Genre: Middle-Grade, Urban Fantasy, Mythology (Greek)
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4 (series of 5)
Release Date: March 6, 2008
This book is a favourite from the series for the majority of the fandom and it’s makes complete sense why, because this is a masterpiece. I can’t even tell you how much I love this book.
I mean, we have the things that have been consistently great throughout the series, like the fast pace, the story, the prophecy, the characters, and Percy’s perfect and hilarious narrative. But there’s even more here to love. For one, the setting.
The book starts off with Percy visiting his new school for orientation. There he gets attacked by monsters (because messing with Percy is the Fates’ favourite pastime). He escapes, only to have to rush to camp because things have gone from bad to worse. Luke’s allies are increasing and Kronos is gaining power, and their next move seems to be to invade camp. But the only way to get monsters into camp is via the Labyrinth, a vast underground maze that’s impossible to navigate. To stop the invasion, there needs to be a quest through the Labyrinth.
And let me tell you, that Labyrinth is very creepy. It full of traps and monsters, there’s no real concept of time and you never know where you’re going to end up. Very dangerous, but very exciting to read about.
One of my favourite scenes in the maze, and in the novel, is one that features a Sphinx which, if you didn’t know, is a mythical creature with the body of a lion and a human head. The scene is a satire on the education system and it’s genius. I won’t go into detail because I want you to enjoy it for yourself, but that scene alone is worth five stars.
Then there’s a great message about preserving nature. The book also addressed grief, friendship, guilt, responsibility, choices, right and wrong, and consequences. The Percy and Annabeth relationship is amping as well up because their feeling have grown to more than friendship but they’re not ready to accept that and don’t know how to handle it.
Nico’s arc was very important. He’s just a kid but he’s also a powerful demigod who’s just lost his sister. He’s very angry, not to mention impressionable.
There is, honestly, so much to learn. It is truly amazing how much Rick Riordan has accomplished in a single novel and if I didn’t already know that Uncle Rick is brilliant, I would now. Best book in the series so far. Highly recommend.