Let’s Read – Lightning Thief – Chapter 9

Percy gets moved to cabin 3 and is utterly miserable. He takes it as out casting rather than honoring which it could be taken as. He is completely incapable of experiencing change in a positive manner. Luke teaches him swordsman’s ship one on one, which again is an honor rather than a rejection, Annabeth is distracted trying to work this into her world view and Clarisse wants to punch him in the face but does dare. And here we get a key part of Percy’s psyche. He would rather get into fights than be ignored. I totally stand by my idea that Percy was abused severely. And apparently neglected which is primary where the “any attention is better than no attention” comes from. The other place that seems to come from is a form of personality disorder Percy is not showing any other symptoms of. So, we are back at abuse. Percy, in this section proves exactly how unreliable a narrator he is and highlights how much better this could have been from a third person perspective.

Someone dropped a news paper in his cabin talking about how him and his mother are missing presumed dead and the hotline number is circled in black. I am gonna go out on a limb here and assume it is Clarisse who is gonna do something to get Percy to be a wanted Criminal. Which is STUPID! Oh So Stupid! Percy is 12. It doesn’t matter what in the hell the Evil Step Father ™ says. The police aren’t stupid and they would be aware of the signs of child abuse Percy was showing. Oh no, they are looking straight at Evil Step Father™. Percy is not culpable yet and no amount of divine intervention is gonna make him so. Plus there is NO way they are releasing his name to the public. Again, 12! We have laws against do that to protect the privacy of minors.

Percy dreams again of Zeus and Poseidon fighting with Zeus yelling “Give it Back”. Though he still doesn’t recognize either of them which is so very wrong at this stage. He yells at them to stop and then “an evil voice” taunts him to come down and the earth opens and he wakes up thinking he is falling. Oh my gods! HADES ISN’T EVIL!

Grover wanders in right after Percy awakes from his nightmare/vision and announces the Camp Director wants to see Percy and mentions that The Camp Director wants to kil…. Something but breaks off because Grover is useless and only serves to make things worse.

I read ahead to the end of the chapter. I know I wasn’t supposed to, but I did.

Percy thinks he is in a huge amount of trouble, possibly because Grover indicated that Dionysus wants to kill him. We get about a paragraph of throw away descript of the camp, but what caught my eye was that there was a set of Dionysus twins making strawberries grow. Hmmm. Why does no one focus on that madness part of Dionysus? Is it that attempt to make him cuddly? Cause this book is not going out of it’s way to make him cuddly (which I GREATLY appreciate). Yes he is the god of growing things, but specifically growing things that get you fucked up. His whole purview is being out of ones head, alcohol is just the safest way to get there. I don’t know what I would rather they be doing, but I am not eniterly sure I think focusing on the agricultural aspect of Dionysus is proper either.

Anyway there is also a thing about how it never rains at the camp and holy shit Percy has only been here a week? Seriously? For all his angsting you would it had been months.

Dionysus and Chiron are playing Pinochle looking just like they did the last time he had to talk to them. Dionysus continues to delight by being bad tempered and generally godly. It should be noted that him and Chiron are playing against invisible partners. Dionysus bitches about how Chiron wont just let him explode Percy thus solving everyone’s problems, including Percys’. A rather straight forward solution I think and one I can see making complete sense to Dionysus.

Dionysus then threatens to turn him into a dolphin and tells Percy point blank to be gone by the time he gets back from Olympus. He also indicates whatever it is Dionysus wants to do in his ill-temper is far kinder than what Chiron wants him to do. He then disappears to attend a “Special meeting”. Chiron takes over at this point and you know what, I don’t like this Chiron. He seems very backstabby and conniving to me. I don’t know why, he just seems untrustworthy and out for something other than his stated goals. He offers Percy a Quest.

Percy in a moment of lucidity wants more details before he accepts. Go Percy! Use that brain!

They hash out what is to be the plot going forward, someone has stolen Zeus “master lightening bolt” and he thinks Percy did it. Percy didn’t. Poseidon and Zeus are too proud to stand down. There is a bit about the Gods forcing Zeus to stop being well Zeus which is a new bit of information and nowhere in myth. I mean I will totally give it to them as it is necessary for the plot, but I would like to know more about that then Percy’s half remembered test question.

Hey now. So… Chiron was teaching them things beyond the scope of a written myth? How very fascinating! We are totally gonna leave out the fact that IT WAS A LATIN CLASS and wonder what the other children are going to do with this knowledge that the world will tell them is wrong. Hmmm.

Back to our story, Percy has resigned himself to the fact he is gonna have to go get the stupid lightening bolt to give to Zeus which is a CRAZY BAD IDEA! If Zeus thinks Percy Stole it, why in the world wouldn’t he STILL think that when Percy gives it back? This is just setting up Percy to be killed. Why does everyone want Percy dead? I mean I know why *I* want him to die a horrible fire-ant infested death or just get the kid massive amounts of good drugs and thearpy, but no one in the story has shown themselves to be telepathic so their reasoning is possibly different. Well, some to think of it, Dionysus MIGHT be Telepathic which would explain his distaste for Percy. Boom! Head Cannon.

Chiron refuses to answers some questions before Percy accepts the quest because like everything else Percy HAS to go into this blind for no particular reason. Someone just TELL this kid something, please? Just for me?

Chiron sends Percy up to the Oracle.

Hooboy.

Um.

This Oracle.

Okay, So The Oracle At Delphi ran in family lines, like most of the high priest positions did. And lets not doubt The Oracle At Delphi was in fact the High Priestess of Apollo. I am totally wiling to buy the bloodline is still around somewhere. I am willing to go with allot of things if they are well written. A Hippy Mummy is not one of them. The only way I can excuse it in my brain is that this Hippy was the last of the bloodline and died before she could have children thus they have to keep her corpse because they need an Oracle and there is no one of the bloodline left. Though to be fair they could quite literally grab any of the Apollo’s female children and start a new Oracular bloodline. I guess what I am getting at is that this is unnecessary creepy. And she would be in a shrine near the woods ON THE EARTH, not in an attic hidden away.

Percy asked the Oracle a dumb open ended question and I am honestly surprised he doesn’t get sheer gibberish from it. “What Is My Destiny” That one’s simple. I can answer that one. “To Die” any other answer is just the Oracle being extraordinarily nice.

Speaking of Gibberish. That is exactly what the corpse should be saying. The Oracle worked like this. You submitted a question to one of the priests. When the Priestess did her holy right of Seeing, one priest would be in charge of asking her all the questions they had collected. She would respond in “Gibberish” or as the Greeks saw it, divine language, and another priest would translate her words and a third would write down the translation. The Oracle didn’t just hang out on the Tripod all day waiting for people to ask her questions. She had shit to do. So there was a set time to do the Seeing thing and the answers were given out at dusk. Anyway I am willing to give it a pass because sure, Percy is a demi-god and can understand divine gibberish. Okay. I can roll.

The Oracle gives him a vision of his worst enemy prophesizing doom. Coolness! Okay what is said is:

You Shall go west, and face the god who has turned
You shall find what was stolen, and see it safely returned
You shall be betrayed by one who calls you a friend
And you shall fail to save what matters most, in the end

Oh for fuck sake, it rhymes!

Given his question this is a remarkably to the point Oracular Statement. He goes back down stairs and is immediately pressed by Grover and Chiron to tell THEM what the Oracle said which is bad form if not straight up blaspheme. Percy only gives them the first couplet cause he is ashamed he is destined to fail and be betrayed. And Chiron mentions HE has an oracle but refuses to tell what it was because he is a dick.

And a bad teacher.

And probably smells funny to boot.

Percy accepts the quest at this point though he doesn’t actually say so, it is pretty obvious he is going. The Hippy Mummy said so. Chiron points out Percy has to go quest to the underworld and see Hades. WHO IS NOT FUCKING EVIL AND CHIRON WOULD KNOW THAT!!!!
Hades is painted as the person behind all of Percy’s troubles. But the Minotaur is a creature of Poseidon’s or are we ignoring that? Percy decides to embrace this Hades is evil thing and get revenge upon him. Chiron is pretty damn insistent that Hades stole the lightening, but you know what? I don’t buy it. Mostly because I don’t trust Chiron here. Then Chiron twists the knife and tells Percy he’s dad needs him.
Percy wants to have an emotion breakdown if not straight up Psychotic break here, but Our Dear Author won’t let him so instead he asks Chiron if he knew all along who his dad was and Chiron says, he suspected.

Percy lays out the fetch quest for the second time and Grover semi-volunteers himself, partially suggests saying screw this and running away. Percy accepts officially and gets told the entrance to the underworld is in Los Angeles. SIGH. I… I…

SIGH!

Percy then mentions hoping on a plane and Grover and Chiron point out the sheer stupidity of FLYING thru the Sky when the lord of the sky wants you dead. Yes but he has a 10 day deadline. It is three days from New Orleans to California. So lets say 4 for New York. The vast majority of this trip is gonna be the bus trip there and back. And of course Annabeth Volunteered to go as well making it a trio. The chapter ends with Chiron telling them to get packed he is gonna drop them off at the train station.

I hate you book.

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