I Set Myself on Fire
I’ve got a lot of little thoughts going all over the place in this chapter, so I’ll just be running them down in list form, eschewing any greater sense of structure. (It’s the last week of 2015, I’m overstuffed on fudge and Christmas cookies, and that’s just all the ability I’ve got in me.) But first, a quick rundown of the chapter:
A meeting with Hephaestus leads Annabeth and the gang (it’s her quest, even if Percy’s name is on the cover of the book, so I’m giving her top billing here) to a bit of new information on Daedalus and the promise of a way to reach him–if they just perform a teensy little side quest involving finding out who’s using Hephaestus’s forge in Mt. St. Helens when he’s not looking. It turns out to be an appropriated weapons factory for a bunch of Kronos-allied demons called Telekhines, and they’re not too pleased about being found out. Meanwhile, Grover and Tyson split off from the group after getting a new, fresh whiff of Pan-scent.
So, here we go!
- I liked the touch that Hera prefers the version of the story where Zeus threw Hephaestus off Mt. Olympus. Given the myriad of ways Greek myth was told through the ages–by different cultures, sub-cultures, and surely different temples–there emerged multiple different versions of a lot of tales. It’s a good nod to this by Riordan. (On a personal note, when writing Zeus Is Dead I went with the in-universe explanation of these multiple versions that assorted gods put out their own spin on things in order to make themselves look better, too.)
- Typhon is under Mt. St. Helens? Works for me! 🙂 And now they’ve got a side-quest to investigate. Time’s a-ticking on the main quest, and they’re wandering off playing spy for Hephaestus. …So, really, they handle things just like I play RPGs. I can’t throw stones.
- Grover’s going off—with Tyson! (aww)—to follow what he hopes is a path to Pan. I’m still, for whatever reason, doubtful he’ll find him. There’s been so many false alarms before. (And maybe I’m just an incurable, joyless cynic.) But I do hope he finds Pan this time. I’m on your side, Grover!
I’d never heard him sound so confident about anything, except maybe that cheese enchiladas were better than chicken enchiladas.
WHAT?! Okay. Okay. Deep breath. I’m still on your side, Grover. Really. …But you know jack about enchiladas!
- The revelation about how Annabeth was born (and, therefore, how all of Athena’s children are born) was quite cool. It’s a great idea that I’d never even thought about in terms of Athena’s children. Kudos to Riordan on this one. …Kind of a bummer in one sense for her dad though, no? 😉
- And then, finally, there’s this, and I love it:
As a young sea demon matures, the narrator said, changes happen in the monster’s body. You may notice your fangs getting longer and you may have a sudden desire to devour human beings. These changes are perfectly normal and happen to all young monsters.
A monster puberty video! Do they separate the male monsters and female monsters? Do they start discovering scales where there were no scales before?
It’s been a while (again) since I ended with a favorite line from the chapter, so why not go back to that? (Don’t answer that. This is my blog, after all.)
“Most monsters will vaporize when sliced with a celestial bronze sword. This change is perfectly normal, and will happen to you right now if you don’t BACK OFF!”
Actually, I think in hindsight I rather liked the line from the video above more than this one, but I specifically jotted this one down in my notes when I was reading, so it must have particularly tickled me at the time.