Let’s Read – The Lightning Thief – Chapter 10, Pt 2

Victory! The Cat has wandered off.

Where were we? Ah yes, Percy realizes how close he is to his old apartment wen they get dropped off and stares longingly towards it with thoughts of St. Mom and Evil Step-Father™ when Grover out of the blue comments on why St. Mom married Evil Step-Father™. There is an attempt at handwaving with Grover being able to sense emotions but too little too late and to be fair what Grover is offering to answer isn’t anything LIKE what Percy happened to be thinking of. Sloppy writing here.

So Smelly Step-Dad is psychically Smelly and Grover says he can still smell him on Percy even though Percy hasn’t seen him in a week. Um… That the time I thought had passed but Percy not three pages ago said it was two weeks.  Moving on, Smelly Step-Dad is apparently such a horrible human his existence masks Percy’s which is probably why St. Mom put up with him. Way to give Percy even more of a complex! Or at least it would give him a complex if he thought about anything for more than 10 seconds at a time.

Percy starts thinking about how much he doesn’t care about his dad really and the only reason he is going on this quest is to rescue St. Mom from the underworld. He says “Hades had taken her unfairly and Hades was going to give her back.” NO! Just…. NO! Um…. Okay. The God of Death is Thanatos, brother to Hypnos the god of sleep and twins of Nyx, Primordial Night. Hades is just were the souls end up after death. I for the life of me can’t understand why this is complicated. Thanatos allows Death to happen, Hermes guides the souls to the River Styx and Hades rules the land were they all end up to hang out. Seems pretty straight forward to me. I am even willing to go as far as the occasional conflating of Thanatos as a Psychopomp as there is a long tradition in Christian culture of combining the death aspect and psychopomp aspect. When in the world did all of that get wrapped up into the concept of the ruler of the land of the dead.

Interesting side note, notice it is ruler of the LAND of the dead, not necessarily the dead themselves. The dead, especial in myth, seem to be able to do what ever the hell they feel like they can get away with, other than you know the big punishments but even then there is an impression they COULD stop. Well other than Ixion on his flaming wheel. So quite honestly Hades can be seen as just have a soul infestation he has chosen to live with. How is that for a story prompt?

Back to our story where Percy remembers the Oracle for a random bit of doom.

There is a small page break then the three are playing hacky sack with an apple while waiting for the bus and Grover eats it which he finds embarrassing but the other two laugh. Nope, I am not letting this one pass. Remember my very long rant on the minotaur and the increasing animalistic behavior attached to him? This is a slightly different rant but related, call it Animalistic Mythical Critters, Rant B. So here we have Satyrs who were give goat iconography because they were perpetually horny. Like a Billy goat will try for a rock if it is goat shaped. it was to highlight how their behavior was already animalistic, less than human. So by attaching more Goat to this Satyr what is happening is that your are loosing the original reason satyrs had goat attributes to begin with. It is conflating cause with effect in a sense. Satyrs in particular are pretty bad to do this with as their myth comes down to us fairly well in tact. The point being the animalistic tendencies in myth actually come from different places rather than a simple oh neat animal plus human hybrid! By throwing Grover into the more Goat territory Our Dear Author is robing the original concept of meaning.

Then once they are boarding the bus Grover gets a whiff of something but decides it is nothing, holy fuck he is more useless than Chiron!

After they are seated three women get on the bus, all of whom look like the dreaded Ms. Dodds! Gasp!

The Furies are there! And our fearless protagonists start looking for a way off of the bus that doesn’t involve going past them. To which I respond, Out a window? The bus is still parked. Jump out the emergency door right behind you? My gods these kids have never played a video game or a role playing game!

There is pretty funny moment of Percy politely reminding Annabeth that she said “they could be dispelled for a life time” to which she responds “if your Luckily, and your obviously not” which brings me back to still wanting tone.

Now I am totally down with the furies being the worse monsters of the underworld. They aren’t monsters but hey I am willing to roll. I am also down with them doing Hades a favor by finding Percy. But here is the thing, the Furies don’t KILL PEOPLE. Ever. That is not their gig. Their gig is to drive you mad with endless torment for spilling the blood of family. Which if we are getting all persnickety you could argue Percy did by getting his mom killed by not listening to her, but that is a pretty fine line. But you add that to Hades asking for a favor and sure. But here is the thing, Percy nor any of his companions should be in physical danger from them. I guess that is why I keep wanting them to be Harpies. Harpies can fuck your shit up all day long, but the Furies, the Kindly Ones, can’t. Annabeth AND Grover, especially Grover, should know this. I can’t believe the camp has Homer and Pausanias but not Aeschylus. The Oresteia would be required reading if only to show how dangerous the world can be for a human Hero.

As Annabeth, Grover and Percy are trying to figure out ow to escape Annabeth points out that the mortals aren’t going to be helpful even as deterrent. Percy then says. “They are gonna see us killed by three old ladies aren’t they?” tone! Tone! Tone! I would give a finger if the author had added a wryly or worriedly there!

As they hit the Lincoln tunnel and the bus goes dark all three old ladies announce they have to go to the bathroom. And Annabeth gets the brilliant idea to shove her hat on Percy as he is the one they are after and send up to the front of the bus to bolt, don’t worry about them! Save yourself! You are obviously the Protagonist!

He manages to sneak past them… which I would like to point out again the invisibility cap was Hades, Then the furies turn on Annabeth and Grover demanding to know where it is and oh gods let Percy go and stab them in the back! Annabeth draws her bronze knife! Grover… grabs a can to throw. I think I might actually hate him. And then Percy has an Idea to save his friends! (stab the fucking furies in the back with your fury killing sword, you invisible bastard!!)

Instead he grabs the wheel of the bus and turns it a hard left endangering everybody.  He almost causes the bus to flip but the bus driver manages to get them out of the tunnel and on to an exit and then Percy, rather than quietly stab him some monsters now that the bus is stopped, pulls the emergency brake. The Humans run away from their now official crash into some trees.

And Then.

Then.

I…

Okay so Annabeth is pretty much doing “a yo she-bitch, let’s go” Grove is throwing cans (rolls eyes) the bus is crashed, he is still motherfucking invisible and what does he do? HE TAKES OFF THE CAP!!!!

Oh and apparently the whips have red flames on them when they are used which, okay sure. I can’t even deal with that right now.

Mrs. Dodds starts stalking towards him and she declares his blaspheme to him, which is a actual fury thing to do. Annabeth and Grover are at least trying to sneak up on the furies as they are focused on Percy. THEN Percy pulls out his pen/sword.

While Visible.

Sigh.

The furies see the sword and pause. Then the leader says “surrender now you and you not suffer eternal torment.” Fuck you book. Fuck you so goddamn hard. The worst part? I KNOW there are eternal torment IN mythology but I also damn well know Our Dear Author isn’t being THAT clever, indicating that Percy’s transgression is up there with Ixions or Sisyphus. PLUS THE FURIES ONLY PUNISH THOSE WHO KILL FAMILY!!!!

Oh gods a page and half left.

So Percy kills 2 furies easy cause his sword is specifically designed for that. Annabeth wrestles The Mrs Dodds Fury that I have just randomly decided is Alecto. Alecto then calls on Zeus and says Hades will have Percy’s soul…..

Pounds head on key board

Fuck.

You.

Book.

Then the bus get’s lightening bolted and explodes. While Grover notes their luggage is still in there, because he is useless and then they run away.

End Chapter 10.

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