I Get A New Enemy for Christmas
Looking back at what I’ve read of this series so far, Rick Riordan’s really not one for peaceful denouements, is he? Not that I’m complaining. This chapter begins slowly, relaxing into a couple of welcome Iris-chats with Percy’s mother and Tyson. (Tyson made 2,741 magic swords! That guy’s prolific!)
Then some cheery chatting with Chiron. …And an ominous hint at something Clarisse learned on her scouting mission. And then Nico asks where his sister is and all Hades breaks loose!
That’s right, the book ended, and Bianca isn’t revealed to be alive. What IS revealed is that Nico is a son of Hades! BAM! And born prior to the WWII non-proliferation treaty! BAM! Does that mean Bianca is Hades’s daughter? It seems likely, but it’s not completely guaranteed. Then again, this is a middle-grade/young adult book, and so might steer clear of the alternatives. So even if Bianca IS dead, she was going to be with her father anyway.
At any rate, Nico’s gone into irrational hatred/revenge mode, and I can imagine that will make him easy prey for Luke and Kronos’s recruitment drive. This is not to say I can blame Nico for being angry. It makes perfect sense for him to be so, especially since all he really had was Bianca. But I like the kid, so I hope he doesn’t fall too far, and manages to come to his senses and realize before it’s too late that it’s not really Percy’s fault.
By the way, I’m still clinging to my prediction that we’ll see Bianca again, alive, but it’s not happened nearly as quickly as I thought. Perhaps I’m in denial? Naah, I don’t do denial.
But wait! There’s MORE! At the very end of the book, we’ve got this:
“I… I was playing music in the parlor,” he stammered, “and drinking coffee. Lots and lots of coffee! And he spoke in my mind!”
“Who?” Annabeth demanded.
“Pan!” Grover wailed. “The Lord of the Wild himself. I heard him! I have to… I have to find a suitcase.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I said. “What did he say?”
Grover stared at me. “Just three words. He said, ‘I await you.’”
An excellent hook for us reader-folk, Riordan. I want to know more, you crafty bastard! 😀 Things are going to happen! You can almost hear the momentous trumpet fanfare of cliffhanger destiny, can’t you? You know, something like this:
So was that really Pan that Grover heard? He’s never heard Pan’s voice before, right? It could just as easily been someone else speaking to Grover via the coffee. He did misinterpret the Fleece as being Pan, after all. So if it’s NOT Pan—and I’m not convinced YET that it isn’t, I’m just pondering here—is it someone else of a benevolent nature, or is it a trap? I have no concrete guesses at this point. So many possibilities.
I guess I’d better find myself a copy of The Battle of the Labyrinth, huh? I wonder, will the minotaur be back?