Book Review: The Battle of the Labyrinth

Title/Author:  The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4)

Genre:  Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mythology, Adventure

Published:  May 2008 by Hyperion

Hardcover, 361 pages.

How I Got The Book:  Checked it out from the library.

Why I Picked It Up?:  To continue this fantastic middle grade series that is Percy Jackson.  =)

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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 worse.

In this latest installment of the block-buster 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 the invasion, 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 latest book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.”

My Review of the Work:

**May contain minor spoilers of books 1, 2, and 3**

I am thoroughly impressed with this 4th novel in the Percy Jackson series.  As a vast improvement from The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth has it all:  more mythology, more action, more adventure, and more Percy and Annabeth.

As always, this novel opens up with Percy in a school orientation.  Percy cannot seem to step into a school without something going very wrong (in this case, deadly cheerleaders with flamethrowers).  But never fear, Annabeth is near, and between her and the clear-sighted mortal girl Rachel (who Percy met at the Hoover dam in book 3), they escape with only setting fire to half the school.  Annabeth has come with a message that they are needed back at camp immediately.

There is news that Luke is in control of a giant army and are trying to use Daedulus’ labyrinth to breach Camp Half Blood’s magical borders and destroy the camp and all of the heroes before headed on to fight against the gods.  When Annabeth and Percy accidentally stumble upon the entrance to the Labyrinth on campus, they know that they have to go venture through it to find Daedulus and get his help to stop Luke and Kronos’ army of demons and monsters.  Together with Percy, Tyson (yay!), and Grover, Annabeth leads a quest through the Labyrinth to find Daedulus’ workshop.

But naturally, they meet a couple of challenges a long the way.  And these challenges once again incorporate a lot of mythological creatures, stories, characters, and gods that we have not seen yet, which expands the depth Greek mythology plays in this series.  I love reading this juvenile series and learning new things about a subject that I have studied numerous times in school.  Somehow, it actually makes MORE sense when I read Percy Jackson than when I had to memorize the gods and goddesses chart in high school.

This fourth book not only has the adventure and some awesome fight scenes, but there are a lot of “side quests” that begin to get wrapped up in this novel, probably in preparation for book 5.  Plus, there are some more developments with each of the characters we love so much!  In this book we learn a lot more about Grover’s personal life (*wink), get more of that “feel good tension” between Percy and Annabeth, and meet Tyson’s long lost relative!  You also see another side of Luke, meet a nice hellhound, and are finally introduced to the queen of all goddesses, Hera.  I promise you, this book will NOT disappoint you.  And I cannot wait to see how this series wraps up!
My Bookshelf Rating:

A Fourth Shelf Book!

This book is by far the best of the series thus far–I even like it better than the first!  There is a lot more incorporated Greek myths in this book that not only explain a lot of the overarching plot but just add to the depth of the book.  This adventure is full of excitement and squeals as our favorite characters continue to develop.  I cannot wait to see how this series will conclude when I read The Last Olympian in April!

Love and balls of yarn,
Jennifer

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