Well, the gods just don’t like to give complete messages, do they? Plus Hermes is cranky, Olympus is on the brink of attack, and Morpheus takes Manhattan. (But at least Kentucky’s only half-destroyed.) It must be time for the 9th chapter of Michael Reads Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian, a.k.a…
Two Snakes Save My Life
So things continue to be dire. This entire chapter, much like Olympus itself, feels like a grand place where something is very, very wrong. It’s the eerie calm before the storm. We’re treated to new twists on old issues, mysterious messages and plans, and in the end…
Well, I’ll get there. But note that I say “very, very wrong” in a good way. The chapter is well done, and adds on another layer of anticipation.
The emptiness of Olympus is striking. Percy et al. need to get the warning to Zeus about the trap, but they can’t even do that. No one is there, save for Hestia and Hermes. Olympus is besieged by some weird blue magical things that Hermes suspects were sent by Hecate. (And aww, Hecate’s fighting with Kronos? Bummer. I like her. Though my Hecate may be slightly different from Riordan’s.)
Worse still, Zeus has already been warned by Athena, who’s surely got far more credibility in Zeus’s eyes than a bunch of halfbloods, and has chosen to ignore the warning. I found it ironic that Zeus won’t let Athena return to Olympus to defend against the trap she saw because he wanted his chief strategist at his side—except he’s not listening to his chief strategist. Athena must be especially frustrated.
And of course, Hermes is no help. He’s turned bitter. I’m not sure if that’s a combination of the desperation of the situation with Typhon, or in knowing that his son is at the heart of their problems. Probably both. The change in his usual, lighter demeanor underscores just how bad things are getting.
And amid that, we get the revelation that Hermes blames Annabeth for what happened to Luke! But why? Was it just that they had a special connection and Hermes thinks she could have talked Luke out of siding with Kronos? Or was it something more? That Annabeth seems to know exactly what Hermes is talking about makes me think it’s something more specific, like a decision made at a precise time that would have steered things differently. Annabeth has always been sensitive when it came to Luke. Now it seems there’s more to that than just a childhood crush on him. I have many questions.
And then, in a fantastic “Oh, crap” moment, Morpheus puts the entire island of Manhattan to sleep. That’s a damn eerie thought, and Riordan describes it nicely:
In the streets below, traffic had stopped. Pedestrians were lying on the sidewalks, or curled up in doorways. There was no sign of violence, no wrecks, nothing like that. It was as if all the people in New York had simply decided to stop whatever they were doing and pass out.
“Are they dead?” Silena asked in astonishment.
Ice coated my stomach. A line from the prophecy rang in my ears: And see the world in endless sleep. I remembered Grover’s story about meeting the god Morpheus in Central Park. You’re lucky I’m saving my energy for the main event.
“Not dead,” I said. “Morpheus has put the entire island of Manhattan to sleep. The invasion has started.”
Way to double-down on the “calm before the storm,” there.