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“Be careful of love. It’ll twist your brain around and leave you thinking up is down and right is wrong.” —The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Battle of the Labyrinth
Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4
by Rick Riordan
The inevitable fight with Kronos is still building, and this time Percy must travel with his friends into the depths of the ever-changing Labyrinth. No one knows who to trust, as Kronos continues to convert monsters, half-bloods, and demons to his side of the war. Percy finds himself battling monsters he has never seen, all while dealing with his confusing relationship with Annabeth and helping Grover finally track down the lost god Pan.
The setting is full of tension and excitement. New characters arrive on the scene, adding intrigue and mystery. The ending will leave the reader gasping in surprise as they reach for the next book in the series.
Percy has finally reached high school, and begins to notice the opposite sex; however, there is no romantic relationship. There is a burgeoning physical attraction between him and Annabeth. The Battle of the Labyrinth is a little more mature, and the fight scenes become slightly more graphic. Despite this, the novel is appropriate for younger readers.
- When Percy meets two empousai (monsters similar to vampires) they use their powers to charm him. One asks Percy for a kiss. He thinks, “She smelled like roses and clean animal fur–a weird but somehow intoxicating smell.”
- Sea demons watch a video about puberty. “As a young sea demon matures, the narrator said, changes happen in the monster’s body. You may notice your fangs getting longer and you may have a sudden desire to devour human beings. These changes are perfectly normal.”
- Annabeth kisses Percy. “Annabeth glared at me like she was going to punch me. And then she did something that surprised me even more. She kissed me.”
- An empousai attacks Percy and Rachel. “I slashed with Riptide. Tammi tried to dodge my blade, but I sliced straight through her cheerleader uniform, and with a horrible wail she exploded into dust all over Rachel.”
- Percy meets flesh-eating horses. “Come inside! Eat you! Tasty half-blood! . . . Poseidon can come in, too! We will eat you both! Seafood!”
- Percy fights a monster called Geryon. “I went on the attack. Geryon parried my first strike with a pair of red-hot tongs and lunged at my face with a barbecue fork. I got inside his next thrust and stabbed him right through the middle chest.”
- Daedalus kills his nephew. “Somehow he managed to grab the rim of the tower with his fingers as he fell. ‘Uncle!’ He screamed. ‘Help me!’ The old man’s face was a mask. He did not move from his spot.”
- Percy meets Antaus, who decorates his court with skulls. “They grinned from pikes at the back of the stands and hung on chains from the ceiling like horrible chandeliers. Some of them looked very old–nothing but bleached-white bone. Others looked a lot fresher. I’m not going to describe them. Believe me, you don’t want to know.”
- Percy kills Antaus. “I stabbed the giant in the stomach. He bellowed, and sand poured out, but he was too far up to touch the earth, and the dirt did not rise to help him. Antaeus just dissolved, pouring out bit by bit, until there was nothing left.”
- During a battle, Nico summons the dead to help him. “The earth trembled. A fissure opened in front of the dracaenae, and a dozen undead warriors crawled from the earth.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Half-bloods drink nectar when they are injured. The nectar heals and strengths them.
- Nico, son of Hades, summons the dead. ” ‘In my day, we used animal blood,’ the ghost mumbled . . . The grave started to bubble. Frothy brown liquid rose to the top like the whole thing was filling with soda . . . Nico had summoned the dead with Coke and cheeseburgers.”
- Percy meets many monsters, such as giants, hundred-handed ones, and Kampe. “It was sort of like a centaur, with a woman’s body from the waist up. But instead of a horse’s lower body, it had the body of a dragon–at least twenty feet long, black and scaly with enormous claws and a barbed tail.”
- Kronos possesses Luke’s body. “Luke sat bolt upright. His eyes opened, and they were no longer blue. They were golden, the same color as the coffin. The hole in his chest was gone. He was complete.”
- Percy and his friends discuss how immortal gods and monsters can still die. “Even immortality has limits. Sometimes . . . sometimes monsters get forgotten and they lose their will to stay immortal.”
- Daedalus, who has cheated death for two millennia, decides to pass on. ” ‘Whoa,’ I said. ‘Pass on? But you can’t just kill yourself. That’s wrong!’ He shook his head. ‘Not as wrong as hiding from my crimes for two thousand years . . . My time has come.’ “