It is Percy's third year at Camp Half-Blood (and yes, this is book four, but book three took place in the winter for a change), after he unintentionally set fire to the school because he was ambushed by a friendly face and servant of Kronos. Three conflicts are squished together in this book, but it's not cluttered in the slightest. Grover has been after Pan for so long, that the council has decided if he can't find it within one more week, there'll be a nasty expulsion. Nico di Angelo is still enraged over the accidental death of his beloved sister Bianca and is doing everything he can to bring her back from the Underworld, or at least see her and rant on how it was all Percy's fault. But the main chase is how Percy and Annabeth have accidentally found an entrance to The Labyrinth, built by elder even for the Greek Gods, Daedalus, who, according to myth, accidentally killed his beloved son because of a malfunction in his handmade wings and has been mourning in the middle of his creation ever since. What is The Labyrinth, you ask? An underground maze which is like the one from The Maze Runner, intensity and magic quadrupled. Luke and Kronos right now, are after Ariadne's String, a string that shows how to navigate the maze properly, because this is a full maze of trickery where 1): Time speeds up just like from the Lotus Casino in the first story, and 2): Entrances are worldwide and just need a special Greek symbol. Only a Mortal can navigate the Labyrinth. Fortunately, Percy has one. And I'm happy that a mortal is utilized, it brings an opportunity to bring out some hilarious reactions to above first-rate magic.
For anyone who was tired of the "Seaweed Brain" nickname, it's not used as much here. For anyone wondering if Dionysus, the Camp Half-Blood counsellor that was sent there on punishment is bad or not, you have your answer here. There's a new shady but happy character called Quintus with a giant dog, Mrs. O'Leary, we get some decent bully relationship progress with Clarisse. And yes, there's another prophecy in this one, and I may have just realized this, but the prophecies in each Percy Jackson add tension and foreshadowing without knowing what's being foreshadowed exactly, and certainly gets the job done. It's really hard to say something bad about this book. It may be a little biased, but I'm still giving it 3 1/2 stars for three reasons: there's a smelly scene that I didn't really expect to enjoy nor did, though the end result is fine, there's a character the heroes break out of jail that deserved more time, and I want to keep it at 3 1/2 out of 4 just like the other three. Man, the Percy Jackson books are damn near perfect and make Greek mythology worth a peek to any age group. The surprises are surprising, the action is action-packed and clever, and the excitement to pick up the last book is really tempting right now.
Who can't resist a book where there's a girl named Calypso, and she gives Percy - and us, if we got the chance - one of the hardest decisions you could ever make in life ever?