I had only two chapters left to go, and the momentum of Chapter 19’s chariot race just flung me headlong into Chapter 20, and I couldn’t stop to write an entry! So, that’s right, this time you get a two-for-one-deal! Okay, so I suppose that means you get half as many posts as you would have otherwise, but I’m putting the two-for-one spin on it anyway.
The Chariot Race Ends with a Bang
The Fleece Works Its Magic Too Well
First of all, I enjoyed these last two chapters a lot more than the previous. (Whew!) 😀 As to why…
For one thing, Hermes returns! He’s my favorite god in this series so far. He’s friendly, and encouraging, and he seems to have his heart in the right place. I was glad to see him again, and was pleased to see him giving some fatherly advice to Percy, even if it is, more accurately, er, cousinly advice. I think it’s something that Percy really needed after this adventure, and it’s good to see him get it, even if it might frustrate him that it wasn’t coming from Luke’s father rather than his own.
Especially considering how brief the message from Poseidon was. “Brace yourself”? Geez, how frustrating must this be for Percy?? Darned gods and their limited communication. (As a side-note, is it wrong that I’m now considering sending anonymous postcards that say “brace yourself” to people I know? Though with my luck it would turn into some sort of criminal incident.)
As a reader, however, the note is excellent: it re-heightens the tension of the narrative and energizes the final two chapters. I didn’t know if Percy was meant to brace himself for something to come in the next book, or something that would happen before this one ended. It’s a big part of why I kept reading into the next chapter before blogging again. I didn’t want to stop.
The chariot race itself, though I have little to say about it specifically, was a fun read. It was great to read about a race that wasn’t interrupted by death-pigeons (which is not to say I didn’t enjoy the death-pigeons the first time), well-written, and exciting. And of course it was nice to see Tyson get some positive attention. (I’m just sorry Apollo’s chariot didn’t win, but then I’m biased.)
And then we find out why Percy needs to brace himself, and I admit that I totally did NOT see coming that the Fleece would restore Thalia! (I’m excited to meet her in the next book, and eager to see just how different she is from my own Thalia from Zeus Is Dead, given that the latter is a Muse who’s most assuredly NOT into combat.) Yeah, so I suspected/hoped she might be de-treed somehow, but for whatever reason I didn’t even think that the MAGICAL LIFE-REGENERATING FLEECE would be the cause.
In hindsight, I feel a little silly for that, but it’s fun to be surprised!
My excitement and curiosity for this turn of events makes me think Chiron’s being a bit of a stick-in-the-mud for being more worried than happy that Thalia is alive again. I can understand where he’s coming from, but if he continues to treat her being alive as a BAD thing, especially to her face, all he’s going to do is drive her away from the side he wants her to take in the coming conflict.
So, hey, lighten up, folks! You were said she’d died before, weren’t you? New character! Get on the optimism-train!
- The Party Ponies would have liked Dionysus’s incarnation in Zeus Is Dead a lot more than Mr. D.
- Why does Percy have to find another private school? I forget if there’s a reason he can’t go back into the public school system.
- I confess that I kept wanting to womp Percy with a heavy pillow or something when he was so slow to realize that the girl on the ground was Thalia. You’re smarter than that, kid. Then again, I guess he had been woken up in the middle of the night, so I should probably go easy on him, huh?
My favorite quote/line from this chapter is from Hermes:
“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related, for better or worse… and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.”
A perfect description of the Olympian pantheon.