Friday, April 13, 2012

The Battle of the Labyrinth
by Rick Riordan

It's the day before Percy leaves for Camp and he's already being attacked by monster-cheerleaders. He fights them off and escapes with the help of Rachel Elizabeth Dare, a mortal who can see through the Mist. Annabeth's not happy about their new friendship, and gives Percy the cold shoulder when they get to Camp. He doesn't have much time to ponder her response before he, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson are sent on a quest to find Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth, before Luke and his cronies do. An attack on Camp Half-blood by Kronos's army is imminent, and finding Daedalus may be the only way to save it. But Annabeth has been given a secret prophecy, and refuses to share it in its entirety. All Percy knows is that the last line rhymes with breath, and he's pretty sure its not "meth."

Here we are again, reviewing the next Percy Jackson and the Olympians book. This time around, Percy has lady troubles. Rick Riordan builds off the first blush of romance introduced in The Titan's Curse; The Battle of the Labyrinth has Percy realizing he's crushing on Annabeth at the same time he's reunited with the pretty (and interested) mortal Rachel Elizabeth Dare. Percy is entertainingly bewildered by the cloud of hormones around him.

There's some Grover-Pan subplot in the book that not-so-subtly instructs readers to be more environmentally-conscious. I'm not sure whether to high-five him for bringing the issue into his readers' consciousness or shake my head for the ham-fisted handling of his personal agenda. I guess since I tend to lean towards environmental conservatism, I'll give him an unenthusiastic thumbs up.

Anyway, the verdict: while Camp is in more peril than ever this time around, very little tension was translated off the page. Maybe I've just reached the point where I take it for granted that everything will turn out all right in Riordan's stories. This book seems to be a placeholder for the series: everything is leading up to the final battle that's going to take place in the last book. As a reader, I'm just waiting to see how things turn out when Kronos's army attacks Olympus and Percy is forced to battle Luke--to the death, I hope! I shall be sorely diappointed if there's some kind of redeeming moment where Luke chooses the good side. (I've only recently watched the Hunger Games movie, and am dying for some teen-on-teen battles to the death, since HG was so lacking in them). So, I'm bloodthirsty; it happens.

Copy source: library
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format: hardcopy

View my suggested books by Rick Riordan

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