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Roughly a month in my experience with Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, I can safely say I’m Percy Jackson trash. Lately, I’ve been in one of those moods where I don’t feel like doing much other than laying in bed, listening to pop music from ten years ago and reading fanfiction on Wattpad and that fanfiction has been exclusively Percy Jackson related. I’ve wasted plenty of time over the past few weeks watching fan videos on Youtube where people chose songs that remind them of the various characters or set clips from the movies to pop music. I’ve been told to stay far away from the film adaptations because they are terrible and from what I’ve seen in the videos, I imagine that they are each an hour and a half of Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario giving each other fuck-me-eyes.
The Titan’s Curse opens with Percy and his true companions Annabeth and Grover, along with their new friend Thalia (the daughter of Zeus who has spent the last two books as a pine tree) rescuing a brother and sister named Bianca and Nico Di Angelo, who are later revealed to the half-blood children of Hades. During this quest, our heroes have a run-in with the forces of Kronos, the titan who has been amassing an army of monsters and renegade half-bloods throughout the series in order to overthrow the Olympian gods. Percy and Co. are aided in the battle by the goddess Artemis and her band of huntresses but Annabeth is captured by the bad guys and held captive by Luke, the half-blood son of Hermes who has defected to Kronos’s side and serves as Percy’s main enemy. Later on, word gets to Camp Half-Blood that Artemis has gone missing while hunting a creature prophesied to be powerful enough to bring down the Olympians. Our Heroes, Percy, Thalia, Grover, Bianca, and Artemis’s lieutenant Zoë Nightshade (which is an awesome name by the way) set off to rescue Artemis and Annabeth, our distressed damsels.
I was a bit confused at one point in the story. One of the plot points is that Percy and Co. have to rescue Artemis and Annabeth by winter solstice because that’s when the villains are to perform a sacrifice. At first, I thought that Luke and the other bad guys were going to kill Annabeth as part of a virgin sacrifice. Annabeth’s virginity is brought up at several points in the story. Percy finds out that she is considering joining Artemis’s band of maiden huntresses and he takes it about as well as one would if they heard that their crush might take a vow of chastity. The title The Titan’s Curse refers to how Annabeth is tortured by having to take over Atlas’s burden of holding up the sky which nearly crushes her to death (which is nothing compared to how badly she’s crushing on Percy). Artemis chews Luke out for harming one of the maidens she is supposed to protect (b.t.w I’ve read several fanfics where Annabeth is raped by Luke). Because it is brought up that Annabeth is a maiden, I got the impression that a virgin sacrifice might be where the story is going but the intended sacrificial victim turns out to be a cute and seemingly harmless sea creature that Percy befriended earlier.
One of the effects that the book had on me is that I now want to visit the Hoover Dam since it is one of the stops that Percy and Co. make on their quest. There’s a running joke about how dam sounds like damn (“I have to go the dam bathroom” and “Let’s go to the dam snack bar and get some dam burritos.”). The Hoover Dam is also where Percy meets Rachel, a girl who can see beyond the “mist” which prevents mortals from being able to see monsters and other mythological stuff and will become more important in later books. We also get to meet Annabeth’s father, Professor Chase, a military history buff (like my own except my dad is into the Civil War while he is into World War I) who gets an awesome scene where he swoops in to the rescue the kids in a World War I Sopwith Camel airplane.
The previously mentioned Rachel returns again at the beginning of The Battle of the Labyrinth, the fourth book in the series when Percy finds out that she is set to attend the same high as him and the two of them take on some epousi cheerleaders. Annabeth is threatened by the presence of Percy’s new artsy, red-headed friend. My feelings about Rachel can be described as this: she seems like a cool person and has an awesome name and I don’t want to hate her but she needs to go away and let Percabeth (my OTP) be together.
Kronos’s forces are planning on using Daedalus’s labyrinth to launch a sneak attack on Camp Half-Blood and to have Daedalus build a host body for Kronos. Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Nico (who still has a beef with Percy from when his sister Bianca was killed in the last book) descend into the labyrinth to find Daedalus before Kronos’s cronies can get to him. Among their stops along the way is Hephaestus’s forge (underneath Mount St. Helen’s), where Percy and Annabeth share their first kiss and Percy is shot out of a volcano. He ends up on the island of Ogygia where he is nursed by to help by the nymph Calypso (the brunette Veronica to Annabeth’s blond Betty and Rachel’s redheaded Cheryl Blossom). Like with Odysseus before him, Calypso develops feelings for Percy and offers him immortality if he should stay with her. It is implied that Percy’s sojourn at Ogygia is one of the obstacles that Aphrodite promised that she would put in the way of Percy and Annabeth’s love when she encountered Percy in the last book. But Percy returns to his friends to his their quest. Another of their stops on their trip through the labyrinth is an encounter with the sphinx, which is a hilarious dig at America’s standardized test system.
The Battle of the Labyrinth has a definite environmental message. Grover has been searching for the missing god Pan throughout the past three books. Pan appears towards the end of the book but he is sickly and dying because the wilderness he is supposed to protect is disappearing. When Pan dies, he passes on his spirit to Grover and the rest of the group and gives them the task of protecting what is left of the wild.
The series is really starting to get juicy and interest and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
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