(Art by John Rocco)
One week. One. WEEK. After all these months of waiting, I actually can’t even process this.
"The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school."
Penultimate books have a tendency to develop characters. Like, a lot. It’s sort of a way of saying, ‘Hey- these are the characters that are going into the final battle.’ Not to say characters don’t go through development in the final books- it’s just that the second-to-last books need to give that extra boost, change, and preparation.
We saw all that and more in The Battle of the Labyrinth. We see Percy realize that maybe the gods aren’t all that great after all. Annabeth has to confront the fact of Luke’s betrayal and transformation head-on, and she also resigns herself to the fact that she is is love with Percy (cough, pg 203). Grover finds freaking PAN. Tyson becomes a fierce warrior, and is no longer a weakness to Percy, but an asset.
The monsters were scarier and bigger- Kampe, Geryon, the whole works. Delving into the labyrinth was insane. Their minds and spirit were twisted and tested. They prevailed, but at a cost. The maze did things to them. Even tough Clarisse nearly loses her mind.
I think going into the labyrinth was a lot like going into the House of Hades- all the characters were forced to confront obstacles they’d been avoiding. Those conflicts led to the most development we’ve seen yet at this point in the story.
For all the battles, revelations, betrayals, and romance, you’d think the ending would be something even more crazy. Yet, for the first time in the series, it’s a calm ending. The loose ends are somewhat tied up. We know what awaits Percy and his friends in the last battle. The ending wasn’t a cliffhanger- it was the calm before the storm, exactly like in The House of Hades. It’s a perfect way to prep for the last installment.
At this point, Percy is having second thoughts on what he’s fighting for. His relationship with Annabeth is getting more strained. He isn’t sure if he wants to know how his prophecy unravels. It’s an exciting time, to say the least. Much of this development is revisited in Heroes of Olympus, and I can’t wait to see more in The Blood of Olympus
"It sounds like we’ve got a lot to talk about."