In the fourth Percy Jackson and the Olympians book we encounter what is perhaps one of the most well known stories of Greek mythology, the Labyrinth. In an interesting twist, as if the entire series wasn’t interesting enough, we find that the Labyrinth still exists and has taken on a life of its own. The creator Deaedalus is ‘alive’ and as long as he lives the Labyrinth has continued to morph and expand.
Luke, the half-blood traitor, has discovered that there is an entrance directly from the Labyrinth into Camp Half-Blood and plans on using the entrance to bypass the magical boundaries and destroy the camp from the inside. This plan succeeds, as in it gets the enemy into the camp, but it does not destroy the camp. Camp receives enough warning and sends Annabeth, Percy, Grover and Tyson on a quest, the first lead by Annabeth to find the creator Daedalus and convince him to help them defeat the forces. Meanwhile, Grover has been told he has seven days to find Pan and if he does not his searcher’s license will be revoked, thanks to his encounter with the essence of the Wild in New Mexico.
While in the Labyrinth the reader, and characters, encounter all sorts of characters from monster’s that have not been seen since the age of the Titans, such as Kampe and Briares, a hundred handed one, and the goddess Hera and the minor-god of decisions and even the remaining spirit of Pan, the god of the wild. They also visit a farm where the gods beasts are farmed and visit Hephaestus’s forges and help him reclaim, by destroying, the forges under Mount St. Helens. They, meaning Percy, also continue to worry about Nico and his dangerous solitary journey. He is searching for a way to bring his sister back and will stop at nothing. In the end while they are all at the farm, Percy convinces Nico to summon Bianca while they are all there and she tells him that she willingly sacrificed herself and that Nico needs to work with Percy to save all the half-bloods.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this novel is then necessity of a mortal to successfully navigate the Labyrinth. Rachel Elizabeth Dare, whom Percy nearly decapitated with his sword in the last novel, proves to be the answer to finding the center of the maze and getting answers to their questions. Although their questions are not answered perfectly, they all make it out alive and the camp is saved with some loss of life.
This is probably my second favorite book behind the first mostly because of the intricacies of the Labyrinth and the evolving love triangle between Rachel, Percy and Annabeth.
On a side note, I really need to start writing these as soon as I finish the novel. As you can tell they are getting shorter and less specific the more books I’ve read. It was especially difficult with this series as I read them back-to-back-to-back and sped through them. I need to just take the 20 minutes, or however long, and write up my thoughts because then they’ll at least be worth reading.