The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus)

Synopsis:

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 from 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.


The Phoenix’s Perspective

Even though the previous book was published a little over a year ago, The House of Hades makes the reader feel like that year didn’t exist. The story picks up right where The Mark of Athena left off. Riordan has managed to connect the books in such a way that the first chapter of House of Hades could have been the next chapter in The Mark of Athena.

I find that often books make sure to draw us into the story so as to blind us to the fact that the characters are superficially developed. Written in chapters with alternating points of view, Riordan allows the reader to actually see each character down to the core. In this installment of the series, we are exposed to the secret hopes and fears of every character within the story form the heroes to the villains. Each character has their own little story to tell and Riordan has made that happen without making the book feel drawn out and boring.

At the end of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy have jumped into a pit that will lead them straight to the Underworld while the rest of the of the group is left trying to figure out how they will help the two heroes in their quest. From visions to whispering voices to magic that allows messages to be shared, Riordan has found ways to keep the two separate groups connected throughout the story even though they are worlds apart. It may seem like a small thing to some, but without those connectors the book would seem like two different stories being told separately instead of one story with two main events.

Without divulging any part of the story, I think it is safe to say that Rick Riordan fans (and anyone else who picks up the book) will not be disappointed. All of the characters (old and new) become more than just a part of the story. They become something like cogs in a machine.  We find, just as they do, that there is no sideline – every person has been given a role in this quest and they must learn not only how to play that part but also to trust that the others learned how to play theirs.


Would I add it to the library?

Yes! I would gladly put it next to the first three books in the series and anxiously await the next installment (Blood of Olympus – October 2014).

Genre: Fantasy
ISBN: 9781423146773
Rating:  good

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