Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Publish Date: October 8, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Greek Mythology, Middle Grade
Rating: 5/5 Stars
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.
So. House of Hades. *deep breath* Let's talk. I'm going to do my best to make this as non-spoilery as possible, though I may slip in small comments here and there - so if you haven't read House of Hades, I'd advise not reading this review!
This book shattered my fangirl heart. It also made me ridiculously happy. And sad. And terrified and upset and anxious all at once. That is the effect Riordan's books seem to have on me. (Or maybe it's just Percy Jackson.)
I want to begin by talking about the characters. I would talk about them all, but then we'd be here forever. So I'll just talk about the few highlighted in this specific book.
Percy - Percy's our same old Seaweed Brain, but we get to see a slightly more vulnerable side of him as he and Annabeth struggle to make their way through Tartarus. Despite this, he still remains his usually witty and hilarious self, and also manages to lift Annabeth's waning spirits. Speaking of Annabeth...
Annabeth - She's as strong as she's ever been, and smarter still. Annabeth is one character who just continues to grow and grow and grow. Her relationship with Percy becomes even stronger, and through their experiences in Tartarus their friendship (and romance) develops even more.
Leo - This book has a lot in store for Leo: the good and the bad. I wish I could talk about it a bit more, but I don't want to spoil anything. I will say that it involves a first kiss and a side of Leo we've never seen before. If I had to say who flourished most as a character, it would be between him or Frank.
Hazel - Hazel learns from a goddess in the beginning of the novel (who I will not name for, again, the sake of not spoiling the book) that she will have a large part to play in the final battle, but also in helping Percy and Annabeth get from Tartarus back to the mortal world. She learns how to bend and shape her own powers so much more, and even learns to control the Mist.
Frank - There are many breakthroughs for Frank in House of Hades. He becomes stronger, faster, and more confident. As a new leader (in ways I will not reveal for the sake of those who have not read the book yet), he really becomes more like others his age - Frank is no longer the baby-faced little boy we have been accustomed to for so long.
Characters I didn't mention who went through some serious changes were Nico di Angelo and Jason - even Reyna has a small change of heart. And we can't forget Bob, the best and sweetest Titan anyone has ever met. *spoiler* I was so upset that he didn't get to come with Percy and Annabeth back to the mortal world. He was one of my favorite characters. No joke. *end of spoiler*
The plot was fast-paced, I didn't see any of the twists coming, and I found myself surprised by how well the ending turned out. No cliffhanger. No completely and utterly disheartening last words. It was actually somewhat optimistic, which was definitely different from the previous books (*cough* Mark of Athena).
All in all, I was far from disappointed by Riordan's House of Hades. He's coming to my town on Saturday and I'm so excited to be there! I can't even imagine what it will be like to see - in person - the author of one of the best books I've ever read.