In THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH Percy and his friends have to travel through King Minos' maze to find its inventor Dädalus before Luke.
Previously (The Titan's Curse): The Titan Atlas teamed up with Percy's arch enemy Luke, a son of Hermes. Atlas could ultimately be defeated by Artemis and Percy, but Luke is still in the process of trying to reawaken the remaining Titans to re-build the rivaling city to the Olymp - Othrys.
After absolutely loving THE TITAN'S CURSE I couldn't wait to finally read this one. I wasn't disappointed. About six months have passed since book three, Riordan starts the story similar to the third one, with an encounter with mythological beings. I was very sad that Riordan decided to kill off Zoe Nightshade, because I loved her as a character. With Rachel Elizabeth Kane, the mortal that can see through the veil and that Percy met briefly in THE TITAN'S CURSE, we have another interesting side character joining the crew. I love that Tyson plays a bigger role in this novel again, I missed him in the third. His approach to problems is always amusing and refreshingly different.
Annabeth functions as a leader in this novel and I'd rather have her swap roles with Percy. What's so interesting about the Percy Jackson series is that Percy is technically the main character, but is never the chosen supreme leader that has all the strategy down. Percy mostly mindlessly walks into situations and just wins out of sheer luck and/or stupidity. It's impossible to dislike him. I just love how Riordan uses Percy's lack of knowledge about Greek myths to explain them to the reader through other characters. While I think I do know quite a bit about Greek mythology, Riordan references really obscure myths that I'm pretty sure only a small portion of readers have encountered before. I was very grateful for the little glossary of mythological beings at the end of the book.
Unfortunate Pacing to Introduce More Mythological Beings
One of the things I have to criticize is that there are too many cameos of the Gods in this one. I hardly think that they would have the time to descend to Earth to help Percy and his friends every few chapters. You might argue that it's only because the Olymp is at war and Percy and his friends play a significant role in that, but - I just don't buy it.
Unlike in the third I felt like the plot was a little dragged out. The main storyline is the heros' quest to find Dädalus, but they are distracted by other mythological beings all the time. The way they found him towards the end feels like a cheap solution that they could've figured out way earlier if they'd just been persistent and kept asking the Gods. Or maybe used rational thinking. Therefore this novel doesn't read as easily and quickly as the third. I just wanted them to finally find Dädalus and take care of the bigger problem. The fight with Kronos has been going on since the first book and at this point they're just stalling. I'm still excited for the fifth and final book, but I don't think that the fourth was really an essential part of the whole. However, it's still a good read.
Overall: Do I Recommend?
I was tempted to skim pages at some point, but I ended up reading everything patiently. The story just sucks you in and Riordan's writing is brilliant. I'm still not a huge fan of Annabeth, but Percy makes the waiting worthwhile. I can't wait for the fifth novel. I guess I recommend.
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: 1st April 2009
Genre: YA / Mythology / Greek
"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 diabolical.
In this latest installment of the blockbuster 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' army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders.
To stop them, 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 fourth book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet."(Source: Goodreads)
What's your favorite Greek mythology read?