- “The House of Hades” by Rick Riordan
- Young Adult Fantasy
- Read a hard copy.
- 5/5 stars
- Finished December 15, 2013
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’m not exactly sure where to start with “House of Hades”. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed with the Heroes of Olympus series. Don’t get me wrong, I love them dearly and it will always be one of my absolutely favorite series, but I always wanted to see the characters grow more. It took me awhile to get through both “Son of Neptune” and “Mark of Athena”. Not sure if it was the length or because I didn’t sit down and commit myself to actually READING but they did take me significantly longer to get through. But “House of Hades”….oh this book.
The first thing that I LOVED about this book was the dedication and Rick Riordan trolling us all. Because really, he did at the end of “Mark of Athena”. But what the others really lacked was some really good character development. The only reason I could see this being was Riordan maybe? possibly? struggling with how to show character development in third person writing, or was slightly unsure. His other books that I’ve read, Percy Jackson series and some of the Kane Chronicles, were all written in the first person and I felt like I had seen substantial character growth in them. It also could be me, but either way, in this book, Riordan has mastered character development. Maybe he wrote the others to kind of just…make us wait for this, but “Son of Neptune” just kind of felt superficial, with no serious growth, and I spent almost all of “The Lost Hero” just wanting to know where Percy was. But with “House of Hades” it was more like character development on every page which was amazing. Seriously amazing.
I have three words to describe my feelings over this book: Nico Fucking Di Angelo. The rest has a big old SPOILER WARNING.
I have ALWAYS loved Nico, and although I was slightly disappointed when Riordan said on Twitter that Nico would never have a POV I understood why. He’s always been such a complex character. He’s had to deal with so much than I think most people realize. He spent his youth in the Lotus Casino, and then when he came out, found himself not just a few years later, but DECADES later. He had to deal with Bianca’s death, and just basically his whole life has been hard. For some reason though, I’ve always had a huge soft spot for him. Being a son of Hades seems really hard, there seems to be a lot of stigma related with that and I can only imagine what that must be like in the Half Blood world. He is just so full of angst, and has been through so so much that I knew he was always going to be one of my favorites. In fact when he came back in Mark of Athena, I screamed slightly because of how much I love him. But his developments in House of Hades probably made the book for me. The scene with him and Jason where his biggest development came to light, I actually had to put the book down because my heart hurt so much for Nico it wasn’t even funny.
I never thought he was in love with Annabeth, they’d be so strange together I knew it couldn’t be true. BUT PERCY? OH MY HEART.
I’m not one to really…”ship” characters to be a sexuality that they aren’t, but finding out that Nico was gay, or bisexual or however he would like to define himself made so much sense for the character. We have to remember the time period he came from, the forties, where that wasn’t nearly close to being accepted. He would have struggled with that for a long time, and as made obvious in the book, still does. He also knows he has no chance, and that is one of the saddest things for me. He already feels ashamed of who he is, and how he was born, but he also knows that he won’t ever end up with the person he loves. SO MUCH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT PEOPLE I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE IT. Seriously though, especially after his conversation with Percy at the end, my heart hurt so bad. He has been through SO much, arguably more than any of the characters in both of the series combined, and he’s just…still fighting. Still alive and never gives up even though it’s obvious he always wants to.
There’s so much more I’d like to say about Nico Motherfucking DiAngelo but I guess I’ll move on. But GAH.
Sadly, most of the characters in this new series have kind of blended in for me. I often get Frank and Leo confused and don’t remember which is Roman and which is Greek, and I still can’t remember to be honest. I know one of them actually fell in love with Circe, but again I can’t remember. They’re just kind of blah characters, as is Piper. I wish Piper was way more of a kick ass female character, where from what I remember she spends a lot of time worrying about Jason. I actually really like Jason, but that’s probably because I LOVE Thalia, and well I tend to get really biased towards characters. Coach Hedge has grown a lot but he’s still so meh for me, I’d rather have a Party Pony in all honesty.
Percy and Annabeth’s story was good, interesting and I learned a lot. That’s part of why I love these books, because I learn so much about mythology, stories I forgot or never knew. It seemed like the Tartarus story was the most seamless instance of including these myths. Sometimes, with the other characters, it seems as if a ton of Myths are just thrown in because. The Tartarus instances was the most seamless part of the story to me. It flowed the best, and was honestly, the most interesting part of the story. The story was clever, yes, but I didn’t find as many laughs as I usually did in Riordan’s books which really is okay.
I make my students read Percy Jackson every year, and this book is the reason why. Riordan’s writings in this book are quite amazing, and the character development on every page is quite amazing and done SO flawlessly. I will always be a massive fan of Riordan’s, seriously, and this book just explained the reason why.
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