Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan

Summary: 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. (Summary from book - Image from amazon.com)

My Review: Battle of the Labyrinth continued along similar lines as the previous novels – action, adventure, almost certain death followed by miraculous escape. While previous novels have been set primarily in human world, with occasional jaunts into the mythological realm, this book was the opposite. Most of the action took place in an underground labyrinth riddled with monsters, ghosts, and deadly traps. I found that I wasn’t nearly as taken with this book as I have been with the previous three. I much preferred the heroes above ground adventures to the Labyrinth and the time they spent in it.

I’ve heard people criticize this series as being too “cinematic” and they are right. Riordan’s books are very cinematic, but that is what I like about them. He always keeps the story moving (a surefire way to keep a young, reluctant reader or this tired mom’s attention) and I can always see the action quite clearly in my head. What can I say? Sometimes my imagination needs a little encouragement.

I definitely sensed a change in the characters and storyline in this book. Battle of the Labyrinth shows a darker aspect than any of the previous novels with themes of revenge and betrayal, while still staying relatively kid-friendly. As with most series (ahemHarryPotterahem) Percy is growing up and so is his story.

My difficulties with this book did nothing to temper my eagerness for the final novel, The Last Olympian, which is currently out in hardcover. The only thing that is keeping me from buying it and completing my series is that I’m one of those weird people that needs my series to all be the same format (mass market, trade paper, or hardcover). I can’t mix and match. It bugs me. So, I’m 10 out of 13 in the library reserve line and it is not-quite-but-almost killing me.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Sum it up: My least favorite of the series, but still worth reading.

Also reviewed by Kari.

Come back tomorrow for Kari's review of the final book in the series, "The Last Olympian".

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