The House of Hades
Author: Rick Riordan
Release: October 8th 2013
Genre: Mythology, Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
#4 in the Heroes of Olympus series
Series: The Lost Hero (#1), The Son of Neptune (#2), The Mark of Athena (#3), The Blood of Olympus (#5)
At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.
This book kinda disappointed me and kinda amazed me. I am giving it 3 stars because a) nostalgia. I have loved this series since it's begun, and before that I have loved the Percy Jackson series, b) because the characters mean a lot to me and c) because Riordan tackles some pretty meaningful themes and revelations that were wonderfully done. The scene with Cupid/Eros? Brilliant. Pure genius.
However, I thought it was really sad that Riordan started massively recycling the Percy Jackson series. Very many people we have met during the course of Percy's adventures, we meet again, and while I did appreciate seeing old faces pop up again, after a while I found myself frowning and thinking, "Really? Has he run out of ideas or what is this? Shenanigans!" And that was the bit that kinda let me down.
But, you know, I still loved it. There were some plot twists, like that thing with Nico, you know what I mean, or that thing with Leo, you know what I mean, and in those instances I could only shout "WHAT?!" in indignation at an inanimate object and actually expect an answer.
Then, of course the awesome battles. Especially the final showdown at the end was pure awesome. It was made of badassery.
And the best part about these books is obviously the characters. I loved that pretty much all of them grew and learned so much about themselves, about who they are and what they're meant to be. About what they mean to certain people, the group in a whole, and the whole world. They all came to a resolution with who they are and their destinies, more or less, and I admired the character's individual spiritual journeys.
So yeah, there you have it. I'll patiently await the next and final book now...