Book Review: “The Battle of the Labyrinth” by Rick Riordan

Hello! Today we will be discussing the fourth book in the Percy Jackson series, The Battle of the Labyrinth. It was fabulous as always and I really enjoyed it. But let’s get into the review.

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout this book, read the synopsis and don’t read any other part of this review.***

Synopsis:

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 fourth 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’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.”

Characters:

Percy Jackson: he is our main protagonist and he is the son of Poseidon. Percy really grew in this novel and really became more sure of himself, I think. He trusted his friends, which was his strength. He was as sassy and sarcastic as ever and was willing to do anything to save his friends. He was definitely starting to feel something for Annabeth, too, I believe.

Annabeth Chase: another one of our main protagonists, she is the daughter of Athena and I definitely think we got to see who she really is throughout this book. We saw how she was truly a daughter of Athena and her strong suit was intelligence and always would be. We definitely saw her feelings for Percy shining through and her love for him, as soon as he gets his head out of his ass and realizes it. #PercabethForTheWin

Grover: he is the best friend of Percy and he is a Satyr who is under pressure to go find Pan, the lost god of the Wild. He has an empathy link with Percy, so they can sometimes send each other thoughts and can sense the other’s emotions. He is a great friend and he is terrified of cyclopes because of his experience the previous year, so he is terrified of Tyson, which I find hilarious.

Tyson: he is the adorable little cyclops brother of Percy and I freaking love him. He loves Percy so much and would do anything for him. He will risk his life for Percy and his friends. He also is the reason 95% of the time that Percy lives through the day. He is also terrified of Grover as well, which is ironic.

Nico di Angelo: He is the son of Hades, so (surprise surprise) I don’t like him throughout the majority of this book. While he did start off as being a complete jerkface, he did redeem himself in the end. He is quite honestly scary. The things he will do to get what he wants scare me a little bit. He is on our side, thank goodness. But he did terrify me and frustrate me for a while there.

Luke Castellan: He is the son of Hermes and he is the same asshat he has been for the ast few books except that he’s an asshat with an army. He succeeds in what he wants done. He raises Kronos. He is manipulative and he is indirectly seen throughout this book periodically. We mostly see him in Percy’s dreams (not like that, you perv).

Rachel Elizabeth Dare: she is quickly becoming a constant character. She is a mortal, but one who can see through the Mist. She helps them navigate the Labyrinth and Annabeth hates her because she thinks Rachel likes Percy as more than a friend and I think that Annabeth is right. I am not sure if I like her or not.

Quintus/Daedalus: I have mixed feelings about this Athenian half-blood. He couldn’t seem to choose a side. He was an amazing inventor and swordsman, but in the end, he gave his life for Percy and Camp Half-Blood.

Plot:

The story starts off with Percy going to an orientation at the school where Mr. Blofis, his mom’s boyfriend, works. We all know that Percy (like all Half-Bloods) attracts trouble like a freaking magnet. He is attacked by two empousai with Rachel Dare (the girl he nearly killed at the Hoover Dam in The Titan’s Curse). Percy kills one of them and the other, dressed like a cheerleader whose name is Kelli,  escapes. She makes a fire and makes it seem like it is all Percy’s fault. So he runs and sees Annabeth whose mood turns sour at the sight of Rachel (jealousy, methinks).

Percy and Annabeth (rather than go on their scheduled hang out), head back to Camp Half-Blood. Percy meets the new sword-fighting instructor Quintus (whom I was immediately suspicious of) and his pet hellhound Mrs. O’Leary. Percy meets up with Annabeth and they go to Grover’s hearing (along with Clarisse and Grover’s girlfriend Juniper). His searcher’s license is nearly revoked, but Chiron convinces the council to give Grover a week to find Pan.

Tyson is back (which makes me so happy! I love his character). We find out that Nico is still missing. The whole camp plays this game involving dangerous monsters and mysterious silk packages. Percy and Annabeth end up falling in a hole and are lost for what seemed like a few minutes but turned out to be an hour before they finally got out. We find out that was an entrance into the Labyrinth, which means the armies of Luke and Kronos could just march into Camp, bypassing all of the defenses.

Annabeth goes to the Oracle for a prophecy and she is to lead a quest into the Labyrinth. Tyson, Grover, and Percy are all to go. It’s revealed that Quintus may be a spy for Luke (surprise, surprise) when Juniper saw him sneaking around the entrance of the Labyrinth before Percy and Annabeth found it.

Percy has dreams involving Nico raising the dead and being guided by a ghost. They leave for the Labyrinth and meet Hera, the wife of Zeus. She says Annabeth must choose (Percy? Luke?) and she grants a wish (how to navigate the maze). She says that Percy knows the answer.

They need to go see Hephaestus because he knew more about Daedalus than anyone. They encounter a monster and run, ending up in this museum in LA. They free a One Hundred Handed One named Briares who is being kept captive by Kampe, the Titan jailer. They are chased by her when she sees what they are doing and Tyson ends up saving their asses. Briares runs off.
Percy has another dream in which Daedalus and his son Icarus are trapped by King Minos (in the Labyrinth? I wasn’t entirely sure about that). Daedalus builds these metal wings for him and his son and they use them to escape. Icarus’ wings start to fall apart and he plummets to the sea three hundred feet below, dying.
Percy and the crew start walking and come across a hamburger wrapper, meaning that Nico is nearby. They go up a grate and find themselves in some sort of ranch full of bizarre animals. They are “greeted” by a half-blood and he takes them to his boss. They discover his boss is this monster with several torsos (three maybe?) and they see Nico who is still full of hatred for Percy.
We learn that the evil King Minos is the one “helping” Nico. Anyway, the monster/boss shows them the ranch then captures Nico, intending to hand him off to Luke and the Titans. Percy (naturally) makes a deal to free Nico. He must clean the filthy stables by sunrise or everyone will be taken to Luke.
This next part made it very difficult to want to pick up the book and continue to read because it was so disgusting. Percy uses the water from the ground to create springs that clean the stables. The monster planned on handing them all off to Luke anyway, so Percy fights him. Percy was always terrible at archery, but he asks Artemis and Apollo to help him use one arrow to nail all of its hearts and he does. (It is later revealed that it was really Hera who helped him).
We figure out that the person that was sending Percy messages on what Nico was doing was actually Bianca (Why I didn’t figure this out sooner, I can’t tell you). They talk to her and she talks about how it wasn’t Percy’s fault she died and Nico needs to let go of his grudge.
Percy has another dream in which Luke is talking to Kelli and she says she is going to be taking care of Percy and his friends. Luke says that Kampe will be the one carrying Arodne’s string. The next dream features Daedalus and his nephew, Perdix, who he let die, so Athena causes him indescribable pain for the heinous act.
Percy and Grover realize a week has passed, so Grover’s time to find Pan has expired. To find Hephaestus, the Half-Blood gives them a necklace that with the press of a button, will lead them to him. The necklace turns into a spider and they follow it, going into the maze. They run into the Sphinx and Annabeth refuses to answer the questions so the Sphinx tries to kill her and everyone else. They end up escaping and continuing to follow the spider.
They find Hephaestus and he says he will tell them where Daedalus’ workshop is they investigate and find out who has been using one of his old forges. They follow the spider again to the forge and Grover and Tyson end up splitting up from Percy and Annabeth to find Pan. Percy and Annabeth find out that Telekhines have taken over the forge and are working for Luke and Kronos.
They need a distraction to get away, so Annabeth needs to go get help while he distracts the monsters. Before she leaves, she kisses him (EEEEEEE!! *lowkey screaming*). Percy is cornered by the monsters and they throw lava-hot objects at him. He creates an explosion of water and he goes sky high, later waking up at an island with a woman named Calypso who is caring for him and helping him heal.
We find out that her father is Atlas and possibly knew Zoe. Hephaestus comes and says Percy nearly wiped out the entire northwestern United States. Percy also has to decide if he will stay on that island or return to help Annabeth and all of his friends. He goes to help everyone and walks in on his funeral.
He tells Chiron and Annabeth (privately) of how they need a mortal’s help to navigate the Labyrinth. Annabeth is very jealous (as she suspects Calypso’s island). Quintus has disappeared and Chris has gotten worse. Percy ends up having another dream.
Minos comes into a room with a King and his two daughters, saying he will pay gold to the King in exchange for Daedalus. He agrees and his three daughters start to bathe the King Minos (*shudders*), but bind him until he suffocates. Daedalus escapes into the Labyrinth. Percy’s dream changes to where Luke is studying a map, trying to find the string. There was a half-blood wandering the maze (Nico?).
They go to talk to Rachel about entering the Labyrinth and she agrees, telling them of how there is an entrance in the hotel basement to the Labyrinth. They go and are practically immediately captured by Kelli and some of Luke’s monsters. They are taken to an arena where Percy’s brother, Lord Antaeus is.
His mother is the earth goddess, Gaea. Percy has to fight warriors and monsters. We learn that Luke is trying to get his army to pass through Antaeus’ lands. Percy fights a dracaenae (and he wins; kills it) and a warrior half-blood (he spares him; this comes back to bite him in the ass). He fights Lord Antaeus and he ends up tying him in chains and stabs him, killing him.
Luke wants them dead, so Percy blows the whistle that Quintus gave him and Mrs. O’Leary comes and helps them get away. Percy has another dream in which Kronos speaks to him and Tyson is being squeezed to death by a snake-like monster.
They make it to Daedalus’ workshop. And what do you know? Quintus is Daedalus. Luke already has the string courtesy of Daedalus. Quintus/Daedalus is helping to bring Kronos back to life. Monsters burst in. Minos will help Luke in exchange for Daedalus’ head. Nico has been taken prisoner. There is fighting and Kelli finally dies (by Annabeth’s hand).
They all put on wings and get out of there (Percy, Annabeth, Rachel and Nico). Rachel ends up getting a car and they find another entrance to the Labyrinth. They go inside and find the entrance to Mount Othrys. Percy goes there alone because he’s an idiot. He sees the coffin of Kronos and is shocked (as am I) when he opens it. The body inside is Luke Castellan’s (What? WHAT?!).
The Half-Blood that Percy spared in the fight pledges his allegiance to Kronos, which is the last straw that awakens Kronos. He goes after Kronos in Luke’s body, but he loses control for a few seconds (enough time for Percy to get away) when Rachel throws her hairbrush at his head.
They run into the Labyrinth and end up finding Grover and Tyson, both alive, thank God. They all end up finding Pan and he tells Grover to tell everyone that Pan is dead and then he fades away.
They get back in New York and say goodbye to Rachel, who we learn is the daughter of a famous and rich business man. They ride on a pegasus (possibly Blackjack?) to Camp Half-Blood and battle ensues. One of Chiron’s legs end up broken in the fight. Nico raises several spirits to help them in the fight. Kampe ends up dying by the hand of Briares who joined the fight along with Daedalus who starts helping them fight Kronos’ army. The battle ends after Grover scares Kronos’ army shitless by unleashing this loud roar, which we later learn in Pan’s Panic, and they all run back into the Labyrinth.
Daedalus dies and the Labyrinth with him. The Council of Elders are conflicted with Grover because they refuse to believe that Pan is dead. Mr. D returns and votes for Grover to stay and not be exiled and the council in turn is dissolved. Nico ends up leaving to search for answers about his past. Mr. D and Percy talk and we learn that Mr. D cured Chris.
Percy ends up going back home (with Annabeth hardly speaking to him; right before this she had made an enemy of the goddess Hera). Percy has a birthday party and Mr. Blofis asks Percy permission to marry his mom, which, of course, he agrees to. Poseidon ends up showing up and talks privately with Percy. He says that Percy is his favorite son (Eeeeee! I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.) and that war is brewing with the old Titan Sea spirits. After Poseidon leaves, Nico ends up showing up on the fire escape (like literally out of thin air) and tells Percy that Hades has Daedalus doing construction work in Manhattan and he also says that he thinks he knows how to beat Luke/Kronos.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. It is definitely my favorite in the series. I really enjoyed all of the character development throughout the book and how we really got to know all of the characters, especially Annabeth, and the amount of sexual tension between Percy and Annabeth was unreal. The story was action-packed and there were these “What? WHAT?!” moments throughout the book that I enjoyed. There was Percabeth throughout it and there were so many twists and turns and I just really enjoyed this book. The action and the writing were both at a peak they hadn’t been before, and it was just an overall rockin’ fantastic installment to this series. And I am so excited to read the last book.

9
5/5 hearts

Love You All to Luna and Back,

Allie

 

 

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