Will contain SPOILERS if you haven’t read PJO, or the previous books in HoO. You have been warned…
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: October 8th 2013
Length: 583 pages (Hardcover)
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #4
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say that Rick Riordan’s very literal cliff-hanger at the end of The Mark of Athena, was a real soul-crusher. You can probably smell the despair on my review of that damn book, and I only had to wait about two months to get answers. I can’t imagine how it must’ve been for you who have been anticipating the release of this book for a year (or maybe I can, I watch Sherlock after all…).
To say the least, I was really excited when The House of Hades finally materialized in my mailbox. Since I had managed to stay away from the internet during the week I had to wait for my copy to arrive (I was terrified of spoilers!), I didn’t know much about anything. I wasn’t completely sure how the story would be told, how many PoVs we would get, if we would even see Percy and Annabeth at all, and well…it was quite frightening. I mean, imagine it being like The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune, where we had no idea what the other team was up to! *Shudders at the thought*
Thankfully, though, I soon realised that: 1. there are more PoVs in this book than in any other in the series, and 2. the book is pretty equally split between Tartarus and the Argo II.
I have to say that I usually don’t like it when there are too many PoVs (too much to keep track on), but in this one, I really didn’t mind it. Riordan handled the whole thing beautifully, and after all, it only meant that I would get more of all the characters I have grown so attached to these last three books. ;) Percy, Annabeth, Hazel and Leo are still my favourites, no doubt (love Hazel and Leo’s friendship by the way), but I actually enjoyed Jason’s and Piper’s parts more than I thought I would. :) They’re growing on me, though, their relationship is still very meh to me.
When it comes to the two different main settings of the book, let’s start with my favourite: Tartarus. It was so awesome to finally have the mystery of Tartarus unveiled. Ever since PJO, it has existed there in the outline of the story, dark and terrifying, but we’ve never really gotten to know exactly what it is, or what it’s like. Now we have, and let’s just say that I would not want to ever visit there. I was so scared for Percy and Annabeth’s sakes like 98% of the time, and those other 2%, I was terrified that things would go to hell again. Oh the intensity…
“Wow. When he started looking back on the war with Kronos as the good old days – that was sad.”
…but back to Percy and Annabeth….oh my Percabeth. They were so incredible in this book, trying to stay strong for each other, protecting each other….I just :’). They’ve been through so much, but never stop moving forward.
I just loved how Percy kept cracking jokes to cheer Annabeth up, and I loved how she knew it….gaah, they’re so adorable!
“Please don’t make me laugh,” she said.
“Just trying to keep things light.”
“Thanks,” she grunted, nearly missing the ledge with her bad foot. “I’ll have a smile on my face as I plummet to my death.”
*pulls oneself together*
Okay, now to the gang aboard the Argo II. Though it’s not exactly Tartarus, their journey is full of danger and challenges as well. They’re kind of lost with Percy and Annabeth gone, and they have to struggle to find a way to function without them.
While I definitely liked being with Percy and Annabeth more, I still really enjoyed this part of the book as well. Not a dull moment as far as the eye can see. :)
But what about the famous Riordan-esque humour we’re so accustomed to?!? Fear not readers! Even though this is definitely darker than PJO, we still get our fair share of that comic relief we all know and love. ;) Plus, let’s not forget about the mythology! There are some “new” gods and monsters running about, and you absolutely do not want to miss them! You’d think Rick would’ve run out of mythology by now, but no, no, no. The stories and adventures are as exciting as ever!
So, a few last words on The House of Hades: the pace was nice, the change of PoV ran smoothly, the story was exciting, it was funny, and the characters were so great, even though I hope we get to see more of Grover, Rachel and Mrs. O’leary in the conclusion of the series. ;)
If you have come this far in the series, you obviously must like it, and then my only advise to you is to get your ass off whatever you’re sitting on, and freaking read this book!
”Percy was a child of Poseidon’s better nature—powerful, but gentle and helpful, the kind of sea that sped ships safely to distant lands.”
”I appreciate the offer,” he said. “But my mom told me not to accept curses from strangers.”
”Percy began to realize that every battle he’d ever won had only been a temporary victory. No matter how strong or lucky he was, no matter how many monsters he destroyed, Percy would eventually fail. He was only one mortal. He would get too old, too weak, or too slow. He would die. And these monsters…they lasted forever.”