Thursday, February 11, 2010

Review: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Ugh, I so need to stop playing Bejeweled Blitz ^_^; It's really taking a lot of my time, which I could be spending reading instead :(

My reading has been slow this week, but I've just finished a great book: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep! Actually, this month has been great so far, quality-wise :) As a result, I have so many reviews to write ^_^; Hopefully, my reviewing muse will not desert me!

But first, let's continue the Percy Jackson and the Olympians week! :P By the way, I'd like to apologize... my reviews for this series are a bit superficial... Like I only graze the surface and don't go too much into details. Part of it is because it's a series, so I end up saying the same over and over again ^_^; But also, it's been a month already since I've read them and I'm starting to forget the details... But I guess the most important is whether I enjoyed them or not, right? :)

***SPOILERS ALERT, READ AT YOUR OWN RISKS!!***


The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
published by Hyperion Books in May 2008

Percy Jackosn isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.

In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos's army prepares to invite its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigods friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth - a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.
Genre: Young Adult, fantasy
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book #4

The Story: It's now the summer and after the open house day at his new school gone bad, Percy is heading to the Camp Half-Blood. With Percy getting older and soon reaching 16 years old, Nico's disappearance and anger against Percy and Luke and Lord Kronos becoming more prominent threats, the tension at the camp is rising.

Then, during a training exercise, Annabeth and Percy inadvertently found an entrance to the Labyrinth. The half-bloods are aware that Luke is looking for the plans to the Labyrinth, which would allow him and Lord Kronos's army to invade the camp through an underground route, bypassing the protective boundaries... The only way to stop Luke is to find the plans first and so it's Annabeth's turn to lead a quest. Along with Percy, Grover and Tyson, she enters the Labyrinth. What awaits them?...

My Opinion: I really, really enjoyed The Battle of the Labyrinth :) Mainly because the action was non-stopped and of all the twists and surprises. I was simply engrossed by this book and couldn't turn the pages fast enough :)

What I really like about this series is that it is not too predictable and it's not filled with clichés. Add in the greek mythology and it's really refreshing and original :) Plus, Mr Riordan has a good sense of humor and so, there are many laughs while reading it.

Back to The Battle of the Labyrinth, so it has a very strong plot in my opinion. Some might find it too much, but to me, it was great :) I was happy to see Tyson again. It was so funny to learn that Tyson and Grover are scared of each other LMAO. There were many storylines, one of the most interesting one being Nico's. I was happy to see him again and glad that he had some closure.

Again, we see the characters grow and I'm always amazed at how Mr Riordan is able to incorporate these elements in the storyline seamlessly. Now, Percy and Annabeth are almost 15 years old... Deeper feelings are developing between the two... but add in a third party and the relationship and interactions between Annabeth and Percy definitively shift. LOL, Percy is really a guy, not being able to deal with it :P

The only thing that I didn't enjoy much was Annabeth's wishy-washy attitude towards Luke. I understand that he was her friend and someone very important when she was younger... and so, it's harder to turn her back on him and consider him "evil." But the fact that he is the enemy is undeniable and thus, I think that Annabeth should get her act together and treat him so. Her hesitation could have led to tragedies... but then, when you're 14.5 years old, it's not evident I guess.

LOL, something I kept wondering while reading the series was why the half-bloods weren't studying greek mythology more? I mean, wouldn't it be helpful to deal with monsters and people they meet? :) Instead of trying to remember, they would know! :)

My Grade: B+. Anyway, all in all, a great book with a good storyline. The Battle of the Labyrinth is very enjoyable and not just a connecting book or something written to advance the series storyline.

***



I was debating whether to post the movie trailer today or not, but I think I'll wait till tomorrow with the final post :) However, I'll be discussing them.

I've pretty much been through all the trailers available online. My sister has not read the books, so she's been quite curious about them. So I've seen a lot of scenes and characters and so on... and here is a list of things I've been unhappy with so far ^_^;

- Persephone's presence in the movie and the fact that she doesn't seem very much in love with Hades.
- They've eliminated Clarisse character or at least, I don't see her at all in IMDB. I mean, I've read somewhere that they've casted Silena Beauregard... That's just weird/wrong.
- Annabeth's invisibility cap seems to be missing.
- Percy looks way, way, way too powerful. I don't think he was able to manipulate water so well till the last book!
- Hades actually got his hands on the lightning bolt. By the way, I bet his Helm of Darkness is not missing.
- Percy vs Luke's showdown - on top of buildings and all. Ugh.
- What they did with Medusa's head.
- Percy's shield :(
- No mention of Kronos at all!

Okay, I guess the list could go on and on and on ^_^; Am I being too picky? It's just, I like my movies to be faithful to the books if they are adaptations. I can understand changes to the story if it's too hard to adapt... but to eliminate important characters and make things more dramatic just for the movie to be more of a hit. Nah... especially since The Lightning Thief is part of a series. I mean, are they planning to adapt the other books as well? In that case, they're going to have lots of difficulty...

What do you think?

7 comments:

  1. Since I love Kevin McKidd the movie has hit my radar ;) I'll wait for DVD because I haven't read the stories and don't plan to.

    I did want to say it looks like your reviewing muse is awake and running on all cylinders!!

    cindyS

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  2. I just started my own book review blog here, and just wanted to say hi!

    I've been reading your reviews for this series the past few days which is what convinced me (along with reading a bunch of reviews on amazon too, heh heh) to give this series a shot. Once I get some cash, I'm definitely buying the first book! =)

    Hope to talk to you again soon~
    -Ria


    PS: I've been stuck playing a video game like crazy too instead of reading. It's so bad!

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  3. Nath, LOL on the "budding" girl/guy stuff going on in this book. I actually felt bad for Percy. *g*

    I thought this was the book with the most twists and turns in the whole series (maybe it was that Labyrinth, lol). That battle at the end was exciting and quite a surprise, don't you think? Lots of surprises in this book. :)

    PS: I still have a draft of a review for this book somewhere -- never finished it. :(

    RE: Movie --- I'm getting the feeling they're only planning on the one movie? Otherwise why combine so many storylines. It doesn't make sense.

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  4. I was thinking the same as Hilcia. Maybe they are just doing one movie? So they want to try and include all the gods and goddesses. Maybe there will be more if they see they have a hit.

    I liked this book. I like how Rachel hit kronos in the eye. :)

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  5. oh, i just saw on wikipedia, they'll be making the sea of monsters.

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  6. LOL, Bejeweled again? ;)

    Still, when I look at all your recent reviews, I have to say you're doing very well. It doesn't look like you have to worry. And all your reviews for this series are doing the trick, too: I'm interested. :P

    Thanks. :)

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  7. Cindy - LOL, well it's a good reason to see it :D

    Ria - I hope you enjoy it, Ria :D It's an entertaining series :D

    Come back tomorrow for the contest!!

    Hilcia - I know, he wasn't really in control :P

    Oh, there was definitively a lot of surprises in this book. I love it how Mr Riordan twists things around and make it so unpredictable :D I just enjoyed this book a great deal :)

    Actually, I don't think they are combining that many storylines... they're sticking to The Lightning Thief, but changing some stuff. And they are planning for a second movie to come out in 2012. Let see how they salvage it ^_^;

    Isabel - Well as you found out, there is going to be a second movie. Seriously, I hope they'll adapt the whole thing because the last book was so great...

    With the changes they made though, I don't know how they'll be able to adapt the other books. Sigh. They might as well change the whole storyline :(

    LOL, Rachel is an interesting character :) I'd like to read more of her :D

    Taja - Yep. I like the facebook version because it's only 1 minute of game. It's so fast, but you get addicted and start spending hours ^_^; Ugh.

    Give it a try, Taja :D You won't regret it :D

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