The Battle of the Labyrinth: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Battle of the Labyrinth: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4 Book Poster Image
Thrilling fourth Percy Jackson sets war in motion.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 49 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational value

Ancient Greek myths and characters are woven in throughout. 

Positive messages

Themes of friendship, loyalty, and doing the right thing, and paying for bad choices throughout.

Positive role models & representations

Percy is still a great leader here and makes a decision to fight with his friends instead of living forever in harmony on Calypso's island. However, Annabeth seems to have the tools to navigate the labyrinth at the beginning of the book -- she studies for months -- but still lets Percy take the lead and make most of the key decisions during her quest.

Violence

The violence level is increasing a bit from the first three books in the series: some major battles with deaths and injuries of characters and monsters by sword, spear, arrow, and club.

Sex

Percy has a crush on Calypso and makes Annabeth jealous.

Language
Consumerism

Cereal, store, soda, fast food, ice cream, car brands.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the violence level is a bit higher here than previous books in the series, and includes injuries and deaths from a variety of ancient weapons.

User Reviews

Parent of a 2, 4, 6, and 8 year old Written byjennwhitmer October 14, 2010
I enjoyed the story, and it's action packed. The biggest problem is with the way the demigods were conceived. There is a lot of talk about the gods sleepin... Continue reading
Adult Written byreasonable mom August 14, 2011

proceed with caution

this series is really dark. i think you should read them and know your child's limits before allowing them to read them. they are very engaging, but they... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 22, 2011

Perfect for everyone

Once again Rick Riordan has done it!!!! Another graet amazing book!!! In this Prcy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson go on a quest to find Daedalus, the creator of t... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 22, 2010

Best Book Ever!!!

What I Think: Awesome book. I have read this series twice now, and This was my faovorite book of the series. I would recomend reading this to younger siblings... Continue reading

What's the story?

As the ultimate apocalyptic battle between the gods and Kronos draws near, Percy and his friends discover that Camp Half-Blood is first on Kronos' hit list, and that the invasion will come through a secret entrance to the Labyrinth, which now lies under the entire U.S. So Percy, Annabeth, and Grover venture into this forbidding and constantly shifting underground world, seeking Daedalus, Pan, and a way to stop Kronos' forces.

Is it any good?

As the denouement to this five-book story arc approaches, BOOK 4 veers from the formula of the first three, growing larger in scope, darker (though still with plenty of humor), and more powerful. The story is on the rails now, gathering speed and excitement as it gets closer to the coming apocalypse. Author Rick Riordan is also delving deeper into the mythological underpinnings of the world he has created, a world in which the gods, heroes, monsters, and locales of Greek mythology have moved with the heart of Western civilization to the U.S., and updated for the 21st century.

The most fascinating of these updates is Riordan's concept of the Labyrinth, which now spans the entire country underground, with entrances and exits scattered from coast to coast. At its heart is the brilliant inventor Daedalus, who has found a way to preserve his life but lost his soul, at least for a time. This entry also mines more philosophical ground than previously (though never at the expense of the action), such as the natures of the gods and what it means to act in their names. Up until now the series has been great fun, but little more. Now as it begins to grow, like the Labyrinth, larger and deeper and more complex, it's even more fun.

From the Book:
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?"

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about where the series is heading. What do you think will happen in the final book? How can Percy and his friends defeat Kronos' massive forces?

  • Why do you think the series is becoming more violent? Is it necessary to the plot?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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