The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #4)

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Overview

Percy isn't expecting his freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious acquaintance reappears, 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 them, ...

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The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #4)

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Overview

Percy isn't expecting his freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious acquaintance reappears, 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 them, Percy and his demigod friends will set out on a quest through the Labyrinth -- a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this fourth book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.

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  • Rick Riordan on Summer Reading
    Rick Riordan on Summer Reading  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Freshman orientation is about mastering new things, but this is ridiculous. Percy didn't expect that in his first week at school, he would have to face a squad of demon cheerleaders. And the dangers are far more than scholastic: Kronos's armies are threatening even the relative safety of Camp Half-Blood. The fourth installment of Percy Jackson and the Olympians deals out action, surprises, suspense, and gripping characters.
Publishers Weekly

Percy Jackson's fourth summer at Camp Half-Blood is much like his previous three-high-octane clashes with dark forces, laced with hip humor and drama. Opening with a line for the ages-"The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school"-this penultimate series installment finds Percy, Annabeth and the satyr Grover furiously working to prevent former camp counselor Luke from resurrecting the Titan lord Kronos, whose goal is to overthrow the gods. When the heroes learn that Luke can breach Camp Half-Blood's security through an exit from Daedalus's Labyrinth, they enter the maze in search of the inventor and a way to stop the invasion. Along the way they encounter a lifetime supply of nightmare-inducing, richly imagined monsters. Grover's own quest to find the lost god Pan, meanwhile, provides a subtle environmental message. Percy, nearly 15, has girl trouble, having become something of a chick magnet. One of Riordan's strengths is the wry interplay between the real and the surreal. When the heroes find Hephaestus, for instance, he's repairing a Toyota, wearing overalls with his name embroidered over the chest pocket. The wit, rousing swordplay and breakneck pace will once again keep kids hooked. Ages 10-up. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA - David Goodale
Half-blood Percy Jackson undertakes another perilous quest in the fourth book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The army of the evil Titan Lord Kronos, led by the traitor Luke, plans to crush Camp Half-Blood and then Mount Olympus itself. Percy and friends, including fellow half-blood Annabeth and mortal Rachel Elizabeth Dare, must brave the Labyrinth, a maze that runs beneath the United States. At the Labyrinth's center, the heroes meet Daedalus, the Labyrinth's architect, an anti-hero whose motives and true identity are surprising. Percy and his fellow campers beat back Kronos's army during a final battle at Camp Half-Blood, but the war between Kronos and the Olympians is far from over. Many story lines are left for the next book. Riordan's ingenious method of integrating Greek mythology with the modern world again creates a book replete with exhilarating action, droll humor, and captivating intrigue. Although the quest format is far from new for Riordan, he easily manages to keep the material fresh, and the reader engaged by drawing on the plethora of Greek myths at his disposal. Riordan's plots and subplots are wonderfully planned, and his host of teen fans can expect a few twists toward the book's end. Add to the above a budding love triangle among Percy, Annabeth, and Rachel Elizabeth Dare and the result is a well-crafted novel worthy of this fine series. Teen readers will need to have read the first three books. Reviewer: David Goodale
Children's Literature - Amie Rose Rotruck
Percy Jackson should have known that even something as ordinary as freshman orientation wouldn't go as planned. When your father is the god Poseidon, your life has a way of becoming dangerous and adventure-filled. Meeting up with his demigod friends, Percy heads to Camp Half-Blood to find that this once safe haven is now threatened by Kronos. When Percy and Annabeth discover an entrance to the Labyrinth, they find that Luke could use this maze to invade Camp Half-Blood. Annabeth must lead the group as they search for Daedalus, who invented the Labyrinth and could hold the key to defending Camp Half-Blood. But the Labyrinth is confusing and the party soon gets lost. They meet various gods and mythical creatures as they search for Daedalus. They must also face challenges such as cleaning Diomedes's stables and answering the trivia of the Sphinx (who has abandoned riddles) before finding their way out of the Labyrinth, only to have a battle waiting for them at Camp. Riordan creates a masterful weaving of Greek mythology and traditional fantasy in this latest book in "The Olympians" series. Fans will enjoy the latest adventures of their favorite characters, and those picking the book up for the first time will have no trouble falling into this magical world. Reviewer: Amie Rose Rotruck
School Library Journal

Gr 5-9- The battle starts, literally, with an explosion and doesn't let up. After Percy destroys the high school band room battling monsters called empousai who have taken on the form of cheerleaders, he has to hide out at Camp Half-Blood. There, Grover's searcher's license is going to be revoked unless he can find the god Pan in seven days. An entrance to the Labyrinth has been discovered, which means that Luke, the half-blood turned bad, can bypass the magical protections and invade the camp. Annabeth insists that she must follow a quest to locate Daedalus's workshop before Luke does. Percy is disturbed by visions of Nico, the son of Hades, who is summoning forth the spirits of the dead with McDonalds Happy Meals. Percy, Grover, and Percy's Cyclops half-brother follow Annabeth into the maze not knowing if they will ever find their way out. Riordan cleverly personifies the Labyrinth as a sort of living organism that changes at will, and that traverses the whole of the United States. Kids will devour Riordan's subtle satire of their world, such as a Sphinx in the Labyrinth whose questions hilariously parody standardized testing. The secret of Pan is revealed with a bittersweet outcome that also sends an eco-friendly message. Like many series, the "Percy Jackson" books are beginning to show the strain of familiarity and repetition. However, the overarching story line remains compelling, and the cliff-hanger ending will leave readers breathless in anticipation of the fifth and final volume.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ

Kirkus Reviews
The fourth and penultimate volume of Percy Jackson and the Olympians is the best one yet. Here, 14-year-old demigod Percy must find a way to thwart Kronos's plan to reassemble his body and rally the evil forces of the underworld. Percy, quest-partner Annabeth and mortal Rachel Elizabeth Dare enter the Labyrinth and encounter all manner of wondrous beings: the vampiric empousai, snaky dracaenae, Laistrygonian giants, Calypso, the Sphinx, a Hundred-Handed One, Hephaestus, Daedalus and Kronos himself, newly transformed. Riordan keeps Percy busy falling in love with Calypso, battling evil Antaeus, causing Mount St. Helens to erupt and finding the long-lost god Pan in a crystal cave in this romp that rivals Rowling for inventive, magical storytelling. The often-philosophical tale zips along with snappy dialogue, humor and thrilling action, culminating in a climactic battle between gods and Titans. This volume can stand alone, but no reader will be able to read just one. Look no further for the next Harry Potter; meet Percy Jackson, as legions of fans already have. (Fiction. 9+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605148533
  • Publisher: Findaway World
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series , #4
  • Format: Other
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is also the author of the previous books in the New York Times #1 best-selling series Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Book One: The Lightning Thief; Book Two: The Sea of Monsters; and Book Three: The Titan’s Curse. These titles are all available on audio from Listening Library. His previous novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons. To learn more about Rick, visit his website at www.rickriordan.com.

Biography

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a terrific YA series by former middle school teacher and mystery writer Rick Riordan that revamps Greek mythology in a fun, fresh way kids find enthralling. A trouble-prone teen with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia, Percy is the half-blood son of Poseidon, one of 12 Olympian gods making mischief right here in 21st-century America. Praised by critics, librarians, and teachers, the Percy Jackson books have been honored with numerous awards and appear consistently on The New York Times bestseller list.

The series grew out of a sequence of bedtime stories Riordan invented for his son Haley -- who, at eight, had just been diagnosed with learning disabilities. Although Haley was having trouble in school, he loved the Greek myths and asked his dad to tell him some stories about the gods and heroes. Riordan ran through the standards from mythology, then began to invent new tales featuring some of the same characters and introducing a brave boy hero enough like Haley to make things interesting!

Haley begged his father to write the stories down, and in 2005, The Lightning Thief was published to excellent reviews. It was an instant hit with preteens, who loved the concept of a kid much like themselves -- i.e., embroiled in the everyday problems of school, family, and relationships -- embarking on heroic quests, soothing vengeful gods, and battling monsters.

In addition to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Riordan also writes books for adults, most notably a series of high-octane Tex-Mex thrillers featuring private investigator Jackson "Tres" Navarre, a complicated loner with an offbeat pedigree. (Tres -- pronounced "Trace" -- is a tai chi master with a Ph.D. in medieval literature who turns to detective work when he is unable to find a teaching job!) The first novel in the series, 1997's Big Red Tequila, scooped the Anthony and Shamus Awards, two of the three most prestigious prizes for Mystery & Crime fiction. Riordan completed the trifecta when his sequel, The Widower's Two-Step, won the coveted Edgar Award in 1999.

Between the two series, Riordan remains incredibly busy. For several years, he balanced writing with teaching English to middle school students. Reluctantly, he has left teaching (a career he thoroughly enjoyed) in order to write full-time, but he still harbors hopes that someday he'll return to the classroom. Meanwhile, he makes frequent visits to schools and enjoys meeting young readers on his book tours.

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    1. Hometown:
      San Antonio, TX
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 5, 1964
    2. Place of Birth:
      San Antonio, TX
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English and History, University of Texas

First Chapter

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
Chapter One

I Battle the Cheerleading Squad

The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school. But there I was Monday morning, the first week of June, sitting in my mom’s car in front of Goode High School on East 81st. Goode was this big brownstone building overlooking the East River. A bunch of BMWs and Lincoln Town Cars were parked out front. Staring up at the fancy stone archway, I wondered how long it would take me to get kicked out of this place. “Just relax.” My mom didn’t sound relaxed. “It’s only an orientation tour. And remember, dear, this is Paul’s school. So try not to . . . you know.” “Destroy it?” “Yes.” Paul Blofis, my mom’s boyfriend, was standing out front, greeting future ninth graders as they came up the steps. With his salt-and-pepper hair, denim clothes, and leather jacket, he reminded me of a TV actor, but he was just an English teacher. He’d managed to convince Goode High School to accept me for ninth grade, despite the fact that I’d gotten kicked out of every school I’d ever attended. I’d tried to warn him it wasn’t a good idea, but he wouldn’t listen. I looked at my mom. “You haven’t told him the truth about me, have you?” She tapped her fingers nervously on the wheel. She was dressed up for a job interview—her best blue dress and high-heeled shoes. “I thought we should wait,” she admitted. “So we don’t scare him away.” “I’m sure orientation will be fine, Percy. It’s only one morning.” “Great,” I mumbled. “I can get expelled before I even start the school year.” “Think positive. Tomorrow you’re off to camp! After orientation, you’ve got your date—” “It’s not a date!” I protested. “It’s just Annabeth, Mom. Jeez!” “She’s coming all the way from camp to meet you.” “Well, yeah.” “You’re going to the movies.” “Yeah.” “Just the two of you.” “Mom!” She held up her hands in surrender, but I could tell she was trying hard not to smile. “You’d better get inside, dear. I’ll see you tonight.” I was about to get out of the car when I looked over at the steps of the school. Paul Blofis was greeting a girl with frizzy red hair. She wore a maroon T-shirt and ratty jeans decorated with marker drawings. When she turned, I caught a glimpse of her face, and the hairs on my arms stood straight up. “Percy?” my mom asked. “What’s wrong?” “N-nothing,” I stammered. “Does the school have a side entrance?” “Down the block on the right. Why?” “I’ll see you later.” My mom started to say something, but I got out of the car and ran, hoping the redheaded girl wouldn’t see me. What was she doing here? Not even my luck could be this bad. Yeah, right. I was about to find out my luck could get a whole lot worse.

Sneaking into orientation didn’t work out too well. Two cheerleaders in purple-and-white uniforms were standing at the side entrance, waiting to ambush freshmen. “Hi!” They smiled, which I figured was the first and last time any cheerleaders would be that friendly to me. One was blond with icy blue eyes. The other was African American with dark curly hair like Medusa’s (and believe me, I know what I’m talking about). Both girls had their names stitched in cursive on their uniforms, but with my dyslexia, the words looked like meaningless spaghetti. “Welcome to Goode,” the blond girl said. “You are so going to love it.” But as she looked me up and down, her expression said something more like, Eww, who is this loser? The other girl stepped uncomfortably close to me. I studied the stitching on her uniform and made out Kelli. She smelled like roses and something else I recognized from riding lessons at camp—the scent of freshly washed horses. It was a weird smell for a cheerleader. Maybe she owned a horse or something. Anyway, she stood so close I got the feeling she was going to try to push me down the steps. “What’s your name, fish?” “Fish?” “Freshman.” “Uh, Percy.” The girls exchanged looks. “Oh, Percy Jackson,” the blond one said. “We’ve been waiting for you.” That sent a major Uh-oh chill down my back. They were blocking the entrance, smiling in a not-very-friendly way. My hand crept instinctively toward my pocket, where I kept my lethal ballpoint pen, Riptide. Then another voice came from inside the building: “Percy?” It was Paul Blofis, somewhere down the hallway. I’d never been so glad to hear his voice. The cheerleaders backed off. I was so anxious to get past them I accidentally kneed Kelli in the thigh. Clang. Her leg made a hollow, metallic sound, like I’d just hit a flagpole. “Ow,” she muttered. “Watch it, fish.” I glanced down, but her leg looked like a regular old leg. I was too freaked out to ask questions. I dashed into the hall, the cheerleaders laughing behind me. “There you are!” Paul told me. “Welcome to Goode!” “Hey, Paul—uh, Mr. Blofis.” I glanced back, but the weird cheerleaders had disappeared. “Percy, you look like you’ve seen a ghost.” “Yeah, uh—” Paul clapped me on the back. “Listen, I know you’re nervous, but don’t worry. We get a lot of kids here with ADHD and dyslexia. The teachers know how to help.” I almost wanted to laugh. If only ADHD and dyslexia were my biggest worries. I mean, I knew Paul was trying to help, but if I told him the truth about me, he’d either think I was crazy or he’d run away screaming. Those cheerleaders, for instance. I had a bad feeling about them. . . . Then I looked down the hall, and I remembered I had another problem. The redheaded girl I’d seen on the front steps was just coming in the main entrance. Don’t notice me, I prayed. She noticed me. Her eyes widened. “Where’s the orientation?” I asked Paul. “The gym. That way. But—” “Bye.” “Percy?” he called, but I was already running.

I thought I’d lost her. A bunch of kids were heading for the gym, and soon I was just one of three hundred fourteen-year-olds all crammed into the bleachers. A marching band played an out-of-tune fight song that sounded like somebody hitting a bag of cats with a metal baseball bat. Older kids, probably student council members, stood up front modeling the Goode school uniform and looking all, Hey, we’re cool. Teachers milled around, smiling and shaking hands with students. The walls of the gym were plastered with big purple-and-white banners that said welcome future freshmen, goode is good, we’re all family, and a bunch of other happy slogans that pretty much made me want to throw up. None of the other freshmen looked thrilled to be here, either. I mean, coming to orientation in June, when school doesn’t even start until September, is not cool. But at Goode, “We prepare to excel early!” At least that’s what the brochure said. The marching band stopped playing. A guy in a pinstripe suit came to the microphone and started talking, but the sound echoed around the gym so I had no idea what he was saying. He might’ve been gargling. Someone grabbed my shoulder. “What are you doing here?” It was her: my redheaded nightmare. “Rachel Elizabeth Dare,” I said. Her jaw dropped like she couldn’t believe I had the nerve to remember her name. “And you’re Percy somebody. I didn’t get your full name last December when you tried to kill me.” “Look, I wasn’t—I didn’t—What are you doing here?” “Same as you, I guess. Orientation.” “You live in New York?” “What, you thought I lived at Hoover Dam?” It had never occurred to me. Whenever I thought about her (and I’m not saying I thought about her; she just like crossed my mind from time to time, okay?), I always figured she lived in the Hoover Dam area, since that’s where I’d met her. We’d spent maybe ten minutes together, during which time I’d accidentally swung a sword at her, she’d saved my life, and I’d run away chased by a band of supernatural killing machines. You know, your typical chance meeting. Some guy behind us whispered, “Hey, shut up. The cheerleaders are talking!” “Hi, guys!” a girl bubbled into the microphone. It was the blonde I’d seen at the entrance. “My name is Tammi, and this is, like, Kelli.” Kelli did a cartwheel. Next to me, Rachel yelped like someone had stuck her with a pin. A few kids looked over and snickered, but Rachel just stared at the cheerleaders in horror. Tammi didn’t seem to notice the outburst. She started talking about all the great ways we could get involved during our freshman year. “Run,” Rachel told me. “Now.” “Why?” Rachel didn’t explain. She pushed her way to the edge of the bleachers, ignoring the frowning teachers and grumbling kids she was stepping on. I hesitated. Tammi was explaining how we were about to break into small groups and tour the school. Kelli caught my eye and gave me an amused smile, like she was waiting to see what I’d do. It would look bad if I left right now. Paul Blofis was down there with the rest of the teachers. He’d wonder what was wrong. Then I thought about Rachel Elizabeth Dare, and the special ability she’d shown last winter at Hoover Dam. She’d been able to see a group of security guards who weren’t guards at all, who weren’t even human. My heart pounding, I got up and followed her out of the gym.

I found Rachel in the band room. She was hiding behind a bass drum in the percussion section. “Get over here!” she said. “Keep your head down!” I felt pretty silly hiding behind a bunch of bongos, but I crouched beside her. “Did they follow you?” Rachel asked. “You mean the cheerleaders?” She nodded nervously. “I don’t think so,” I said. “What are they? What did you see?” Her green eyes were bright with fear. She had a sprinkle of freckles on her face that reminded me of constellations. Her maroon T-shirt read harvard art dept. “You . . . you wouldn’t believe me.” “Oh, yeah, I would,” I promised. “I know you can see through the Mist.” “The what?” “The Mist. It’s . . . well, it’s like this veil that hides the way things really are. Some mortals are born with the ability to see through it. Like you.” She studied me carefully. “You did that at Hoover Dam. You called me a mortal. Like you’re not.” I felt like punching a bongo. What was I thinking? I could never explain. I shouldn’t even try. “Tell me,” she begged. “You know what it means. All these horrible things I see?” “Look, this is going to sound weird. Do you know anything about Greek myths?” “Like . . . the Minotaur and the Hydra?” “Yeah, just try not to say those names when I’m around, okay?” “And the Furies,” she said, warming up. “And the Sirens, and—” “Okay!” I looked around the band hall, sure that Rachel was going to make a bunch of bloodthirsty nasties pop out of the walls; but we were still alone. Down the hallway, I heard a mob of kids coming out of the gymnasium. They were starting the group tours. We didn’t have long to talk. “All those monsters,” I said, “all the Greek gods—they’re real.” “I knew it!” I would’ve been more comfortable if she’d called me a liar, but Rachel looked like I’d just confirmed her worst suspicion. “You don’t know how hard it’s been,” she said. “For years I thought I was going crazy. I couldn’t tell anybody. I couldn’t—” Her eyes narrowed. “Wait. Who are you? I mean really?” “I’m not a monster.” “Well, I know that. I could see if you were. You look like . . . you. But you’re not human, are you?” I swallowed. Even though I’d had three years to get used to who I was, I’d never talked about it with a regular mortal before—I mean, except for my mom, but she already knew. I don’t know why, but I took the plunge. “I’m a half-blood,” I said. “I’m half human.” “And half what?” Just then Tammi and Kelli stepped into the band room. The doors slammed shut behind them. “There you are, Percy Jackson,” Tammi said. “It’s time for your orientation.”

“They’re horrible!” Rachel gasped. Tammi and Kelli were still wearing their purple-and-white cheerleader costumes, holding pom-poms from the rally. “What do they really look like?” I asked, but Rachel seemed too stunned to answer. “Oh, forget her.” Tammi gave me a brilliant smile and started walking toward us. Kelli stayed by the doors, blocking our exit. They’d trapped us. I knew we’d have to fight our way out, but Tammi’s smile was so dazzling it distracted me. Her blue eyes were beautiful, and the way her hair swept over her shoulders . . . “Percy,” Rachel warned. I said something really intelligent like, “Uhhh?” Tammi was getting closer. She held out her pom-poms. “Percy!” Rachel’s voice seemed to be coming from a long way away. “Snap out of it!” It took all my willpower, but I got my pen out of my pocket and uncapped it. Riptide grew into a three-foot-long bronze sword, its blade glowing with a faint golden light. Tammi’s smile turned to a sneer. “Oh, come on,” she protested. “You don’t need that. How about a kiss instead?” She smelled like roses and clean animal fur—a weird but somehow intoxicating smell. Rachel pinched my arm, hard. “Percy, she wants to bite you! Look at her!” “She’s just jealous.” Tammi looked back at Kelli. “May I, mistress?” Kelli was still blocking the door, licking her lips hun-grily. “Go ahead, Tammi. You’re doing fine.” Tammi took another step forward, but I leveled the tip of my sword at her chest. “Get back.” She snarled. “Freshmen,” she said with disgust. “This is our school, half-blood. We feed on whom we choose!” Then she began to change. The color drained out of her face and arms. Her skin turned as white as chalk, her eyes completely red. Her teeth grew into fangs. “A vampire!” I stammered. Then I noticed her legs. Below the cheerleader skirt, her left leg was brown and shaggy with a donkey’s hoof. Her right leg was shaped like a human leg, but it was made of bronze. “Uhh, a vampire with—” “Don’t mention the legs!” Tammi snapped. “It’s rude to make fun!” She advanced on her weird, mismatched legs. She looked totally bizarre, especially with the pom-poms, but I couldn’t laugh—not facing those red eyes and sharp fangs. “A vampire, you say?” Kelli laughed. “That silly legend was based on us, you fool. We are empousai, servants of Hecate.” “Mmmm.” Tammi edged closer to me. “Dark magic formed us from animal, bronze, and ghost! We exist to feed on the blood of young men. Now come, give me that kiss!” She bared her fangs. I was so paralyzed I couldn’t move, but Rachel threw a snare drum at the empousa’s head. The demon hissed and batted the drum away. It went rolling along the aisles between music stands, its springs rattling against the drumhead. Rachel threw a xylophone, but the demon just swatted that away, too. “I don’t usually kill girls,” Tammi growled. “But for you, mortal, I’ll make an exception. Your eyesight is a little too good!” She lunged at Rachel. “No!” I slashed with Riptide. Tammi tried to dodge my blade, but I sliced straight through her cheerleader uniform, and with a horrible wail she exploded into dust all over Rachel. Rachel coughed. She looked like she’d just had a sack of flour dumped on her head. “Gross!” “Monsters do that,” I said. “Sorry.” “You killed my trainee!” Kelli yelled. “You need a lesson in school spirit, half-blood!” Then she too began to change. Her wiry hair turned to flickering flames. Her eyes turned red. She grew fangs. She loped toward us, her brass foot and hoof clopping unevenly on the band-room floor. “I am senior empousa,” she growled. “No hero has bested me in a thousand years.” “Yeah?” I said. “Then you’re overdue!” Kelli was a lot faster than Tammi. She dodged my first strike and rolled into the brass section, knocking over a row of trombones with a mighty crash. Rachel scrambled out of the way. I put myself between her and the empousa. Kelli circled us, her eyes going from me to the sword. “Such a pretty little blade,” she said. “What a shame it stands between us.” Her form shimmered—sometimes a demon, sometimes a pretty cheerleader. I tried to keep my mind focused, but it was really distracting. “Poor dear.” Kelli chuckled. “You don’t even know what’s happening, do you? Soon, your pretty little camp in flames, your friends made slaves to the Lord of Time, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. It would be merciful to end your life now, before you have to see that.” From down the hall, I heard voices. A tour group was approaching. A man was saying something about locker combinations. The empousa’s eyes lit up. “Excellent! We’re about to have company!” She picked up a tuba and threw it at me. Rachel and I ducked. The tuba sailed over our heads and crashed through the window. The voices in the hall died down. “Percy!” Kelli shouted, pretending to be scared, “why did you throw that?” I was too surprised to answer. Kelli picked up a music stand and swiped a row of clarinets and flutes. Chairs and musical instruments crashed to the floor. “Stop it!” I said. People were tromping down the hall now, coming in our direction. “Time to greet our visitors!” Kelli bared her fangs and ran for the doors. I charged after her with Riptide. I had to stop her from hurting the mortals. “Percy, don’t!” Rachel shouted. But I hadn’t realized what Kelli was up to until it was too late. Kelli flung open the doors. Paul Blofis and a bunch of freshmen stepped back in shock. I raised my sword. At the last second, the empousa turned toward me like a cowering victim. “Oh no, please!” she cried. I couldn’t stop my blade. It was already in motion. Just before the celestial bronze hit her, Kelli exploded into flames like a Molotov cocktail. Waves of fire splashed over everything. I’d never seen a monster do that before, but I didn’t have time to wonder about it. I backed into the band room as flames engulfed the doorway. “Percy?” Paul Blofis looked completely stunned, staring at me from across the fire. “What have you done?” Kids screamed and ran down the hall. The fire alarm wailed. Ceiling sprinklers hissed to life. In the chaos, Rachel tugged on my sleeve. “You have to get out of here!” She was right. The school was in flames and I’d be held responsible. Mortals couldn’t see through the Mist properly. To them it would look like I’d just attacked a helpless cheerleader in front of a group of witnesses. There was no way I could explain it. I turned from Paul and sprinted for the broken band room window.

I burst out of the alley onto East 81st and ran straight into Annabeth. “Hey, you’re out early!” She laughed, grabbing my shoulders to keep me from tumbling into the street. “Watch where you’re going, Seaweed Brain.” For a split second she was in a good mood and everything was fine. She was wearing jeans and an orange camp T-shirt and her clay bead necklace. Her blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail. Her gray eyes sparkled. She looked like she was ready to catch a movie, have a cool afternoon hanging out together. Then Rachel Elizabeth Dare, still covered in monster dust, came charging out of the alley, yelling, “Percy, wait up!” Annabeth’s smile melted. She stared at Rachel, then at the school. For the first time, she seemed to notice the black smoke and the ringing fire alarms. She frowned at me. “What did you do this time? And who is this?” “Oh, Rachel—Annabeth. Annabeth—Rachel. Um, she’s a friend. I guess.” I wasn’t sure what else to call Rachel. I mean, I barely knew her, but after being in two life-or-death situations together, I couldn’t just call her nobody. “Hi,” Rachel said. Then she turned to me. “You are in so much trouble. And you still owe me an explanation!” Police sirens wailed on FDR Drive. “Percy,” Annabeth said coldly. “We should go.” “I want to know more about half-bloods,” Rachel in-sisted. “And monsters. And this stuff about the gods.” She grabbed my arm, whipped out a permanent marker, and wrote a phone number on my hand. “You’re going to call me and explain, okay? You owe me that. Now get going.” “But—” “I’ll make up some story,” Rachel said. “I’ll tell them it wasn’t your fault. Just go!” She ran back toward the school, leaving Annabeth and me in the street. Annabeth stared at me for a second. Then she turned and took off. “Hey!” I jogged after her. “There were these two empousai,” I tried to explain. “They were cheerleaders, see, and they said camp was going to burn, and—” “You told a mortal girl about half-bloods?” “She can see through the Mist. She saw the monsters before I did.” “So you told her the truth.” “She recognized me from Hoover Dam, so—” “You’ve met her before?” “Um, last winter. But seriously, I barely know her.” “She’s kind of cute.” “I—I never thought about it.” Annabeth kept walking toward York Avenue. “I’ll deal with the school,” I promised, anxious to change the subject. “Honest, it’ll be fine.” Annabeth wouldn’t even look at me. “I guess our afternoon is off. We should get you out of here, now that the police will be searching for you.” Behind us, smoke billowed up from Goode High School. In the dark column of ashes, I thought I could almost see a face—a she-demon with red eyes, laughing at me. Your pretty little camp in flames, Kelli had said. Your friends made slaves to the Lord of Time. “You’re right,” I told Annabeth, my heart sinking. “We have to get to Camp Half-Blood. Now.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 4670 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Good read

    this series is fantastic. I recommend it to everyone

    102 out of 113 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2008

    Awesome!

    this series is great!!!! i recomend it to everyone.

    78 out of 90 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My Personal Favorite

    I simply love this series! I have read them all and after rereading them 3 or more times i have decided this si my favorite. Everyonewant this book and its NEVER in at the library!!!!
    Happy reading =)

    61 out of 74 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Perhaps the best thus far

    Okay, I'm probably older than the age group roughly focused on for these books, but I love them! The characters are so funny, and charming, and remind you of someone you know. I thought this book was a fantastic addition to the collection, and perhaps the best so far. I loved all the crazy places the Labyrinth took them. I also thought it was really cool that Rachel, a mortal girl, got to have such a big part helping them. Percy and Annabeth are still on the fritz, but they'll come through. I also think it was great how many other, lesser-known, Greek myths were brought up in this book. I used to study those like crazy back in high school, and this author really knows his stuff. Better yet, he can take ancient myths and put a humorous modern-day spin on them. This book is definitely a winner!

    52 out of 58 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2009

    best book yet in this series

    this is the best book yet in this series. this book is funny,thrilling,challenging. this book is fun to read it teach alot of lessons

    39 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    So many twists and turns!

    Kronos is stirring, Luke is evil, and another problem has accured. Percy hasn't even started school, and is already accused of burning down the band room thanks to the evil, monster, cheerleaders. But thanks to a new friend, Rachel, Percy is safe--for now. An entry to the Labyrinth has been discovered in the heart of camp! Well thats a bad thing. Because the Labyrinth is a big moving, growing, maze, created by one of the best architects in the world. And if Luke and his army discover it, they have passage into the Camp! Yikes. Annabeth has been chosen to lead this quest to find the architect and find a way to stop Luke. She asks Percy, Tyson, and Grover to come along. Now a lot of you are going, "A maze, big deal." But this is no ordinary maze. Like the Uderworld there are entries all over the world. It also moves on its own. one minute your walking strait, then next the tunnels move and your facing a dead end, completely confused. The only way to get tto the heart of the maze is to have a guid. A mortal guid. Rachel! Will they make it before Luke?? Will they get hoplessly lost??

    33 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Labyrynth fails to disapoint!

    The adventure of Percy Jackson continues! Riordan goes further into Greek Mythology- with his own special twist- than ever before! Despite the serious tone, the dialogue still evokes those laugh out loud moments that made the others so endearing.

    25 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    What do you mean i have to wait till may! I love this series

    22 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    review from One Book At A Time http://onebooktime.blogspot.com

    This book in the series just didn't have the same pull as the first 3 did. The story lost me a little. I think I expected more action while they were in the labyrinth. But at times, I felt like the story was going in circles. There are parts that I really liked. The story of the labyrinth and it's place in the modern world was extremely interesting. I loved that an actual human plays such an intricate part of the story. I think the story weaving was better in this one. It's starts to connect everything together and sets up for the final book. Although this one made me curious what part the gods would actually play in the final battle. They seem to interfere (or help) and the strangest times and I'm not sure what they actually want out of the demigods. I still think the author does a fantastic job of weaving Greek mythology into the story. It reminds me how much I love mythology.

    18 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great 4th Installment

    The Percy Jackson series is fun and captivating and this 4th installment doesn't let you down. I liken it to the Harry Potter series, if you enjoyed books 1-3, then you know you have to read the 4th - it won't let you down. I couldn't wait for it to go into paperback and it was worth the extra money for a hardback copy. I don't know if the author is planning to write more, but I will be the first to pick them up as they come out.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2009

    They keep getting better!

    Each book in the Percy Jackson series keeps getting better and better! I can't think of any young teenage boy (or girl) that wouldn't enjoy this series. You definitely need to start with the first book in the series and read them in order. Some knowledge of Greek mythology makes the humor more accessible but the books are great adventure stories even without that knowledge. A great read!

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 11, 2011

    Too good!!!

    This book should be on billboards! The story makes sence a lot and its one of those books that FILL your imagination. Readers who are between 9 and 14 will give this a thumbs up. This is one of the greatest books ( in the series) you can get.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Great Book

    My 12 year old LOVED this book. He read it in less than a day as he couldn't put it down.

    11 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Percy and his fellow campers must get through a maze!

    This is a young readers novel that enhances children in grades 5-8 knowledge about mythology.

    10 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Adventurous!

    This book was full of adventure and action. It never gets boring. It has good description of the characters. The Battle of the Labyrinth is the best book of this series, because it has the most action. This book also teaches you about Greek history in a fun way.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    Fantastic!!!

    I really can't say much more then I have written in the other reviews. Percy is challenged in some pretty scarey places and he always holds on to faith and hope.

    These are really a good set for both boys and girls because their are girl hero's in the story to. The things they do help Percy in his quests and making his decisions.

    9 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2008

    Fabulous series for ages 9-99

    I'm 42 years old and have always loved mythology. I found the first book by accident, looking for interesting books for my son - then 10 to read. I couldn't put the book down and we now fight over who's going to read book 4 first. Action packed, exciting, creative storyline and plot. Great characters. I love the way Rick Riordon blends mythology w/ modern day life and teens. Would recommend for both boy and girls of all ages...even parents!

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book, great sereis!

    Percy Jackson's fourth summer at camp Half-Blood is a lot like the first three; he fights monsters, prevents a momentous war, and saves the world with his friends. In Rick Rioradan's thrilling series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, fantasy gets woven into reality so intricately that it makes you start believing in Greek gods and half-bloods yourself. The fourth installment called The Battle of the Labyrinth is both funny and exciting. His complicated relationship with Annabeth Chase, the many betrayals as some kids at camp join the enemy and his best friend, Grover's search for the truth about the lost god Pan all get a prominent part in this book, so it's not all about action and battle.
    In this imaginative novel, Percy and his friends are forced to go into a magical maze to prevent their enemies from invading their camp for people who are half-bloods, which means one of their parents is a Greek god and the other is human. Percy's enemy was planning to capture the camp and then take over Olympus through an underground maze called the Labyrinth. But, the Labyrinth is magical. It changes, tricks people, and has deadly traps.
    The Battle of the Labyrinth's adventure-seeking readers won't be able to wait for the next magical, slighty educational and altogether thrilling book.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2008

    The BEST

    It's one of the best books I've ever read. Good for both genders, and extremely funny.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Book

    Great books.
    I love the books-THEYRE AWESOME!
    IF YOU DONT LIKE THESE BOOKS YOUR CRAZY
    (not in a good way)

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 4670 Customer Reviews

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