Monday, May 12, 2008

The Battle of the Labyrinth!!!!

Basic premise: Luke, who when last seen was joining forces with the evil Kronos to take over the world, has found a way to breach Camp Half-Blood-- the Labyrinth, which stretches amorphously under the United States. Percy, Annabeth, Grover and Tyson set off to find Daedalus, who created the Labyrinth, and figure out a way to stop Luke from attacking. Also, Grover is searching for the god Pan. Joined by the human Rachel Dare, who can see through the "mist" that hides monsters, they work their way through the confounding Labyrinth, encounter and subdue many monsters, and occasionally vaporize demonic cheerleaders.

Why this is so fabulous: The writing. It starts off with the oft-quoted first line "The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school," and continues with chapters such as "Nico Buys Happy Meals for the Dead", "We Visit the Demon Dude Ranch" and "We Play the Game Show of Death". (Which, by the way, skewers the No Child Left Behind Act-- this alone makes the book worth picking up!). The plot is action is well-paced, the main characters continue to grow, and a new host of amusing secondary characters are brought to life in Riordan's inimitable style. Percy ends up on the island of Calypso, and I swear I cried when he left.

None of my students have complained about this latest installment, except to say that they want the fifth one right now. As a former Latin teacher, I have to say that along with Caroline Lawrence's Roman Mysteries, this series is one that I wish I had writtten. Bravo, bravo. Riordan deserves all the praise and popularity that this series has brought him.

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