My Favourite Myth, but Better…
Four of five done!
Apologies for the late post, I’ve been in rural India for the past 8 days. It’s amazing here, so picturesque and calming! I’ve added some photos to the bottom of this post if you’d like to have a look at rural India and Mumbai.
I wanted this review up last Monday but due to me not having pre-written this and the fact that I totally overestimated the amount of free time we’d have here I wasn’t able to get any writing in at all. Today has been the only time I am sane enough to write something coherent. So here goes…
Blurb: Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears at his potential new school, 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 invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth - a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.
Two words: Character Development.
This book contained one of my favourite myths in the Greek Mythos. Dedalus’ Labyrinth is probably the most fascinating story. Even the story of Dedalus himself is quite interesting, especially with the Iccurus incident on him.
In the novel, Dedalus is hailed as both a Saint and Sinner. Hated and loved by people on both sides of the fight, with Riordan giving him redemption in the form of a character in this book. Annabeth, a lover of architecture – a fact which never made it into the films – admires the man for his talent on building the maze, though caught between what to think of his sins. We can certainly say that Dedalus isn’t a good man, but the redemption arc that Riordan gave him, where he helps Percy and friends in the final battle was a very nice take on the historical figure.
Let’s give a little thought to the maze. It is something of a ‘dark art’, it changes and morphs all the time and like Olympus the entrances and exists change every few generations making it hard to find and harder to escape. In the maze, we are greeted with some friends of whom two I want to make note of:
- The Hundred Handed One is a mythological character I have never heard of before. They’re described to the reader as a creature older than Cyclops’ with great power and strength (probably something to do with all the hands but idk). I really like how we meet a defeated one, and see through Tyson’s eyes how disappointed he is that his childhood hero isn’t what he thought he was, and how Percy feels helpless in his ability to make his baby bother happy. Although there is a crazy character development of about half a book in which the Hundred-Handed-One assists in the final battle.
- The Sphynx. Okay so maybe not everyone knows this but in the original story of the Sphynx, whoever gets her riddle wrong will be eaten and whoever gets it right will cause her to ignite in flames. Let’s just say I was happy that Riordan kept that violent ending out of the novel. Annabeth is admired for her bravery, knowledge and now fearlessness by her friends after standing up to the Sphynx when it chooses to do the riddles that were not to custom.
I want to go into more detail in a video review or you’ll be here all day reading my essay about how each aspect of this novel was expertly written and constructed perfectly to develop our main characters and introduce the myths in a non-violent and educational way.
Riordan always manages to keep the novels about his little group of heroes while placing them in a world already established with such a deep cult following and sometimes untranslatable history. Making it so their world is just another hurdle the heroes have to overcome in their daily life with new and scary monsters, Gods and other enemies coming their way.
We see Percy grow especially in his understanding of what the world is coming to and how he has chosen to put himself before other and in the way of danger to protect those who are weaker and more vulnerable to corruption than he is (i.e. his choice to take on the title of ‘Chosen One’ instead of Nico, as if that is even a choice he can make). We see his selfless, loving and harsh side in this novel subsequently contributing to him growing up and becoming a teenager and less of a young child.
★ Rating ★
Overall, without really giving any spoilers that are just me picking apart the book, I enjoyed this read thoroughly rating it novel, a ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars).
Thank you so much for reading!
What is your favourite Greek Myth??
With Love Bree xx
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