Saturday, January 2, 2016

Percy Jackson and the battle of the labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the battle of the labyrinth is the fourth book in the  Percy Jackson and the Olympians series so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read the first books in the series.  This is one of those series where it really pays to read them in order so if you have not already read the other books then I suggest you do so before reading anymore of this review!

It seems as though no summer is complete for Percy Jackson without him being held responsible for the destruction of school property, closely followed by expulsion or criminal charges - and this year looks as though it will be no different.  Fleeing the scene has also become part of the usual process, but this time when he arrives at Camp Half-Blood he finds that his friend Grover is in trouble and that even Camp Half-Blood is not safe from danger.  Each year there are less and less campers, not just because they are dying but also because they are defecting to the other side.  Percy and his friends know it is only a matter of time before war arrives, but it seems as though Kronos is not content to wait for war, that he would rather take the demigods out of the equation before events can escalate to full scale war.

Their only hope of protecting themselves and slowing down the enemy is to enter the labyrinth of legend and find it's creator - because only he has the power to navigate the labyrinth freely and without distraction.  This will not be an easy quest, because Luke is also searching for a way to navigate the maze and he doesn't have to navigate the bad guys dotting the labyrinth the way Percy and his companions do.  As they pursue their quest they uncover more surprises and secrets - some will help them, while others will hinder them.  It doesn't help matters that Annabeth is acting strange, especially when Percy's new friend Rachael is mentioned.  Fate is marching ever closer for Percy and his friends, and the Fates can play nasty tricks when they want to.  Can Percy and Annabeth find a way through the Labyrinth before it is too late?

Percy Jackson and the battle of the labyrinth is the fifth book in a series that has completely exceeded my expectations - not only in terms of readability (the words seem to flow all by themselves) but also in terms of remaining true to the mythology of ancient Greece without being bound by it.  This is a series that should be recommended reading for any reluctant reader, not just because of the careful balance between adventure and characters that scream "I'm real!", but also because it takes a subject that has a rich history and injects it into the modern world and the modern world into it.  My first experience of Percy Jackson and his world was the two movies made based on the books and I am so glad that I decided to pick up the books because the books are so much better.

The writing style for Percy Jackson is engaging and world building, without bogging you down with too much detail or too many complicated and confusing words.  It is easy to see the origins of the story here (a son with dyslexia and ADHD) because not only are the demigods usually identifiable by their dyslexia, there is also a certain amount of messages around being different is okay (and sometimes even better than okay).  It has been a pleasure getting to know Percy Jackson and his world, and I have already started reading book five in the series and I am desperately hoping that it does the rest of the series justice.  It is unusual to have a children's series that features such prominent themes of death, but it is well handled and as long as children can ask questions of a responsible adult/older sibling then everything should be fine.  Hopefully if they make any more movies in the series they will do the books justice!

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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