ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

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

Updated on November 5, 2016

Sometimes between rereadings (and I have read these books at least three times by now) I forget how much happens in "The Battle of the Labyrinth." We meet a couple of gods that we had only seen in passing before; we return to San Francisco (we will be there again in future books in this universe); there are fight scenes, and escapes, and new characters, and the return of Rachel Elizabeth Dare, and that's all before the titular battle. Also, one of the saddest scenes, that contains one of my favorite quotes (if not my absolute favorite quote) from this series, happens in this book. And I really am so tempted to share the quote but it's a spoiler, so I can't. I have to resist.

The book opens at the credulity-stretching orientation for Goode High School in New York City. I say "credulity-stretching," because it's early June, and orientation, of course, usually comes right before the start of school, not at the start of summer. I am uncertain why Riordan made it orientation and not some other kind of tour for prospective new students. Anyway, it's orientation, and Percy got into Goode because it's where Paul Blofis, whom we saw briefly in "The Titan's Curse" and is now his mother's boyfriend, teaches. During orientation, Percy is yet again attacked by monsters -- in this case, the empousai, demonic vampires with one bronze leg and one donkey's leg (don't ask me . . . ). During orientation, Percy runs into Rachel Elizabeth Dare and she once again demonstrates her ability to see through the Mist by recognizing the empousai as monsters before Percy does. One of the empousai blows a hole in the side of the school and causes a fire, and Percy flees once again.

As he is leaving the school, Percy runs into Annabeth, who is supposed to be meeting him at the school after orientation. First Annabeth sees the fire and then Annabeth sees Rachel. Rachel insists on an explanation for what happened and gives Percy her phone number, which does not set well with Annabeth.

Annabeth and Clarisse have been busy over the past few weeks. Annabeth has put clues together that have lead her to the conclusion that Luke is traveling through the Labyrinth, possibly in search of an entrance to the camp that will allow his monsters to bypass the magic protecting the borders. Annabeth and Clarisse have been searching the Labyrinth for this entrance. When Percy asks where the Labyrinth is now, Annabeth says that the Labyrinth is not under any one place in the United States, but is, in fact, under the entire United States. You see, Daedalus, its creator, is still alive and the Labyrinth is tied to his life force. The longer Daedalus lives, the larger the Labyrinth gets. To make things even more exciting, the Labyrinth changes. So you can follow one tunnel then turn and look behind you and see that the entrance you used to get into that tunnel is no longer there. Space also means nothing under the labyrinth. You can start on Long Island, walk a few feet, make a right turn, go up a flight of stairs and end up in San Diego (not that that actually happens; it's just an example).

Annabeth is finally granted a quest of her own. She is to go into the Labyrinth to find Daedalus. She chooses three companions -- Percy, Tyson, and Grover. Chiron warns her that no good will come of taking three companions, rather than two, but Annabeth insists that all three are necessary. It turns out that she wants to bring Grover because she believes that Pan is in the Labyrinth somewhere. Pan being underground would explain why no satyr, including Grover himself, has ever been able to find him.

Of course, we meet a few new characters along the way, some of whom will be important later. The "travelogue" portion of this book includes the aforementioned return to the Bay Area (actually two returns -- Alcatraz and another trip to Mount Tamalpais) and Colorado Springs, Colorado. We also -- finally -- get to Texas, Riordan's home state. I find one of the Texas scenes particularly pointed, given Riordan's history as a teacher.

Once again, Riordan has created a terrific book that I love to read again and again. However, I have one small quibble. Lots of things shine in this book -- eyes, lights, floors -- and that's great. However, Riordan seems to have all but done away with the word "shone" in favor of "shined." The word "shined," to me, at least, always implies buffing or applying polish to something. So when Riordan writes, "his eyes shined," for example, I wonder what they were shining: shoes? glass? the chrome on a car?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)