Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth is the penultimate text in the Olympians series. Much like in the previous installment, Percy Jackson and the Titian’s Curse, the world is lurching every forward toward the end of times. Kronos is assembling his army of monsters and the end of days nears, yet this end rests in Percy’s hands, for as stated at the onset of the series, when Percy turns 16, a date just a year away, he will be responsible for the fate of humanity and the gods of Olympus.
In a rich young adult adventure, Jackson once again transverses the country, heading out on quest to find Daedalus, at the center on the ancient maze. Daedalus, the maze’s creator, offers the band of heroes a chance, one that will allow them to deflect the advances of Kronos’ army and defend Camp Half-Blood from their attack. This attack, one that seeks to end the campers and thus bring Olympus to its heels, would come through the famed maze, avoiding the camp’s protective barrier against monsters by entering the camp through secret passage.
Jackson really comes into his own here, meeting Calypso, Daedalus, and helping Grover end his quest and endure the final requests of the ancient Pan. With each page, the tension rises, the journey grows richer, and Riordan inputs more depth to the Greek cultural perspective in a modern arena.
While the text encompasses more time, we fail to fill in the gaps. For whatever reason, summer and therefore camp, stands as the time Jackson enters our lives. War rages around him, yet he is largely absent from the battle until summer comes. This fact can seem artificial as the texts stand upon one another, yet as the series continues to grow, the mythology plays out and brings the reader into the depths of the battle, constantly wondering when and how it will end.