Monday, January 18, 2010

Rick Riordan's The Battle of the Labyrinth

Assume for a moment that all Greek myths were actually true. That minotaurs and centaurs, sirens and titans actually exist. And that most of mankind cannot register their existence because of a magical force known as “Mist.” However, some people can naturally “see” through the mist for no reason. Some other people can see through the mist for another reason; they are half-bloods, the result of a cross of a Greek god and a mortal. One such half-blood, Percy Jackson, has seen quite a lot in his fifteen years of life. His achievements stretch from recreating the some feats of Odysseus, and his own namesake, Perseus, to making his own name as a hero by recovering Zeus’s favorite weapon, his Master Bolt. Percy has been through a lot thus far, but all of that is nothing in comparison to what lays in store in his fourth adventure, Rick Riordan’s The Battle of the Labyrinth.

In this novel, the armies of the titan Cronos attempt to find a way to navigate the Labyrinth, a complex maze once used to house the Minotaur. However, the maze has a habit of driving those intrepid, or stupid, enough to enter insane. One material object, Ariadne's string, can safely guide the user(s) through the harrowing hallways. Cronos wishes to destroy a summer camp known as Camp Half-Blood. Camp Half-Blood houses many half-bloods during the summer and acts as a training facility. Percy, a regular attendee at the camp, goes on a quest to stop the army from finding the string. Along the way, the Labyrinth separates his group, causing Percy to be anxious and worried about his friend’s safety. Percy and company make good time in the great maze, but will it be good enough?

Despite the fact that I enjoyed this book, I do have some qualms regarding it. For one, the setting always seems quite vague. The writer describes the setting, but never with vivid words. I admit, the words paint a picture, but based purely on the text the picture typically is not ornate. Much of the imagery is left up to the reader’s imagination.

One affinity this book possesses lies in the style in which the novel was written. To be specific, I like the author’s sense of humor. Oftentimes, the author puts a sarcastic understatement or an ironic jest in at the most unexpected times. He also writes the chapters to have strange, funny, random names.

Because of the great humor and nearly unending action, this book nearly tops the chart of my favorite books. The plot can be addicting, and the book can be hard to put down. So this book can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone, given that they have read the first three in the series.

361 pages

1 comment:

  1. Great book review Russ! Don't take this the wrong way, but it was a little long.