From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
From its attention-grabbing first line ( The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school ) to the final rumblings of trouble to come, the fourth entry in the popular Percy Jackson & the Olympians series follows 14-year-old Percy and his friends as they search the Labyrinth for its creator and battle the forces of evil. Familiarity with the earlier books first is recommended though not entirely necessary. Percy's droll narration of the headlong, nearly nonstop action will satisfy readers looking for adventure leavened with wit, while the stories' classical underpinnings will please their parents and teachers.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2008 Booklist
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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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal
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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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.