Check out our episode here! (featuring The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian) The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, demigod, teenager hitting the awkward years, is going to freshman orientation at Goode High School, a school that his mom’s boyfriend, English teacher Paul Blofis, got him into. That’s not awkward… Your mom's boyfriend being your teacher, not awkward at all. When he gets there he sees someone he wants to avoid so ducks around the back where he bumps into a group of cheerleaders. These don’t seem like your regular cheerleaders, there is something off and very threatening about them. Pushing past, Percy heads into the school gym and sits down. He is trying to make himself invisible, he has neither the power nor his friend Annabeth's cap of invisibility to accomplish this, so Rachel Elizabeth Dare easily spots him. Rachel is a clear-sighted mortal, meaning she can see through the Mist that keeps the godly world hidden from mortals. Percy met her the previous summer at Hoover Dam when he attempted to kill her (her words). She helped to save him from a group of disguised skeleton warriors that were chasing him. When the cheerleaders take to the floor, Rachel tells Percy to follow her and she suddenly runs out of the gym. Percy does so and she tells him that the cheerleaders, Tammi and Kelli, aren’t what they seem.
The cheerleaders are Empousai, shape-shifters with a single leg made of copper, commanded by Hecate. And they’ve just burst into the room. Percy is able to slay Tammi, but Kelli disappears in a burst of fire. Paul Blofis and some other mortals see the incident from the hallway. In panic, Percy and Rachel escape through a broken window where Annabeth is waiting. Rachel tells Percy that he needs to explain everything that just happened when he has time and writes her phone number on his hand, but for now, he needs to go. She'll make up something to tell Mr. Blofis. Percy and Annabeth then make their way to Camp Half-Blood. Annabeth seems perturbed by Rachel.
When they reach camp, Annabeth decides to go talk to Clarisse, daughter of Ares, leaving Percy to wander by himself. Stopping by the arena, Percy finds a massive hellhound, oh no! Unable to raise the alarm, Percy tries to kill her, but is stopped by Quintus, the new sword-master. Percy is trying to slay Mrs. O'Leary, his pet hellhound. Quintus claims he is there to help while Dionysus is away on business. As they talk, Percy notices five large crates which Quintus explains are for a game he has planned. He thinks the demigods at the camp need more challenges. When Quintus was young there wasn't a camp for demigods. Percy finds this surprising, he has never met a fully grown half-blood before. Quintus jokes, saying not every half-blood is at the center of a horrible prophecy, but Chiron appears and interrupts before Percy can learn anything more.
Chiron takes Percy to see Grover who is facing the Council of Cloven Elders. When they get there, Chiron takes his seat on the Council and Percy sits next to Annabeth. Clarisse and a crying nymph, Juniper, who turns out to be Grover's girlfriend, are also there. The council is deciding whether or not Grover may keep his searcher's license. They don’t believe the great god Pan, the lost God of the Wild, spoke to him. They give him one week to find Pan, otherwise, he will lose his searcher's license.
When the meeting concludes, Percy rushes to his cabin, inspections are due and he doesn’t want to get kitchen duty because of stray pants lying around. When he reaches the Poseidon cabin, his half-brother, Tyson, is cleaning up. Though Percy may no longer have his very own cabin, he is glad to see the cyclops. Later that night, Percy has trouble sleeping when he notices the fountain given to him by his father has a faint blue light and rainbow emanating from it. Clearly, he has an Iris message waiting for him. Throwing a drachma into the mist, the image of Nico di Angelo, son of Hades, shimmers and becomes clear. Nico is talking to a ghost and asking about his sister, Bianca, who was killed last year during a skirmish with a defective Talos. Nico is asking how to bring her back to life. The ghost tells him that it is possible, but only if an exchange happens. Nico needs to pay a soul for a soul. Before Percy can put another drachma into the fountain, the image dissipates.
The following day, the campers are to play a new game devised by Quintus. In teams of two, the demigods are to go into the woods and find a gold laurel, but to spice this game up, the laurel is tied to one of six monsters. During the game, Percy and Annabeth find an entrance to the Labyrinth in between rocks in Zeus' Fist, yes The Labyrinth, the magical maze complete with minotaur. Annabeth realizes that this passage can be used by Luke and the Titan Army to get past the camp's borders and attack from within. Annabeth will lead a quest from the camp the next morning with Percy, Tyson, and Grover to find Daedalus, the Labyrinth's creator.
As soon as they step into the maze to begin their quest, a sense of confusion hits them, the walls shift and the passageways narrow. They manage to make it a Roman-styled room where they find Janus, a minor god of doorways, beginnings and endings. Janus is there for Annabeth and tries to get her to choose one of the doors in the Labyrinth, but Hera, Queen of Olympus, interrupts and postpones her choice, which is good because Annabeth was suffering from indecision. Hera also offers them a wish, any wish, so Annabeth wishes for a way to navigate the Labyrinth. Hera seems disappointed by this request and tells Annabeth that she has wished for something she has already been given before vanishing. Another cryptic statement from a god...
They leave Janus’s chamber and end up inside Alcatraz where they encounter Briares, a Hundred Handed-One, who has been captured by the Titan army and imprisoned on Alcatraz Island. Kampê, the original jailer of Tartarus, has been torturing and threatening him to join them. Despite this, he has not given in. Tyson wants to rescue Briares, but Briares is so scared of Kampê he refuses to leave. Percy challenges him to a game and if he wins, Briares must leave. Percy beats him at a game of rock, paper, scissors by cheating and using a finger gun (thank you, Paul Blofis), which defeats Braires' array of rocks, papers and scissors. Having lost his confidence and in a deep state of depression, Briares leaves. This breaks Tyson's heart, but they need to press on through the Labyrinth. In the Labyrinth, when he sleeps, Percy has vivid dreams about Daedalus, the death of his son Icarus, and how he caused the death of his nephew Perdix.
Percy, Grover, Annabeth, and Tyson encounter Geryon, Eurytion and Nico at the Triple G Ranch. They learn that Geryon is selling some of Apollo's Cattle and other creatures as meat for the Titan Army. Percy makes a deal with Geryon, that he, his friends and Nico will be set free if they clean the stables of the carnivorous horses (they are disgusting). The river naiad won’t help him but gives Percy a seashell to use instead. As Geryon is a slippery so-and-so, he points out that he never swore on the River Styx and is therefore not honor bound to keep to the deal, so Percy fights him. Geryon has three chests and therefore is difficult to beat. Running to the ranch house, Percy grabs a bow, offers a quick prayer to Apollo and Artemis, and shoots sideways through all three chests killing Geryon. Eurytion will now run the ranch. He allows them all to leave and offers to help them find Hephaestus who knows the way to Daedalus's workshop. They accept his offer so Eurytion gives them a spider automaton which will guide them. Nico tries to summon Bianca and she appears and tells Nico to forgive Percy. It was not his fault she died.
The group follow the spider automaton which leads them to the Sphinx. Annabeth steps up to answer the riddles, but instead of asking the standard riddle, the Sphinx hosts a twenty-question game show to the death! Annabeth refuses to play so the Sphinx declares Annabeth forfeit. Using her cap of invisibility, Annabeth escapes while Percy, Tyson and Grover beat up the Sphinx. They make it to Hephaestus, who tells them that he will tell them everything about Daedalus but only if they will find out who is using his forges in Mount St. Helens. They set off toward the forges when Grover senses the presence of Pan. Grover can’t ignore this so Tyson offers to go with him, while Percy and Annabeth continue on to Mount St. Helens. When they get there, Percy is spotted by sea demons, the telekhines, and he is forced to fight them off, shouting to Annabeth to get out of there, to go back to Hephaestus. She kisses him and leaves. Percy then summons an incredible amount of water from within himself to defeat the telekhines which causes him to lose consciousness and causes the volcano to erupt, sending him shooting into the air.
Percy awakes to find himself on the phantom island Ogygia being cared for by Calypso. It’s uncertain how long Percy spends on the island, time seems very weird there, but Percy gets better and they fall in love. Calypso is the daughter of the Titan Atlas and is imprisoned on the island for her participation in the Titan uprising millennia ago. Calypso tells Percy he can stay on the island if he so wishes, but Hephaestus visits and explains to Percy what actually happened at Mount St. Helens. Percy unleashed an incredible amount of energy that caused an earthquake awakening the Titan Typhon. Hephaestus tells Percy with an exaggerated wink how to navigate the Labyrinth then disappears in a very ostentatious pillar of fire. Percy has resolved to leave the island and Calypso. Before he goes, however, she gives Percy a sprig of moonlace to plant in Manhattan for her. Percy leaves on a magical raft, thinking about his biggest “what-if."
Camp Half-Blood is empty when Percy returns. In the amphitheater, the campers have crowded together to watch Percy's burial shroud being burned. Annabeth is about to give his eulogy when she spots him. Percy tells Chiron and Annabeth his plan thanks to the hint *wink* Hephaestus gave him, and they head into the mortal world to look for their guide, Rachel Elizabeth Dare.
Percy, Annabeth and Rachel go into the Labyrinth to look for Daedalus' workshop and hope to also find Grover and Tyson. Rachel tells them she can see the path, there is a faint light on the floor. Can't they see it? As they travel the maze, they are captured by Luke and his army and are taken to the arena of Antaeus, a son of both Poseidon and Gaea. Percy is given up as a warrior and has to fight a series of monsters, then the demigod Ethan Nakamura. After defeating them all, Percy challenges Antaeus to a fight and forces him to promise on the River Styx to set him and his friends free when he wins. Percy is able to land several blows with Riptide which have no effect as the earth keeps rising up and healing the wounds. Gaea, the Earth goddess, is protecting her son, so Percy uses chains dangling from the arena to wrap up Antaeus and kill him. Antaeus’ death voids the promise on the River Styx and Luke orders his army to cut them down. Using a Stygian ice whistle Quintus gave Percy earlier, he summons Mrs. O'Leary and they are able to escape the arena, taking Ethan with them.
Ethan leaves them before they reach Daedalus's workshop where they find Quintus, who admits to actually being Daedalus. Surprise! They also find out that he gave Luke a magical item to help navigate the maze, Ariadne's string. Kelli the Empousa and Minos, the ghost who has been pretending to help Nico but who is actually Daedalus’s greatest enemy, arrive and they have Nico with them. A battle ensues and Mrs. O’Leary appears to help. They are able to escape using improved versions of Daedalus’s metal wings and flee to the mortal world. Rachel is able to quickly get them a ride back into the Labyrinth in a limousine. It turns out her daddy is ridiculously rich.
Percy finds a tunnel which he figures out is an entrance to the Titans' palace. He enters alone and discovers and opens a golden sarcophagus. Luke is inside, but something is different about him. Kronos has fused with Luke. A few moments later, Ethan comes in and pledges allegiance to Kronos. Kronos awakens and Percy tries to run from him, but Kronos stops time, yeah, it's one of his special powers. Rachel throws a hairbrush at the Titan's face, Luke screams in pain and Kronos asserts control. Nico summons a wall of black stone, giving them time to escape. Percy and Annabeth argue about Luke. Percy tells her that Luke has turned completely evil, but Annabeth refuses to believe this. Percy goes to talk to Rachel and spots Grover's cap lying on the ground near the entrance to a tunnel. Inside they find Tyson and an unconscious Grover, but they manage to wake him. Together, they enter Pan’s last resting place, Carlsbad Caverns, under New Mexico.
Pan asks Grover to spread the word that his domain is much too damaged to be saved and that he is dying. Grover initially refuses. He has searched his whole life for Pan, and it is for this reason, Pan singles him out as his most devoted follower. Pan then addresses each of them in turn with the exception of Nico and then dissolves, a small curl of white mist enters the six, with Grover getting a bit more than the others. The three campers and Nico fly on pegasi to camp, making it back in time to see them preparing for war, which is good because soon Kronos' army spill from the Labyrinth. The campers, along with the other beings who live at camp and in the woods, do their best to hold the enemy forces back. Daedalus, Mrs.O'Leary and Briares appear too, but then Kampê bursts from the Labyrinth.
Grover unleashes panic, a gift from Pan, and the enemy forces scramble back to the Labyrinth. Daedalus decides it is time to end his life, and therefore the Labyrinth, in order for the camp to be saved. Before he dies, Daedalus gives Annabeth a silver laptop which contains all his ideas and notes of projects he never had the chance to work on. Nico releases Daedalus, destroying the Labyrinth and saving the camp. After dinner that night, Percy catches Nico. Nico apologizes to Percy and Percy offers Nico a place in camp, but he refuses. As camp draws to a close, Annabeth tells Percy the last line of the prophecy she never told him when Hera suddenly appears. They offend her by remarking that though she is the goddess of family she only cares about beautiful perfect families. Hera leaves telling them she will remember their insult.
Percy goes back home and celebrates his fifteenth birthday with his mom, Paul and Tyson. Poseidon arrives (not awkward) and Percy tells him everything. Poseidon lets him know he is his favorite son and gives him a sand dollar before leaving. Nico appears, claiming that he has found a way to beat Kronos, which is excellent, though it’s probably not going to be fun. What would be fun is for Nico to join the party, which he does.