Thursday, November 29, 2012
The final book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is a wonderfully paced, satisfying conclusion to the epic children's fantasy series. In the first chapter Percy is hanging out with his friend Rachel Elizabeth Dare when his friend, demigod Charles Beckendorf, riding on the pegasus Blackjack, interrupts and announces that it is time for them to embark on the dangerous mission they had been planning for weeks. Percy tells Rachel goodbye and leaves with Charles on Blackjack. They fly to the Princess Andromeda, a stolen cruise ship Luke has been using for his monster army, where Kronos and his henchmen are sailing to New York. Percy and Charles land on board and head straight to the engine room to plant explosives. Percy leaves to distract a group of telkhines from entering the engine room. As Percy runs across the ship he fights a giant monster crab and reaches Kronos. Kronos announces that he'd been expecting Percy and reveals that there is a spy at Camp Half-Blood. Charles is captured by giants and tricks them into believing he didn't set the explosives. Although Percy tries to fight Kronos his attempts are futile. Charles tells Percy to jump off the ship and presses the detonator on his wrist. Shortly after Percy lands in the ocean the cruise ship explodes and Percy loses consciousness.
Percy is woken by his brother Tyson in Poseidon's underwater palace. Tyson tells Percy that he did not find Charles and Percy realizes that Charles sacrificed himself to take down the ship of monsters. Tyson takes Percy to Poseidon who informs Percy that the war against the Titan Oceanus is not going well and he is exhausting all his resources. Percy wants to stay and help his dad fight, but Poseidon commands Percy to return to Camp Half-Blood and tell Chiron it is time for him to hear "The Great Prophecy" in its entirety. When Percy returns to Camp everyone is distraught over the news about Charles, especially his girlfriend Silena Beauregard. Annabeth leads Percy into the attic to show him "The Great Prophecy" from a slip of paper in a pouch on the Oracle's neck. When he reads the prophecy in front of the campers, he is dismayed that it reveals a single choice will lead to the end of his days. Chiron shows Percy that all the gods of Olympus are fighting the formidable monster Typhon. Percy is disturbed by the thought of no one guarding Olympus, but Chiron states that if Typhon reaches New York it won't matter if anyone defends Mount Olympus. The war council is chaotic because Clarisse is angry that the Apollo cabin took a flying chariot from her cabin in a previous battle. The next day Annabeth calls Percy a coward after he asks her for advice about their next strategy to fight Kronos. Percy goes to visit Mrs. O'Leary and they take a walk in the woods. There Percy sees the overweight satyr, Council Elder Leneus, and forcefully asks him to help him find Grover, who Percy hasn't been able to contact in months. Leneus runs away saying that Grover will die an outcast. Nico Di Angelo, who witnesses the scene asks Percy if he's ready to do what he suggested to him on his fifteenth birthday. Percy is reluctant, but then agrees when he thinks about what is going on at camp. Percy uses Mrs. O'Leary to shadow travel to Connecticut for the first part of their task.
When Percy, Mrs. O'Leary, and Nico arrive at Connecticut they are near the home of May Castellan, Luke's mother. Percy and Nico enter her home and discover that Luke's mother is an insane woman who thinks Luke is going to come home and makes sandwiches for him every day. She mistakes Percy for Luke and Percy plays along. Nico confirms that Luke received his mother's blessing before he did what Percy has agreed to do also. They leave May Castellan's home and go to Percy's mother's apartment in New York. She gives Percy her blessing to carry out Nico's plan, but she asks for a sign to know that he is okay when the war with Kronos is over. Percy promises to give her a blue sign to show he is safe. Nico then leads Percy to the Underworld entrance in New York City. Percy finds Grover who has been sleeping in Central Park for two months. He told Percy that Morpheus, the God of Dreams, knocked him out. Grover plays his reed pipes to open the Door of Orpheus to the Underworld for Nico, Percy, and Mrs. O'Leary. Grover goes to rally the nature spirits in the park to prepare for the battle against Kronos. When Percy reaches the River Styx Nico tells Percy they need to go to Hades' palace first. Percy realizes that Nico tricked him into going to Hades, who imprisons him. Nico claims that he didn't know what Hades was going to do when he rescues Percy from his prison, only that he was trying to get information about his family and that Hades wanted to see Percy in exchange. Mrs. O'Leary takes them back to the River Styx and Percy is warned by the ghost of Achilles not to go in the river like he warned Luke before him. Percy goes into the river and feels like he is burning and drowning. He is about to succumb when he imagines Annabeth helping him to reach the surface again. When Percy emerges from the river with the power of invincibility Nico is surprised. Hades arrives with an army of skeletons. Percy fights and swiftly destroys all of them and pins Hades to the ground. He demands to know what the trap is that Kronos is planning, but Hades disappears. Percy tells Nico to stay in the Underworld and convince his dad to fight against Kronos. Percy arranges for all the demigods at Camp Half-Blood, except for the Ares cabin, to meet him downtown in Manhattan to prepare for the battle to defend Mount Olympus.
The campers go to the Empire State Building and reach Olympus by taking the elevator to the 600th floor. Hermes delivers a message to Annabeth saying that her mother Athena told her to use plan twenty three, one of Daedalus' inventions. Percy receives a vision from Hestia, the Goddess of the Hearth--who he met earlier outside of May Castellan's house, about Luke's earlier days when he first met Annabeth. She tells Percy that she must understand Luke's family to face him in battle. After Hermes leaves the campers learn that Morpheus has put every mortal in Manhattan to sleep. They observe that demons and monsters are beginning to invade Manhattan through bridges and tunnels and rivers. Percy assigns each of the cabins a bridge or tunnel to defend while he goes to defend the rivers. Thalia and the Hunters of Artemis arrive in time to fight at the Lincoln tunnel, which was unguarded. Percy and Annabeth drive around Manhattan on a borrowed motor scooter and activate a statue that is actually an automaton that Daedalus manufactured to defend Manhattan in plan twenty-three. The statue Annabeth wakes up goes to activate the other statues in Manhattan. Percy goes underwater in the New York Harbor and antagonizes two New York river gods. He offers them both half of a sand dollar if they sink the enemy boats that are coming to Manhattan. The river gods take the money and sink the boats. Annabeth tells Percy that the Apollo cabin needs help at Williamsburg Bridge where they are facing an army led by the Minotaur Percy killed four years ago on his way to Camp Half-Blood for the first time. Percy calls Blackjack who flies him and Annabeth to the bridge.
Percy uses his invincibility and super strength to defeat the Minotaur and most of his monster army, while the remaining monsters fled. The victory is brief as Kronos approaches with a new enemy force. The Apollo cabin, Percy, and Annabeth attempt to retreat, but are caught in battle. Ethan Nakamura injures Annabeth when she blocks him from stabbing Percy. Blackjack carries Annabeth away quickly before Kronos can use her to force Percy to surrender. Percy and Kronos exchange blows and Percy creates a chasm in the bridge after Kronos cracks it with his scythe. Kronos withdraws and says "Until this evening, Jackson." Percy goes to the Plaza Hotel to check on Annabeth who is getting treated for her wound. Silena decides to go back to camp to convince Clarisse and the Ares cabin to join the battle. After the surviving campers and Hunters rest they get back into action when a new army led by the Titan Hyperion march through Central Park. Percy uses his water powers to create a hurricane around him and subdue Hyperion until he is trapped in roots and ensconced inside a maple tree created by the woodland magic of the satyrs. Shortly afterwards a monstrous pig, The Clazmonian Sow, is unleashed and threats to destroy everything in its path. Percy tells Grover to keep the troops fighting and retreat if necessary while he takes on the pig. He latches onto the pig with a grappling hook and it flies around Manhattan. Percy manages to attach a Hermes statue to the Sow midflight and Blackjack swoops in to catch Percy as he falls from the hook. Percy activates the Hermes statue and commands two lions in front of the public library to kill the pig. After the statues destroy the Clazmonian Sow Percy returns to his friends to help them battle the rest of the monsters. After over an hour of fighting the demigods and Hunters defenses weaken and are soon surrounded by Kronos and his army. Suddenly Chiron and hundreds of centaurs arrive and attack the enemies in an onslaught that causes Kronos' army to retreat.
Rachel Elizabeth Dares arrives from her vacation after convincing her Dad to let her leave because of a dangerous vision she has. When her helicopter arrives in Manhattan the pilot falls asleep from the enchantment and Annabeth rides a pegasus to prevent the helicopter from crashing. After Annabeth lands the helicopter to safety, Rachel tells Percy that she had to warn him. In her visions she received a message that said "Perseus, you are not the hero." Percy gets frustrated and asks Chiron to speak to Rachel about her ability because it reminds him of Luke's mother May Castellan who went insane after attempting to receive the spirit from the Oracle of Delphi, not knowing Hades cursed her. Percy has a dream the Kronos is going to attack them again right away and he warns Chiron and his troops. They realize that their numbers are dwindled considerably when a drakon comes to attack. Percy, Annabeth, and Mrs. O'Leary fight the drakon until the Ares cabin arrives. Silena tricked the Ares cabin into fighting with her by pretending she was Clarisse. The drakon shoots her with poison and fatally wounds her. The real Clarisse comes in a flying chariot and is so infuriated by Silena's condition that she takes down the drakon by herself. As Silena is dying she discloses that she was the spy and that Luke deceived her saying he would keep Charles safe. Percy, Grover, and Annabeth go to Olympus and Percy sits on his father's throne and asks him to join the gods in their fight against Typhon once they reach New York. Poseidon reluctantly agrees. Kronos army advances again, but this time Hades and an Underworld army have come to fight due to Nico's persuasion. Kronos seals himself inside the Empire State Building and leaves the battle to destroy the gods' seats of power in Olympus.
When Percy, Annabeth, and Grover reach the throne room, Kronos has already destroyed much of Mount Olympus. Percy fights Kronos, but he is overwhelmed. Kronos tells Percy that he's about to win the war and shows an image of Typhon arriving in New York. Kronos is shocked to see Poseidon and his army of Cyclopes emerge from the sea and beat Typhon down into Tartarus with the rest of the gods. Percy and Kronos fight, then Annabeth intervenes and talks to Luke inside of Kronos' body. She appeals to Luke to remember his promise about family, and Luke regains control of his body. He tells Percy to let him defeat Kronos by using his own blade. Percy chooses to hand the blade that Annabeth gave him to Luke, who then stabs himself in his weak spot. Kronos is expelled from Luke's body, and Luke dies shortly after he asks Percy to make sure demigod children do not go unclaimed. The gods return to Olympus and repair the throne room. Zeus makes a blue sign for Percy's mother over the Empire State Building. The surviving campers and Hunters are medically treated. Dionysus rewards Grover by making him a member of the Council of Cloven Elders. Athena names Annabeth the official architect of the rebuilding of Olympus. Zeus offers Percy one gift from the gods, the chance to become a god. Percy turns down the offer and instead makes them swear on the River Styx that they will claim all their children from now on and acknowledge the children of minor gods as well. The gods agree and the demigods leave Olympus and return to Camp Half-Blood. At camp they learn that Rachel is destined to be the next Oracle of Delphi. She is allowed to take the spirit because Hades curse is lifted. Chiron is recuperating from his injuries while the campers burn shrouds for their fellow fallen campers. Percy tries to explain to Annabeth his feelings for her and she laughs and kisses him. Clarisse interrupts them and other campers carry them off to throw them in the lake. Over the last few weeks of summer the campers build new cabins, including one for Hades, for all the new claimed demigods. Chiron remarks that a lot of great changes are being made at Camp Half-Blood. Percy packs up to attend Goode High School for sophomore year, the first time he's going to attend the same school for consecutive years. Annabeth is going to stay in New York to work on the architecture for Olympus. Although they worry a bit about Rachel's first prophecy, they leave camp feeling happier than they ever have before.
The fourth installment of Percy Jackson & The Olympians is not as engaging as the previous books in the series, however, the rise of the titan Lord Kronos at the end sets the stage for the conclusion of this saga. The Battle of the Labyrinth opens with Percy attending freshman orientation at Goode High School. He is shocked to see Rachel Elizabeth Dare, a mortal girl who helped him escape zombies in The Titan's Curse. As he tries to avoid her he ends up being cornered by two demon cheerleaders named Tammi and Kelli. Percy fights them off in the school band room, but Kelli bursts into flames and sets Percy up to look like the culprit. Percy and Rachel flee the scene and run into Annabeth who is waiting for Percy. After Rachel demands Percy call her to tell her about the immortal world, Annabeth tells Percy they have to return to Camp Half-Blood.
Percy arrives at Camp Half-Blood and meets Quintus the new sword instructor and his hellhound Mrs. O'Leary. Percy learns that Grover is in trouble with the Council of Cloven Elders for announcing that Pan awaits him. Grover only has a week to find Pan or his searcher's license will be revoked. That evening when Percy tries to sleep he receives an Iris message that shows Nico talking to the ghost king Minos. Minos tells Nico that he can get his sister Bianca back by exchanging a soul for a soul. Percy assumes Nico is going to come after him. The next day it is revealed that Luke's army has been exploring the Labyrinth. Annabeth suggests to Grover that he should go in the Labyrinth to find Pan. While Percy and Annabeth are partners for a camp challenge they find an entrance that leads to the Labyrinth. They determine that Luke is trying to find Daedalus' workshop in order to navigate through the Labyrinth and invade Camp Half-Blood. Annabeth is chosen to lead the quest to prevent Luke's army from finding Daedalus and visits the Oracle. Annabeth is not forthcoming about the entire prophecy and other campers are worried that the quest may be too dangerous. Nevertheless, Percy, Grover, and Tyson agree to go with Annabeth into the Labyrinth. Grover's girlfriend Juniper warns Percy to be wary of Quintus because she saw him surveying the Labyrinth entrance before they found out about it. When Quintus gives Percy a dog whistle to call for Mrs. O'Leary to help on his quest, Percy keeps Juniper's warning in mind. That night Percy has a vision of Kronos telling Luke that he will finally rise from Tartarus and destroy Camp Half-Blood.
Annabeth, Percy, Grover, and Tyson enter the Labyrinth the next morning. Early in their search they encounter the god Janus and Queen Hera who try to manipulate Annabeth into making decisions she's not ready to make. When they get further inside the Labyrinth they reach a large prison. In one of the cells is the legendary Briares, a Hundred-Handed One who is being tortured by a dragon monster named Kampe. They help Briares escape and Kampe tries to kill them, but Tyson risks his life to get them to safety. Tyson tries to encourage Briares to join them in their fight against the Titan's army, but Briares is too cowardly and flees. That night Percy has a vision of Daedalus and his son Icarus while he sleeps in the Labyrinth. He learns that Daedalus feels responsible for his son's death. Annabeth leads the group to a cattle ranch that a monster named Geryon is in charge of. Geryon captures Tyson, Grover and Annabeth. Percy makes a deal to clean his extremely filthy flesh-eating horses' stables so that Geryon would release them. Although Percy miraculously cleans the stables, Geryon reneges on the deal and Percy duels him to the death. Percy releases his friends and they go back to the Labyrinth. Annabeth has to be a contestant on a game show with a Sphinx and refuses to answer all the questions so they have to flee the room before the Sphinx kills them. The next place they reach is the god Hephaestus' work room. He agrees to help the quest members find Daedalus after they helped him figure out who has been trespassing on his forges in Mount St. Helens.
As they enter into Mount St. Helens Grover and Tyson split off to take a path that Grover believes will lead him to Pan. Percy and Annabeth continue into the volcano. They discover that monster creatures named telkhines are in the forges making a powerful Titan weapon. Percy causes the mountain to erupt as he uses all his strength to channel water to escape from the telkhines. The force is so great that he lands on a phantom island called Ogygia with Calypso. She restores him to health and falls in love with him. Percy begins to fall in love with her too, but he knows he has to return to the real world to finish his quest. Hephaestus visits Percy in Ogygia and tells him that he can navigate the Labyrinth with a mortal who can see through the Mist. Percy realizes he must ask Rachel Elizabeth Dare to guide them on the rest of the quest. After saying a painful goodbye to Calypso Percy returns to Camp Half-Blood where he sees the campers holding a memorial for him. Annabeth is crying and saying a farewell speech when she notices Percy is alive behind her. Chiron informs Percy that he was missing for two weeks so they assumed he did not survive the volcanic eruption. Percy tells Annabeth that they need a mortal guide to help them through the Labyrinth and she reluctantly agrees to hire Rachel to continue the quest. Rachel accepts their offer when Percy calls and tells them that there is an entrance to the Labyrinth in a hotel she works near. Rachel clearly sees the right path in the Labyrinth and effortlessly directs Percy and Annabeth through the maze until they are caught by the demon Kelli and two monsters.
Kelli leads them to an arena where Luke and his army are watching opponents battle each other to death on a center stage. Percy is forced to fight in the arena and battles a half-blood traitor named Ethan Nakamura, but he lets him live. Then Percy challenges Antaeus, a formidable evil son of Poseidon who is in charge of the arena, to fight him under the condition that if he wins then Antaeus would have to let Percy and his friends go free. Percy uses his mental acuity to defeat Antaeus, but Luke's army tries to kill him so he uses the dog whistle to call Mrs. O'Leary. The hellhound comes to the rescue and Rachel, Annabeth and Percy escape the arena. They reach Daedalus' workshop and are shocked to discover that the sword instructor Quintus is actually Daedalus in his fifth automaton body. Daedalus explains that he made a deal with Luke and Camp Half-Blood is doomed. While Annabeth and Percy are outraged, the demon Kelli enters the workshop holding Nico hostage and the ghost king Minos announces he'll finally have his revenge on Daedalus. Daedalus learns that he's been betrayed and sold over to Minos. As fighting breaks out, Annabeth, Percy, Rachel, and Nico use mechanical wings to fly out of the workshop. They take another entrance into the Labyrinth to get back to Camp Half-Blood. Percy sees a tunnel that leads to the Titan palace on Mount Othrys and follows it. When Percy enters the dark palace he reaches the golden coffin that he's seen in many of his visions. He is stunned to see Luke's body in the coffin. Kronos rises after Ethan Nakamura pledges his service to him. Percy can't fight Kronos because he is too strong. Rachel throws a hairbrush at Kronos to help Percy escape and Nico makes stalagmites to block the palace entrance after they run away. Annabeth weeps over the fact that Luke's body is possessed by Kronos.
On their way back to camp they find Grover and Tyson in front of the cave of Pan. They go inside and see Pan who is fading away. Pan tells Grover to announce to the satyrs that he is dead and that they must all carry on his work to save the wild. Pan blesses each of them except for Nico and passes on. After this they get back to New York City and Rachel says goodbye because she cannot go to Camp Half-Blood. Blackjack and his pegasi friends fly the others back to Camp Half-Blood. When they return to camp it is prepared for battle. Grover tells the Council that Pan is dead, but they do not believe him. Luke's army exits the Labyrinth into the camp and the battle begins. The campers fight with everything they have and keep the enemies at bay until Kampe comes out along with several giants. Annabeth and Percy try to fight Kampe, but they realize they're about to lose as Kampe surrounds them with her poisonous swords. Suddenly Briares, Daedalus, and Mrs. O' Leary exit the Labyrinth and join the campers side. Briares throws hundreds of boulders at Kampe and buries her alive. The battle ends when Grover roars with the spirit of Pan causing the enemies to flee. After they tend to the wounded Daedalus decides to pass on to end the Labyrinth which is tied to his life force. He leaves Mrs. O'Leary to Percy and his body disintegrates. The campers mourns the loss of fallen soldiers and recuperate over the next few days. The Council is outvoted by Chiron and Dionysus on Grover's verdict about the Pan story. Dionysus informs Percy that things are getting worse in the immortal world and that Kronos' army is getting larger and stronger. On Percy's 15th birthday Poseidon visits and tells Percy that many of the minor gods are joining Kronos and a war is coming. Nico shows up to Percy's birthday party and tells Percy that he knows how to beat Luke. Nico makes Percy an offer saying that if he's right "it's the only way you'll stand a chance."