November 2, 2009

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4)Title : Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
Author : Rick Riordan
Reading Dates : 3 Nov - 4 Nov 2009

Book Summary of Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth.

On Percy's orientation tour to Goode High School where his mother's new boyfriend Paul Blofis is teaching, Percy is forced once against to battle monsters. Percy escapes the empousa only with help from a mortal, Rachel Elizabeth Dare whom he first met at Hoover's Dam last winter while escaping from Atlas's zombies. However, Percy is forced to cancel his planned date with Annabeth and make for Camp Half-Blood instead. Percy and Annabeth travel back to Camp as Percy's attacker had indicated that Luke was planning an invasion on Camp Half-Blood and his fellow summer campers maybe in grave danger.

Back at Camp, all appears well though there is a sense of impending doom. The number of campers had dropped as Half-Bloods have been either killed, turned traitor or disappeared in the last 3 years. There's also a new sword instructor, a mysterious Half-Blood calling himself Quintus with a hell hound named Mrs O'Leary for a pet. Then, Percy gets a strange call showing him young Nico di Angelo listening to the advice of a ghost as he attempts to find a way to resurrect his sister Bianca.

As the campers ponder how Luke intends to attack, Percy and Annabeth stumble over one of the entrances to the Labyrinth in the midst of their camp. With this the campers surmise that Luke intends to bring his forces in through the Labyrinth and they must start a quest to prevent Luke from finding a way to navigate the maze. At this point, Clarisse reveals that she was actually sent by Chiron on a secret mission to investigate the Labyrinth and Annabeth had been recruited to help her. Chiron had guessed that Luke was sending scouts into the Labyrinth when Clarisse found a half-mad Chris Rodriguez, a traitor Half-Blood, though they could not guess Luke's reasons for it earlier. Annabeth with her knowledge of architecture is proposed as the best person to lead the quest.

After consulting with the Oracle, Annabeth breaks the rules and names 3 companions instead of 2 for the quest. Grover who has been given 1 week to find Pan or forfeit his searcher's license, Tyson on vacation from the Cyclopes forges under the ocean and Percy. Percy quickly realizes Annabeth has not revealed everything the Oracle foretold to her at the start of their quest but is unable to get her to explain further.

As the 4 continue to travel hopelessly lost in the maze, they receive unexpected advice from Hera and decide to seek out Hephaestus. Along the way, Percy meets up shortly with Nico again but Nico refuses to forgive Percy despite Bianca's ghost advising him to do so.

Hephaestus agrees to help the companions find a way to the creator of the Labyrinth, Daedalus in exchange for their help. Someone has been using his forge on Mount St. Helen's but every time he tries to investigate they disappear. Since none of the 4 are gods, Hephaestus hopes that they will be able to discover the truth before being detected. On the way to Hephaestus's forge, Grover finds a clue to Pan's whereabouts and in order not to loose time chooses to abandon their quest. Tyson volunteers to go with Grover to provide him with protection.

Annabeth and Percy find Hephaestus's forge being used by Kronos's minions and in escaping Percy and Annabeth are separated. Percy accidentally blows up Mount St. Helen's when attempting to evade his captors and winds up on Calypso's island. Hephaestus finds Percy later as Annabeth had managed to escape and inform him what had happened. He reveals to Percy that to navigate the Labyrinth they need the help of a mortal who has the ability to see through the Mist and thus will not be confused by the Labyrinth's ability to confuse invaders.

When Percy then rejoins Annabeth at Camp Half-Blood, he finds out from Chiron that Quintus has disappeared and suspects that Quintus is Luke's spy. Percy and Annabeth then seek out Rachel Elizabeth Dare and enlist her help in order to continue with their quest.

As they travel through the Labyrinth, the 3 are captured by Luke and Antaeus, another of Poseidon's sons. Antaeus forces Percy to participate in a pankration, a fight to the death with other fighters. Percy kills Antaeus and rescues his 2 companions as well as another Half-Blood, Ethan Nakamura. They escape when Percy calls upon Mrs O'Leary using a special whistle Quintus gave him at the start of their quest.

Rachel successfully guides Annabeth and Percy to the heart of the Labyrinth where Daedalus's workshop is. Here, they unexpectedly meet Quintus who reveals he is actually Daedalus and he has escaped death by continually transferring his soul into automaton bodies. Quintus is in fact his fifth body. He had come to Camp Half-Blood to decide which side he would help in the war between the Titans and Olympus. However, Percy and Annabeth are now too late. He has given Ariadne's string to Luke thereby granting him the means to navigate the Labyrinth and attack Camp Half-Blood. In return, Kronos has promised to make him the Lord of the Underworld once the Olympians are overthrown and reunite him with his beloved dead son, Icarus. As Percy and Annabeth attempt to reason with Daedalus, Luke and his army show up with Nico as a hostage. Luke orders his soldiers to attack them, including Daedalus. Daedalus finds that he himself has been betrayed. Surrounded, Percy, Annabeth, Rachel and Nico escape using Daedalus's invention to fly out of the Labyrinth.

Realizing that the quickest route to return to Camp Half-Blood is via the Labyrinth, they return later. En route, they first encounter Kronos who has somehow returned by taking over Luke's body. It is only Nico's powers which allows the group to escape from Kronos. Traveling further, they come across Grover and Tyson in front of the lost god Pan's cave. Pan charges Grover to tell the satyrs that he has indeed died. All that is left is but a remnant which must soon disappear. It will be up to everyone to save the wild, no one god can do it now. Once Grover accepts Pan's words, he disappears.

Rachel leaves the group after guiding them back to New York. The rest then journey on to Camp Half-Blood where the campers are preparing for battle. When Luke's forces finally come through, the campers are almost overrun. It is only with the help of unexpected allies that the Battle of the Labyrinth is won. Nico, Daedalus, the Hundred-handed One Briares and Pan's gift to Grover each help to turn the tide of the battle.

Although the battle was won, many of the campers were killed. Dionysus returns with further bad news that many of the lesser gods have chosen to side with the Titans. The satyr's council is also broken as a few refuse to believe Grover's words on Pan's death and considers him a traitor. The one bright side is the destruction of the Labyrinth. As the Labyrinth is tied to Daedalus's life force, he offers his life to Nico as redemption for past misdeeds. With Daedalus's death, the Labyrinth is destroyed and thus Luke's army will not be able to attack again the same way.

Returning home after summer camp, Poseidon visits Percy on his 15th birthday and warns Percy to take care as Typhon, a Titan imprisoned beneath Mount St. Helens is stirring and is likely to attack New York upon waking. Nico too shows up unexpectedly later with a possible proposal to defeat Luke and Kronos.

Book Review of Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth.
I enjoyed this fourth book in the Olympian series. Percy is as interesting as ever and there are many unexpected twists to this story. I had a feeling that Nico would turn out to be one of the good guys, but not his role in Annabeth's quest. Nico saved Percy not once but twice. He also bought the campers time in Camp Half-Blood. Yet, there is something tragic about it. As the son of Hades, he must find his path alone without the help of others unlike other Half-Bloods. Hopefully things will turn out better for Nico in the end. Happy endings are always best.

Links of Interest.

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...