It’s like Home Alone, but with monsters! And river gods! And statues! And–actually so it’s really not much at all like Home Alone, which is not a bad thing. As to what it IS, it’s the tenth chapter of Michael Reads Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian, a.k.a…
I Buy Some New Friends
And the defense of Manhattan Island has begun! The demigods break up into teams, each of them with a specific task or place to guard. It’s a team defense. An organized, high-stakes game of DotA! (I love this kind of stuff.) That Thalia and the Hunters show up at a key moment to lend some additional strength is a nice touch, and it’s good to see her again. I confess I’d rather forgotten about them! I’m not sure if the video shield concept–giving everyone a nice spy-satellite view of the island and what they’ve got coming their way–is a great storytelling tool or just a bit of a cheat. I’m leaning toward the former, though. After all, with everything they had to go through in The Battle of the Labyrinth to get Daedalus’s book, they did earn it. Plus it allows for a nice set up to the chapter. So I’m good with it.
Percy’s in full command mode here, giving everyone orders and a sense of direction. Is the Styx-dipping enhancing that side of him? Everyone is certainly eager to follow his command, and he’s wearing the mantle of leadership well here. I can only wonder how much resistance Clarisse and the Ares cabin would be giving him were they here, though.
I do wish Annabeth would’ve given some more orders of her own, though. She’s the daughter of the tactical defense goddess, after all. But, again, it’s Percy whose name is on the book, I suppose. She does get to start the Manhattan statue activation, though. Plan 23? I like it! I also like that there’s a tiny little risk that the statues might just go a little haywire and turn on everyone.
By the way, as I was reading about all of these forces marching in on Manhattan, I wondered: what’s Kronos’s end-game, given the state of the prophecy? It still comes down to Percy’s choice, right? He’ll be the deciding factor in whether the Olympians win, if I remember correctly? So assuming Kronos still believes the prophecy and isn’t trying the brute force approach, how’s he plan to make Percy switch sides?
Or is Mr. Moo, sitting up on Olympus, the real key here? Has Percy’s choice already been made, resulting in Mr. Moo being where he is, and it’s just that Kronos is assuming it’s in the right place for him to seize and use to destroy the Olympians?
And while I’m asking questions (and please feel free to answer this one in the comments), how did Percy know he could use the sand dollar as currency with the river gods? Was it just his own instinct as a Poseidon-spawn? Or did it get explained at some point and I missed it? I did like that whole bit with the East and Hudson, though. Personification of natural forces is always fun so far as I’m concerned.
But though the river thing worked in excellent fashion, it ain’t over yet. And, much to my satisfaction, the Minotaur is back! And hey, only one book later than I first expected his return! (Does that mean I still get points for predicting he’d show up in the Labyrinth? Do you suppose the Minotaur is pissed that there was a big to-do with the Labyrinth and he missed the whole darn thing?)