Title: The Battle of the Labyrinth
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: YA, fantasy, adventure
Series? Yes – book four of five
Publisher: Disney Hyperion (2009)
Synopsis from cover: 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 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.
My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: I’m glad to see that the slump in the third book (The Titan’s Curse) didn’t carry over into The Battle of the Labyrinth! Everything picked up again, and while I still think Sea of Monsters is my favorite out of the series so far, I did enjoy this book, despite my reservations.
What did I think about the characters? There weren’t as many character introductions in this one, but rather character development. The reason this book is longer than the previous ones is because there’s a lot of flashbacks, explaining the past so that we understand the current and future events more fully. As I predicted, Nico Di Angelo grew in importance and became a more well rounded character. All of the other characters are back, and still growing and maturing as they take on the growing Titan threat.
And the concept and plot? There were a few scenes that kind of detracted from the main plot, but in the end all of flashbacks give a bit of insight to the characters and their motivations. This book, much like The Titan’s Curse, is a preparation and set up for the final book, The Last Olympian. There are a lot of loose ends and questions left, of course compelling me to pick up the next book immediately.
What about the writing style? Much like The Titan’s Curse, this one had a darker tone and theme. I had a few more laughs than the previous book, but there’s a heavy sense of foreboding for the coming events.
Anything else you’d like to add? Totally unrelated, but I had the greatest macaroni and cheese today. Just had to share that.
FYI: if you plan on purchasing the book, I recommend buying the box set from Amazon. It’s $20 for all five in the series (paperback), and even if you don’t like the series you end up saving oodles of dollars because buying them individually is about $7.50 for each. You can find the boxed set here.