The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Summary: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, 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
Going into the Heroes of Olympus series, I wondered if it would ever be able to live up to the wonderful Percy Jackson series. My fear was solidified after reading the first two books in this new spin-off series, both of which were a bit mediocre. However, my opinion towards the series changed completely once I finished the heart-breaking Mark of Athena, and it appears that the series just keeps on getting better because The House of Hades is every bit action-packed and full of twists and turns as anything Rick Riordan has ever written before.
At the end of The Mark of Athena, Percy and Annabeth fall into Tartarus, the darkest part of the Underworld, where they plan to journey to close the Doors of Death. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew on the Argo II must obscure their grief for their lost friends and to close the Doors from the mortal side. But there’s no going back – because if their plan fails, Gaea will wake and destroy the world as they know it…
What makes The House of Hades so successful is the huge amount of character growth the characters go through. None of the characters are the same as they were at the beginning of the series, and I have really enjoyed watching them all mature and come into their own.
- Hazel goes from being a simple daughter of Pluto to being a powerful controller of the Mist, and you can see the impact that has on her personality.
- Frank goes from being clumsy to really embracing his role as the son of the god of war.
- Jason learns to really accept his past and his destiny as son of Jupiter.
- Piper goes from being a shy tomboy to really coming into her own and becoming a power to reckon with with dangerous charmspeak and skilled swordfighting abilities.
Most notably, however, is the development in the character of Nico di Angelo, son of Hades.
Then there was Nico di Angelo. Dang, that kid gave Leo the freaky-deakies. He sat back in his leather aviator jacket, his black T-shirt and jeans, that wicked silver skull ring on his finger, and the Stygian sword at his side. His tufts of black hair struck up in curls like baby bat wings. His eyes were sad and kind of empty, as if he’d stared into the depths of Tartarus—which he had.Leo, taking about Nico
I can’t talk much about his character development for spoiler reasons, but wow. Just wow. Everything he has gone through has shaped him into such a complex and difficult to interpret character, and the revelations made here about him and the way he follows through on his responsibilities as son of Hades just shows how much he has matured and grown since he was first introduced.
And, of course, there’s Percabeth, whose relationship is, as predicted, absolutely pheonominal.
Annabeth’s voice caught on the word friend. Percy was a lot more than that. Even boyfriend really didn’t cover it. They’d been through so much together, at this point Percy was part of her – a sometimes annoying part, sure, but definitely a part she could not live without.
A wonderful continuation of a wonderful series, and I am anxious to see how everything will end.
Tell the sun and stars hello for me.