are not even that special, but to see Percy (as we follow him) travelling with different characters allows new and refreshing perspectives.

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Continuing with the characters, I was so happy to see so many of them. We got new ones and ones we had already met, and instead of getting mere appearances from them, I felt like they got their own storylines. I am not going to mention their names because some might be a surprise for readers, but I wanted to talk about one in particular so if you do not want to know who that person is, just skip to the next paragraph. I hope you’re gone by now if you don’t want to know the identity of that special someone. I am talking about the son of the god of death (I thought it would be wiser to put it this way in case someone saw the name and did not want to know). I felt bad about how things ended with him in the last book, so getting that explored in this one, and not solved immediately but worked through it was a good paid off. It was done amazingly, and I could feel both his and Percy’s doubts and insecurities, which I think is very important in a case like this one. I also wanted to mention  his other evolution throughout this book, and that is how powerful he has become. In comparison, I do not know how much effort Percy is putting.

Another element that is brought back from other books are the visions/dreams/messages Percy has. In the previous books, those were criptic and sometimes left Percy more confused than anything, but I felt those were overused in this book; only in the first chapters we get a gazilion of them, and they all are too helpful and about everything they need to know about; so convenient. Every time the gang was face with a problem I felt like they should have had Percy take a nap and everything would havve been okay.

The quest itself was very entertaining. I am always so curious when we get the prophecy, and start theorizing about it and how everything will unwrap. Sometimes, as was the case in this book, I have correctly guessed an outcome, but even though I have ideas about the story, it is not as “predictive” as the first two installments, for there is always something you did not think about or could have imagined. And even if you had a similar thought, Rick Riordan still manages to surprise you in some way or another. And going back to the quest, it was rather surprising that Annabeth’s decision (sorry but I don’t want to be specific, if you have read it you might understand) did not have consecuences. I am also still waiting for her to make a difficult choice, as Hera said, but that might come in the last book.

The introduction of the labyrinth was fascinating and offered infinite possibilities for the story to go. I had fun with the direction things took but I am curious to see what else it had to offer. I also found the explanation for its functioning a bit confusing, which may have been intentional, for the labyrinth wants to trick you. Of course, I also have to mention Daedalus. I liked his part a lot, especially towards the end of the book. This was the thing I mentioned before that I saw coming but I loved the reveal of his character, and how Daedalus waits for Percy and commpany to figure it out. I believe his was a very intriguing character and I wanted to get more of him now, instead of past Daedalus, which was not as interesting to read about. Also, his parts were a bit confusing, because I was not sure if they were set in the past or in the present, and history was repeating itself. It was not until we saw Icarus that I was totally convinced.

4556058Lastly, the ending clearly sets it up for the conclusion in The Last Olympian, which I am super excited to read. Stakes are clearly higher and it was great to see all the pieces moving and coming together. I thought the bad buys were not as bad in this book, they were almost even disregarding things, but they might be saving their strenghts for the final battle. I hope we get to see an epic confrontation in the next installment, and I wonder what will happen with Luke, for I have felt he sometimes is unaware of some things, or does not have as much information as he should. Though if I am being honest, if I were Kronos, I would not share every little detail and I would tell every follower a different piece of information. Plus, trusting a half-blood should be difficult for a titan, shouldn’t it?

 

 


Have you read The Battle of the Labyrint? Do you agree with what I said? What do you think?

 

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