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The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson…
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The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) (edition 2008)

by Rick Riordan

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7,857202425 (4.26)211
Member:skaback67
Title:The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4)
Authors:Rick Riordan
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2008), Hardcover, 368 pages
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The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

  1. 61
    The Odyssey by Homer (Jitsusama)
    Jitsusama: An ancient classic revolving around Greek Myth. A great help to better understand the mythology of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
  2. 20
    D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri D'Aulaire (saltypepper)
    saltypepper: More accessible than Homer for younger and/or reluctant readers, plus beautifully illustrated.
  3. 31
    The Iliad by Homer (Jitsusama)
    Jitsusama: An ancient classic revolving around Greek Myth. A great help to better understand the mythology of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
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For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Four down and one more to go. I can’t believe I’m almost done with the Percy Jackson series, which is exciting on several levels. What the series has now is a more cohesive storyline, what I wanted in the first couple books in fact, that means not immediately going on to the next book is really hard. *kicks schedule* At any rate, I should be done with The Last Olympian by this time next week. Deep breaths, people. The Battle of the Labyrinth was full of intense twists and reveals and the stage is set for an intense final chapter.

The star of the show continues to be the world building. I mean, the characters are great too, obviously, but holy shit this world building. In every book I’m more impressed with what Rick Riordan has done to breathe fresh life into old mythology. Greek mythology was one of my favorite things as a teen and his twists on the stories are simply incredible. I was talking with Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) about this series and how many similarities it has with Harry Potter, and we both agreed that, though that was obviously an influence, Riordan’s world is so unique and so much his own that those influences don’t matter. I also have a private theory that maybe all of this was born because he was a Harry/Hermione shipper, but I can neither prove or disprove this.

I don’t want to spoil the whole plot of the book, but I do want to talk about two examples of how awesome Riordan’s take on Greek mythology is. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Percy meets Calypso, best known from The Odyssey for trying to keep Odysseus as her love slave. Obviously, Rick Riordan didn’t have her ensnare a fourteen year-old the same way in a middle grade novel, because that would be highly uncomfortable and so not the tone of these books. In essence, the idea is the same: Calypso wants someone to stay with her and love her. However, Calypso knows that Percy has a life and she doesn’t pressure him or lie to him. She ends up being a really kind force and a really tragic one too. Rather than making her a villain, a lady trap, he makes her into a character that you can’t help but feel for. Then there’s the sphinx, which Riordan cleverly turns into a commentary on the modern educational system in a way that is completely hilarious.

That’s probably my favorite thing about Riordan’s characterization actually. There aren’t many characters that you can simply dismiss as evil. Everyone’s complex and dealing with motivations pulling them this way and that. Even though we’re just in Percy’s head, he manages to show us so much of where other people are coming from. Even Luke, who’s been the bad guy through most of the series is not shown as being impossible to redeem. There’s a lot of hatred towards Nico simply for being a child of Hades, but he too gets to make his own choices, which could lead him in any direction. To that point, Hermes is one of the good gods and yet Luke turned. Riordan’s very clear in his message, without overtly stating it, that it doesn’t matter who your parents are or what you’ve been through; only you decide your path. He manages to do this, even though each book is laden with prophecy. The prophecies turn out to be true, but they leave a lot of wiggle room for things to play out, because often they could have more than one meaning.

Percy remains charmingly the same throughout the series. He’s grown up a lot for sure, but in his core he’s the same. For one thing, the boy still isn’t the brightest. Thinking is not his strong suit. Acting is. He’s impulsive and very much needs Annabeth along on his quests for long-range planning. In a battle, Percy can do amazing things, because they’re all about instinct. In romance, not so much, because he is not great at reflection and emotions involve a lot of reflection. Percy often realizes what’s going on much after the other characters and the reader has. Often, this is a problem in middle grade, but in Percy Jackson I think it really works, precisely because the other characters already knew what was up and mock Percy in a loving way for being a seaweed brain. It’s very clear that though Percy does amazing things in each book, he could never have done any of it alone.

The middle grade romantic drama is beginning to come to a head here. I’m not sure why I don’t ship it like burning. Perhaps because Percy’s still fourteen and I expected the romance to be a bit more based on all the flails? Anyway, I do think Percy and Annabeth’s crushes and inability to deal with them are cute, but I’m not dying of feels from it yet. I say yet, because there’s always hope. I’m a bit torn because I do actually love Rachel Elizabeth Dare, and, though I know it’s not to be, I wouldn’t mind seeing her end up with Percy either. I am sure Debby and Gillian are giving me WTF faces right now. Sorry, guys.

I am, however, starting to have some real feels in this series, so book five could be intense. The reveals in this one had me on the edge of my seat and all capsing to Gillian because holy shit. Plus, I have a new favorite character, Mrs. O’Leary, who’s the sweetest hellhound you ever will meet. I had some major feels for this poor pooch. I’m also having some definite Nico feels. And some frustration with Percy for being an idiot when it comes to girls, but also that’s just so Percy.

I am super excited to finish the series in the coming week. I’m hoping for a feels-splosion, for some major character death, and for some real romance feels. I’m also hoping that the book is set at least partially not in summer, because the bad guy would not just wait for summers. The fact that the campers only have to deal with the Greek mythology stuff in the summer is getting a bit unbelievable at this point. Like, yeah, the forces of evil will totally wait to start the battles while the kids go to high school. I just bet. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Nov 13, 2014 |
(3.3)
  mshampson | Nov 13, 2014 |
Percy Jackson's sixteenth birthday draws nearer, and both sides of the impending battle are preparing for war. In this, the fourth book out of five, Percy is attacked at his new school by cheerleaders that are actually empousai, gets in a fight with Annabeth over his new friend, Rachel Dare, and is immediately plunged into peril at camp when he learns about the labyrinth. While Percy was away, Clarisse was on a secret mission to discover what interest Luke had in the Minotaur's labyrinth. The task was spurred by the discovery of Chris Rodriguez, who had apparently gone mad in the labyrinth, and was raving about finding the string. Since Chris was one of the half-bloods who had joined Luke's side, Chiron realized that Luke was trying to find Daedalus's string to allow himself mastery of the labyrinth's intricate maze. When Annabeth and Percy accidentally fall into an opening of the maze right below Camp Half-Blood, they understand why: Luke wants to use the maze to break past the camp's magical defenses. With the vast army he has already assembled, chances are high that he will slaughter the heroes.

A new mission is born. This time, Annabeth receives the Oracle that sets the quest in motion. Even though she has been waiting for her own quest since she was a child, Annabeth is not happy with the secret message she hears from the mummified oracle, but she refuses to share with Percy what is bothering her. Instead, she chooses her team of Percy, Grover, and Tyson, and the four embark on another round of mad adventure and life threatening escapades.

Travel in the labyrinth is complicated. First of all, time moves at a different rate. Second, the paths and openings constantly shift and morph into new passages and different doors. Third, traveling a short distance in the underground labyrinth could cover a much larger mileage above ground. Thus, the heroes can traverse around the country in a matter of days, and every time they emerge from the labyrinth they are in a new and surprising location. As they move to find Daedalus and win his support first, the gang encounters a deadly ranch, a Herculean task that Percy has to solve, an arena with battles to the death run by a different son of Poseidon, and another ancient species related to the cyclops. At one point, the group splits up so Grover and Tyson can search for Pan, who Grover scents in one of the tunnels, and Percy and Annabeth head back to Manhattan to enlist Rachel Dare. She is one of the rare mortals who can see through the mist, and she directs them through the maze.

The search escalates, leading to a climactic battle within Camp Half-Blood between Luke's forces and Percy and his friends. Fortunately, the perilous journey through the labyrinth gave Percy the opportunity to amass powerful allies, and the Camp Half-Blood heroes are able to win the day, albeit with serious loss. As the series heads towards its close, the tension rises and the complicated ties between characters become increasingly provocative. I enjoyed seeing the romantic progression in the relationship between Percy and Annabeth. The books hinted at this from the beginning, and the author has done a marvelous job of building up their friendship and attraction in a natural way, as well as throwing obstacles in their path. Annabeth has her history with Luke, and now Percy has his surprising attraction to Rachel Dare. As main characters, Percy and Annabeth are well-rounded and sympathetic teenagers, who easily draw the reader's support. Grover has also developed, moving away from his role as comic relief as his search for Pan became more serious. I am so glad Riordan continued to develop this plot thread along with more serious happenings, and I thought the resolution in this book was a wonderful solution to Grover's mission. I enjoy reading about Percy Jackson and his wacky world, with its delightful reinventions of Greek mythology. The stories are funny and fast-paced, but rounded out with emotional and serious moments. The series has laid in place the pieces for a powerful conclusion, and I look forward to reading it in the next book. ( )
  nmhale | Oct 16, 2014 |
This is another one of my favorite PJO books. I don't even have to tell you you how much I love Percy, do I? Percy Is one the best fictional male characters I've ever read about. It is impossible not to love Percy Jackson. [spoiler] Does anyone else love the part when Annabeth kissed Percy? Percabeth!

We also get a little bit of Annabeth character development. She's never lead a quest before and she's really doubting herself a lot, and Percy is being an awesome friend to her.

Grover and Tyson are still Awesome, lovable characters. Nico, and Rachel Dare are cool, and so is Calypso.

[spoiler] Kronos is alive which means all Hades is about to break loose.

This is an awesome book! I love it and I can't wait to read it again. ( )
  barbiekait | Oct 16, 2014 |
I liked how this entire book was about an underground maze that wasn't as nice or easy as a normal maze. ( )
  TeresaCruz | Oct 11, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rick Riordanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bernstein, JesseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Becky, who always leads me through the maze.
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The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This LT work is the fourth volume (of five) in Rick Riordan's series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Please do not combine it with any other individual title or collection of titles from the series. Thank you.
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Percy Jackson manages to be admitted to a new high school, but a battle with demon cheerleaders ends up with the school burning, so it's back to Camp Half-Blood. But the camp isn't so safe anymore, with war between the Olympians and lord Kronos approaching. Percy and the demigods must venture on a quest through the Labyrinth to try to stop the enemy from invading the Camp.
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When demonic cheerleaders invade his high school, Percy Jackson hurries to Camp Half Blood, from whence he and his demigod friends set out on a quest through the Labyrinth, while the war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near.… (more)

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