Book Review: House of Hades, by Rick Riordan

house_of_hades_coverThe last book in the Heroes of Olympus series ended with a real cliffhanger. Actually, Percy and Annabeth were falling off a cliff into the depths of Tartarus. Rick Riordan’s dedication sums it up perfectly:

To my wonderful readers: Sorry about that last cliff-hanger. Well, no, not really. HAHAHAHA. But seriously, I love you guys.

I was so excited that I finished it the day it was released. I wouldn’t go so far to say the wait was completely worth it, because I still wished it was available as soon as I finished Mark of Athena, but such is life if you don’t wait for an author to finish a series before you start reading.

The chapters interchange between adventures on the Argo II and the terrors of Tartarus Percy and Annabeth must endure. The characters have a deeper relationship with each other and begin to act more like a team. The prophecy is almost complete, though I anticipate some twist at the end like in the first series. All of the seven half-bloods have their perspective in this book (Percy and Annabeth have the most chapters), and major changes are happening to them.

First of all, Hazel embraces The Mist, the magical force that make things appear to be what there’re not. Frank makes Mars proud, growing and discovering his own importance. Leo has his tool belt stolen, catches his clothes on fire, and might just find a love interest. Jason is questioning his Roman heritage, after seeing Camp Half-Blood and feeling more at home there than he ever did at Camp Jupiter. Piper confronts some old enemies and charmspeaks machinery. Nico, though not one of the seven or has any chapters from his perspective, is probably one of the characters we get to understand the most after he faces a god.

As for the couple in Tartarus, their time there is very bleak. If they thought they knew the hard life of a half-blood, it can always get worse. Drinking lava water to survive is the least of their worries. Can monsters even be killed in Tartarus? There are some funny moments there; Percy and Annabeth make such a cute couple.  And, after several books of suspense, Percy’s sword can actually work as a pen. Very helpful tool when you are stuck in a place where monsters reform and even the gods never visit!

What I loved was the incorporation of old characters from the first series, as well as a major role of someone in the demi-god files. Some old monsters are back swearing revenge on Percy (Somehow they are never happy being vaporized for some reason) as well as new immortal enemies. Meanwhile, campers from Camp Jupiter arrive at Camp Half-Blood. Will a battle arise? Who, if anyone, will sacrifice their lives?

House of Hades is building up for the big finale. The ending in this book doesn’t have a cliff hanger aspect, but still, why does it have to be so long for the next one? Begin countdown for Blood of Olympus.

-Nicole G., 10th grade

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