Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4) by Rick Riordan


It has been over a year since I have last delve into the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and I believe that is too long to rediscovery this epic fantasy series. The reason why it took me so long is because I read the first three through the library and once I read an entire series it increases the odds that I will never buy it for my own possession and I need Percy Jackson in my life. After months of research and having the right resources I was able to own the whole collection and now I get to finish this saga. I definitely had to use major recaps to remember what happens in the previous books but this book in my opinion was standalone from the rest.

We get reintroduced to Percy Jackson who is now an incoming freshman attending freshmen orientation at Goode High School. He is always getting kicked out of every school that he attends thanks to monsters and other catastrophes and he needs to work harder this time around because Percy's moms boyfriend, Paul Blofis, teaches at the school and who defended him when the school was reluctant to accept him. While attending the orientation, he sees he a familiar face and immediately panics because he cannot believe why she is attending this school and we learn it is no other than Rachel Elizabeth Dare.

If you do not remember her do not worry because there is not much about her except that Percy met her at the Hoover Dam on a quest the previous year and she saved him from evil skeleton warriors. He never saw her again until now and we discover that she lives in New York and is attending the same school as him. Before he attends the orientation, Percy bumps into a pair of senior cheerleaders who are acting strange around him and appear to be something else and sure enough Rachel tells Percy to run when the cheerleaders show up on stage.

As Rachel and him run out of the auditorium and hide, we learn that the cheerleaders are empousa which are flaming hair monsters with fangs and their legs is one part donkey and the other is celestial bronze prosthetic leg. They are the inspiration for our vampires and immediately Percy has to fight them and kill them without making a mess of everything. Luckily he kills one but the other escapes leaving the school in flames and framing Percy as the trouble maker.

Percy escapes with Rachel and once he gets outside he bumps into Annabeth who came to hang out with him and go on their unofficial date. She immediately gets jealous when she meets Rachel and all the wonderful plans go down the drain as they need to visit Camp Half-Blood before all hell breaks loose. Once they arrive, Percy notices that while he was enjoying the normal life of being a teenager, he has forgotten that everyone else in the greek mythology world have been making plans and strategies over how to stop Kronos and defeat Luke and all the other bad guys that they have encountered.

As he gets adjusted to camp, he discovers that Dionysus is on a mission to make sure that the lesser gods are in an alliance with Olympus, no word on Nico di Angelo (previous book), and we have new members to the camp which is the new swordsman named Quintus and his hellhound companion named Mrs. O'Leary. We meet again Tyson who is Percy's step-brother and Grover who is granted only one week to find Pan before his searchers license gets revoked and his dreams of meeting his God is over. 

The following day Percy learns that Quintus has set up a game that will test the young half-bloods skills and strengths in combat and Percy gets to team up with Annabeth. At first the fighting seems easy with one big scorpion but then out of nowhere three appear and they have to retreat under a boulder. As they hid inside, Percy and Annabeth notices that this boulder has turned into a cavern and Annabeth makes the connection as the entrance to the Labyrinth (the one that is famous for the Minotaur and Theseus).

With the discovery of the entrance, Percy discovers that Annabeth and everyone believes that Luke is trying to enter the Labyrinth in order to infiltrate Camp Half-Blood and destroy it. Annabeth, Percy, Grover, and Tyson are now on this quest to enter the Labyrinth and find Daedalus (who is the creator of the labyrinth) and make sure Luke doesn't get a hold of Ariadne's string. If Luke gets it before them, he will attack with a taste of Kronos army and the gang might not be able to fight back. Will the gang be successful or will Luke and Kronos become bad asses and ruin the day?

I try to make this spoiler free and even though I have written a mouth full of information, this barely makes 100 pages and in the book there is plenty of epic battle scenes, secrets revealed, and so much more. What I loved about this book is that it left you at the edge of your seat as time is running out and Kronos army gets bigger each day. This book definitely beats the previous novels and I believe if you are currently reading this series and still haven't made up your mind to continue it I would say read this book and it will blow your mind in epic proportions.

Even though we are getting more action than the books I believe that this book has become the turning point for the future of this series. Percy is now in high school growing up and with that comes maturity. While I loved this series I felt like in the beginning it was very innocent and playful and now with this book we realize that evil is real thing and the end of the world might appear sooner than later. This book reminded me a lot of Harry Potter especially from Book #4-6 because this book was darker than the previous book and we encounter death as never before.

As the reader we get an insight glimpse into what is a war and how innocent casualties get killed in the line of battle. I believe at that moment is when we open our eyes and grow up as human beings. I loved every second of this book and I have no clue what the final book is going to be about and how it will lead us into the spinoff series. All I know is I am definitely going to read the last book in the series and finally end Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

In each book as we discover new characters and further insight into the Greek Gods, I try to picture myself who could be my greek parents? If it could be both Greek Gods then I would say Poseidon and Athena but since this deals with Demi-Gods then I can only pick one. I find the son of Hades powers to be cool in this book but I believe at the end of the day it would be Poseidon. I always try to change it in every book but I always find myself relating to Percy and Poseidon more and more. Hopefully the final book can prove me wrong.

This was the first time in a book that I forced myself not to use google to look up these characters and their abilities which I am grateful for because I would have been completely spoiled early on in the book and ruin the entire series. I believe if we do not about this particular god or who is the greek parents on a particular child there is a reason why and we will learn later on in the story. I lose my patience in this book because I want to read the book faster than I possibly can and the moments where I am unable to read my book I get sad and coming up ways to read the book without being bothered.

I cannot get enough of this series and Rick Riordan is a genius as to how to attract people into his stories and how easily we are able to lose track of time in these classic greek mythology adventures. Thank you Rick Riordan for coming into my life and thank you for creating Percy.

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