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The Battle Of The Labyrinth (2008)

The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008)
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Rating
4.37 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
1423101464 (ISBN13: 9781423101468)
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English
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hyperion books for children
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The Battle Of The Labyrinth (2008)
The Battle Of The Labyrinth (2008)

About book: The fourth novel in the Percy Jackson series was rather polarizing for me. On the one hand, it represented an aggressive move from the usually harmless adventures of the young teens, to a darker and bloodier novel. I welcome the change, especially since I have complained in some of the novels that there was a definite lack of permanence and actual stakes.The book is packed with nicely written and powerful scenes and, as a coherent whole, I felt very in tune with Battle of the Labyrinth. The titular setting – the ever-shifting Labyrinth that magically connects various places through a complex series of underground tunnels – was suitably oppressive. Strange as it may seem, I loved feeling compressed under all those tons of earth, trying to find the way out. I guess I just love night time, so imagine how I felt imagining myself in a place where it's always night. Ok, it was also filled with monsters and other dangers, but still...Anyway, on the most part, the heroes are set on defending their camp from the Titan Lord: Kronos and his growing army as he gathers his strength and plans on wiping out Camp Half-Blood and Olympus itself, before enslaving/destroying humanity along the way. Suitably high stakes, and with an actual battle in the last few chapters of the novel, it does live up to its name, and finally shows us why these Half-Bloods have been training half their lives.As the story goes on, Percy and Annabeth’s relationship crawls along awkwardly, with some kind of tension between them, along with adolescent "confused feelings" and jealousy. It’s all a bit painful to read, honestly. Some of the minor characters introduced to the plot are only there for a few specific scenes, and vanish without a second thought just chapters later. Grover’s finally gets some closure on his quest to find the great god Pan. With all this loose ends being connected, I felt like Battle of the Labyrinth was a "filler" novel. It had its moments, but it was largely just wrapping up some plot threads from the previous novel, as though Rick Riordan really wanted to start the final book with a clean slate.Overall, this novel isn't particularly bad, but it isn’t particularly good. Compared to Titan’s Curse, it feels like it’s lacking a coherent plot thread; the ending felt a little rushed. Also, the characters are starting to feel flat and worn-out, recycling the same emotions and desires. Still, I liked it well enough, even though I wish some nuances of the story had been better developed. Interesting quotes that I didn't include in the review: People are more difficult to work with than machines. And when you break a person, he can't be fixed. The Last Passage(view spoiler)[ Nico tapped at his silver ring. ‘But that’s not the real reason I’ve come. I’ve found out some things. I want to make you an offer.’‘What?’‘The way to beat Luke,’ he said. ‘If I’m right, it’s the only way you’ll stand a chance.’I took a deep breath. ‘Okay. I’m listening.’Nico glanced inside my room. His eyebrows furrowed. ‘Is that… is that blue birthday cake?’He sounded hungry, maybe a little wistful. I wondered if the poor kid had ever had a birthday party, or if he’d ever even been invited to one.‘Come inside for cake and ice cream,’ I said. ‘It sounds like we’ve got a lot to talk about.’ (hide spoiler)]

The Battle of the Labyrinth was a huge disappointment to me. It did not get good until halfway through. The first half of the book was action-packed like the first three books of the series, but the action was, for lack of a better term, dumb. At the start of the series, Percy Jackson was twelve. Throughout The Battle of the Labyrinth, he was fourteen. The book was written as if there was no mental development or personal growth during those two years. Percy behaves as if he had learned nothing. He constantly makes the same mistakes and is still surprised that things are mystical or immortal or just plain not normal. He is the son of Poseidon; his persistent surprise and disbelief are unrealistic to me. A little of it is fine, but this book was filled with way too much.I knew it would be hard for this book to please me as much as The Titan's Curse did. Three of my four favorite characters from that book do not appear in The Battle of the Labyrinth. That fact combined with the thoughts I had while reading this book helped me to realize by problem with Rick Riordan's writing: he writes battles well and relationships well and teenage girls very well, but he is pretty crappy at writing from the mind of a teenage boy. The best parts of this book were the times when Percy interacted with girls, specifically Annabeth, Rachel, and Calypso. Everything else was rushed and, to a certain extent, nonsensical.After reading The Battle of the Labyrinth, I feel as though hours of my life were wasted on the search for Pan. The resolution was not bad, but the execution of it was. It was rushed. A scene that could have been developed and brought forth great drama was quick and, ultimately, disappointing. It, like much of this book, was a letdown. The climax ended too quickly, too perfectly. Events that should have been filled with tension and drama instead came and went like the snap of a finger. It was very much like the climactic scene of the No Country for Old Men film--you waited for it and waited for it, but it never really happened. The only difference here was that The Battle of the Labyrinth gave it to me on four separate occasions.It was a necessary book in the series, and the plot was not at all bad. Poor execution hurt it. Despite that, it is not difficult to get through. It still builds the reader's anticipation for the series finale, The Last Olympian.
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Reviews
Valerie
Already I can't wait to start reading The Last Olympian, just have to wait for nine other people to read it first at the library. That's no time at all right? I'm trying to reassure myself. This is my favorite of the series so far. It was slightly less funny in this ones but its totally made up for by all the action and gods and characters. I mean gosh, there are a lot more gods, monsters, and heroes than I gave mythology credit for. We see Percy come out and act like a real true blue hero though he hasn't changed much more than the fact that he can kick some serious monster butt. Annabeth is in charge and she proves to have some things she is holding back on, I'm pretty sure I know what but I won't say here just in case it isn't as obvious to everyone. Grover is as lovable as ever though with a little more knowhow. Tyson makes a reappearance and I certainly missed him. And us mortals play a role in accomplishing the mission. Yeah!I realize that this review probably isn't very helpful but really I loved the book. That's about it.
Alejandra "Allie"
. . . that I can enjoy a book series as much as Harry Potter! I really love Percy Jackson and the Olympians, probably even more than the kids. As I have said before, they are even better read-a-louds, to my elementary age children, than the Potter series. The dialogue is rich (work on your many voices) and just about any page is a great stopping point because there are so many cliff hanging action moments. Nothing is ever slow in this series.Probably the best thing about Percy Jackson in the Olympians and how it compares best to the Potter series is that it is FUNNY. The humor ranges from slapstick to clever, but book 4 is the least humorous of the bunch. What comes more to the forefront in the story is character developement and heartache. Yep, this is the most on target with Greek mythology in terms of tragedy and consequence. The characters are maturing and changing realistically from year to year so Labyrinth is also richer in romance and the dark elements increase as the characters age up. So, another similarity to Potter is that the young characters are always faced with difficult decisions that effect more than just their individual lives. You can change your actions but the impact of your choices can sometimes be everlasting.In Labyrinth, we also get a more in depth study of some of the most familiar Greek characters, like Daedalus the father of Icarus. I thought the author's take on Daedalus' life after the fall was both original and captivating. (You see Daedalus early in the book so I don't consider this a spoiler. - I sure hope not, I hate those.)The saddest part of this series is that there is just one more book left. If you or your kids love greek mythology and/or good ya fantasy then definitely try this series out! I haven't had a book in a long time that I just wanted to turn around and read immediately again after. There are more subplots in this story then in the previous ones and I just want to revisit the characters and dwell with them in their many different experiences. And sorry book loyalists but I can't wait until the movies come out! And if any of you want to start a fan club - I am so in.
TL
Will do proper review of the whole series once I listen to book five audiobook hopefully sometime next month or later this month.(movie sucked but I love this gif)Another great re-visit to my book family :) When can I go on a quest with Percy? Pretty please? HahaIn the third one, I loved Nico but this book is when he became one of my favorites. If I were at Camp Half Blood, I'd be his friend... his powers are pretty awesome and slightly scary sometimes,a few times I wanted to give him a hug and punch the 'Ghost King'Highly recommend! Happy reading!Once again, Jesse Bernstein knocks it out of the park for me with his narration of the series :)
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