We Meet the Sheep of Doom
This chapter moves quickly, which helps to match the urgency of Percy and Annabeth’s mission. Even though there are things like climbing the cliffs and waiting under a sheep for Polyphemus to bring his flock home, the wait is put aside for the reader to keep things from feeling too leisurely. After all, when you’re dealing with hippo-piranha-sheep and an amorous, hungry cyclops, you don’t want to be breathing too easily.
I was pleased to see Riordan (and Annabeth) make reference to “Nobody,” the name Odyssus used in the original myth when he pulled the wool over Polyphemus’s eyes. I’m a sucker for a good mythology reference, after all. I had all sorts of fun hiding them in Zeus Is Dead, and as I’ve likely said before, it’s part of what makes reading Riordan’s work fun.
This chapter’s primary revelation comes when Percy and Annabeth discover that Clarisse is alive, Polyphemus’s captive, and very soon to play the lead role in an off-off-Broadway production of “Cyclops-Chow: The Crunchening.” (Okay, so I may have tried too hard on that joke.) They also find that having more blood in her brain due to hanging upside-down does NOT make Clarisse smarter. She’s completely unable to grasp the concept of “undercover-Grover-in-a-wedding-dress” and outs him within moments despite even having a chance to reverse her course.
I swear, that girl’s about as sharp as a sack of pudding.
While Annabeth distracts Polyphemus, Percy rescues Clarisse and Grover from the cave. Yet judging by the explosion and Annabeth’s resulting scream, they’re not out of danger just yet.
Mini-prediction: That explosion has something to do with Tyson coming back. Though maybe Polyphemus has designed something explosive himself? But in the myths he was really more of a sheep-herding man-eater than an engineering man-eater, wasn’t he?
Plus I wanna see Tyson come back.
My favorite line from this chapter is…
“He strolled off down the mountain in his baby-blue groom’s outfit, leaving us alone with a pot of boiling water and a six-ton boulder.”
While the writing of this line itself is perhaps nothing special, I like it because the pot of boiling water and the six-ton boulder called to mind a number of old LucasArts adventure games, of which I have a number of fond memories.