This is the fifth book in the Percy Jackson series, and Percy is now in High School! (Some of you may be surprised by this, if you’ve seen the movie, which appears to start in high school. The movie LIES. That’s all I have to say on the subject.)
But anyhow, Percy is coming up on his sixteenth birthday. This is of MONUMENTAL IMPORT, as you know if you’ve read the other books (again, the movie lies) because there’s a prophecy that a child of the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon and Hades,) will save or destroy Olympus on his or her sixteenth birthday. The gods, understandably, are a little tense about this. They’re even less inclined to be Zen right now because their late and totally unlamented father Kronos has reconstructed himself from sheer willpower, trickery and blood, and now he’s out to destroy them and the rest of the world along with Olympus. Oh, and he has backers. Powerful ones.
So that’s the setting. With added dashes of people going insane, bad flashbacks, BETRAYAL, and romance which confuses poor Percy so much. Why are all the girls LOOKING at him like that? Also Drakons and teenagers being badass. (The movie lies.)
THE MOVIE LIES.
Okay, now that is out of my system…
I really, really, really enjoyed this book. After seeing a lying film which I won’t dignify by name, I’m reminded how good the books are. They show the progression from a brave but WAY over his head twelve year old, to a brave 16 year old, in way over his head but prepared to do what is necessary to get the people who are important to him through this. They have side characters who kick a**. They have side characters who aren’t one-dimentional! You get the sense that all these people have lives, and we jst happen to be following Percy. But it we were following, say, Clarisse, or Luke, or Annabeth, or Chiron, it would be an equally exciting and awesome story. Plus they have MOSTLY ACCURATE myths coming out their ears.*bites down on rant about movie*
So that’s just the underlying excellence of the structure of the book. And then there’s the delicious, delicious icing of scenes of glory. Clarrise and the Drakon. Luke and Kronos. Luke’s mom. Martha and George. (heheh.) Annabeth’s terms of endearment. (Can I say how happy I was that Prothemeus was a jerk? I always knew he was a jerk!) I gave it five stars out of five.
(SPOILER: Oh, and after the Battle of the Labyrinth, I was afraid that it was going to pull a His Dark Materials and kill off all the Gods. It made me QUITE HAPPY that this didn’t happen. I may have been loudly jubilant about that. Just maybe.)