The Battle of the Labyrinth: 03/27/11
Note: I wrote this review at the start of the year. Now that it's time to post it, it happens to be the eve before my son starts working on his first book report diorama. He has decided to do a scene from this book. I am not one of those parents who build the projects for my children but I am taking him to the craft store tomorrow for supplies. I am curious to see what he comes up with!
The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan is the fourth in the Percy Jackson books. It expands the famed labyrinth of Minos into a worldwide, underground maze, death trap, and in the right hands, short cut between any two points in the world. It's also the way that Kronos's army plans to invade Camp Half Blood.
Here the quest is straight forward, find Daedalus, the creator of the labyrinth and learn how to navigate through the structure without falling prey to any of its traps or monsters. Along the way Grover gets a chance to find the long lost Pan and Percy has more adventures that parallel those of Odysseus.
My favorite part of the book was the labyrinth itself. I love how Riordan takes the old forgotten architecture of the world through out time to cobble together Daedalus's magical structure. I also like the way in which their mortal companion is able to spot the markings in every day locations that point to entryways to the labyrinth.
What I'm not fond of is excessive use of flashbacks done in the forms of dreamtime visions. I understand the need to include background of the original myth for readers who may not be familiar with the story but the dream sequences were too long and too much of a disruption from the action for me. Parallel chapters of flashbacks and present day or alternating points of view between Daedalus and Percy as Riordan used for Carter and Sadie in The Red Pyramid would would have worked better.
That said, it's still a fun and action packed installment in the series.