Lightning-lit battles, horny adversaries, and even more pantsless-Grover! It must be time for another installment of Michael Reads Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief. It’s the 4th chapter…
My Mother Teaches Me Bullfighting
MY mother once taught me how to catch bumblebees. Never bullfighting. Then again, there were very few bulls in our neighborhood, to say nothing of minotaurs. That’s county zoning law for ya.
Things get a heck of a lot more dramatic for poor Percy in this chapter. The truth about Grover is revealed (yes, he IS a satyr), and a frantic car drive through a storm culminates in a minotaur attack. And, oh yeah, his mom gets killed. (Or does she? The woman vanished in a flash of light. It could be just a way to make things less graphic for young readers, but I’m going to go with the old speculative fiction rule of “They’re not dead if you don’t see a body.” My bet is that she’s alive, spirited off by Poseidon, perhaps. But she won’t be revealed to be alive until the end of the book .) Nevertheless, he seems to be handling it in stride. Maybe the adrenaline just hasn’t left his system yet.
Adrenaline or no, I have to say I’m impressed with Percy, taking on a minotaur like that. (Nice job tearing off its horn, too.) I was also pleased that the minotaur was smart enough to not fall for the dodging trick twice in a row. The whole scene was vividly painted, and visceral. (Not, ya know, Stephen King visceral, but middle grade/YA/non-horror visceral. Which just a positive level of visceral. Side note: It’s fun to say “visceral.”) It made for a great action scene to give the novel’s pace a kick and provide a mini-climax for the early stage of the book.
I’m curious to know just why Hades is after Percy. Admittedly, I read this chapter a couple of days ago but haven’t had a chance to write a post until now. My notes said, “Hades is after him? Why Hades?” but I’m no longer sure if that was just my interpretation of things or if that was explicitly stated. (Just went back and checked. “Lord of the Dead.” So: Hades, unless Riordan is pulling something.) Is it because Hades is fighting with his brothers, or just “Hades = bad”? And yes, I’m going to continually bring that up until I get confirmation that it’s an unwarranted worry.
Lightning struck the car, too. Don’t think I didn’t notice that. Is Zeus out to get him as well? Or, given the title, did someone steal Zeus’s lightning already (Hades?) and they’re just using it? Hmm.
I mentioned in the last entry that I’d talk a bit about my impression of Grover. I like the kid. (Heh. Kid. I’m going to claim that pun was intended.) He seems far too young for what he’s been charged with, and I think he feels it’s a bit out of his league, but I have to admire how hard he’s trying to live up to his assigned task. He strikes me as the loyal sort. Reminds me a little of Ron Weasley. I wonder if that’s intentional?
My favorite line from this chapter is actually just a phrase:
“…bulging biceps and triceps and a bunch of other ‘ceps…”
Wordplay. I are amused. 🙂