TITLE: The Battle of the Labyrinth
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
SERIES: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4
RELEASED: March 6th, 2008; Disney-Hyperion
AGE RANGE: MG
Percy has returned home for another school year, but after a run-in with demonic cheerleaders, he begins to accept the fact that he’s pretty much doomed to never lead a normal kid’s life again. As he sets off on a quest through the infamous Labyrinth, the war with Kronos looms ever closer.
I feel like my Percy Jackson reviews are beginning to feel repetitive, because as a whole, this series has really just captivated my heart so much, and there are only so many times I can gush about how much I love these characters, or how hilarious Percy and his friends are.
“Be careful of love. It’ll twist your brain around and leave you thinking up is down and right is wrong.”
First, I have to say that Labyrinth was the first PJO book I’ve read via audiobook instead of a physical copy, and WOW, do I recommend this narrator. He was absolutely hilarious and throws in so many bonus voice changes and accents to really bring the characters to life in a brand new way. My bank account is totally glaring at me because, despite the fact that I own physical copies of almost every book Uncle Rick has written, I’ll probably be checking out the audiobooks for most of them here on out!
“People are more difficult to work with than machines. And when you break a person, he can’t be fixed.”
As usual, the characters are wonderful and complex, Percy is a lovable yet sometimes clueless little bean, Annabeth endears me more with each passing installment, Tyson is my forever fave and I would protect him at all costs, and the world of gods, demigods, monsters, and Titans grows more complex and wonderful all the time.
“You deal with mythological stuff for a few years, you learn that paradises are usually places where you get killed.”
I originally gave this one 4 stars like I have with the 3 books before it, because—as with the first books—I wasn’t totally sure it had sucked me in enough to be “worth” 5 stars, until I was sitting here typing this review, weeks later, and realized two things: 1) I don’t have a single legitimate complaint about this installment, and 2) I inhaled most of the audiobook in one sitting and couldn’t put it down, so clearly it did suck me in that much! So, I’m happy to announce that The Battle of the Labyrinth gets a solid 5 out of 5 stars from this reader.
You can really tell that Rick Riordan meant for the series to grow up with the readers, because the books have steadily gotten just a little bit darker and heavier, but unlike many other series that follow this “aging up” style, PJO is still solidly middle grade and kid-friendly even by the end of this one, 80% through the series. I mean that as a good thing, though, because it means that Labyrinth is still a fun, comforting read with the stakes just high enough to create suspense without ever overshadowing how hilarious and fun the journey is.
I’d happily recommend these books to ANY kid who likes fantasy or action/adventure stories and think that this series will be an important one for readers of all ages for generations to come. I’d also completely recommend this book, and this series in general, to any adults who aren’t typically big fans of MG, or who haven’t read much of it but want to dive into the age range a little more.
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