Review: The House Of Hades

the house of hadesThis review is not spoiler-free – sorry about that! But hey, it’s book four of a series and BIG THINGS happen in the story so I couldn’t do the book justice without talking about some of the spoilery bits.

Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to sumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.

Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.

Before I get to the main part of this review, I just want to say: How nice of Gaea. How nice of all the hideous beings who have attacked Percy and his friends over the years. They’re always so considerate, setting deadlines when they plan to take over the world!

Is it just me or is that a bit strange? I mean, come on. Isn’t it scarier not knowing when a villain will attack?

Anyway. Sorry about that rant. On to the review!

It’s been eight months since I heard wonderful things about this book and decided to read the series. It’s been five months since I began the series. And now I’m finally caught up! This book is the best installment yet in Heroes of Olympus and now I’m SO EXCITED for The Blood of Olympus in October!

Here are some of my thoughts.

I’m so proud of the characters! They grew up so much!

That was my favorite part of The House of Hades, honestly. They grew up – sometimes literally, as Frank did, but more often emotionally. They developed their powers. They became braver. They stopped dilly-dallying and started taking charge.

Hazel and Frank especially impressed me. I’ve liked them since they were introduced in book two, The Son of Neptune, but I never loved them. They lacked that little something. But Hazel’s storyline has since become darker, and Frank’s warrior-ish-ness finally caught up to him, finally had an effect on him. And it was GREAT.

Percy and Annabeth, on the other hand, traveled through Tartarus. TARTARUS! Poor kids. But I was proud of them, in that weird way that bookworms become proud of fictional characters. This was certainly their biggest and most dangerous adventure.

And then there’s NICO! Good job, Nico. You were brave. You came out. (Yes, that was the spoiler right there.) Sad, hiding Nico just makes me… sad as well.

And speaking of Nico – Jason was there when he told. And he, too, has really grown up and changed. He’s less of a stoic leader and more of a caring guy.

And then Leo became more serious!

There were too many narrators.

This is the only thing I didn’t like about The House of Hades. I guess that Riordan wanted to include all seven demigods of the prophecy, but that was too many. I also felt that it slowed the pacing – in, say, The Lost Hero, I was more likely to keep reading through the boring sections (read: those narrated by Jason or Piper) to reach more cool stuff about Leo.

With this novel, sometimes I ended up rolling my eyes and going, “Ugh. I don’t like the next narrator… or the next… and I’m not incredibly fond of the one after that.”

Also, I think Piper and Jason narrated far few chapters than the other demigods. Not that I mind, of course – zzzz – but it did seem weird. It’s like Riordan tried to include everyone but he then he gave up with a few characters and gave them just a handful of chapters. I don’t get it.

NICO!

I devoted an entire post last October to Nico’s coming-out and how that was a great thing in the world of middle-grade books. So, I don’t want to talk too much about that here. What I do want to say is that I saw little hints dropped all over the place prior to that chapter.

Little comments about Percy, about avoiding Annabeth (because Nico was jealous), about love being difficult and weird. Gosh, it’s right there in the blurb – check the last sentence.

I loved the variety of settings in this book.

Piper, Jason, Leo, Hazel, and Frank (and Nico – but he’s not part of the prophecy) spent the book in Europe. They spent part of the previous book, The Mark of Athena, there as well. But I’m still excited about it because the earlier books, even the Percy Jackson books, characters spent ninety-nine percent of their time in the United States.

Europe was a nice change from that and better yet, allowed Riordan to stage battles between gods/monsters and demigods in actual Ancient Greek and Roman ruins. Instead of, you know, New York City. It’s just not quite the same in modern places.

Percy and Annabeth spent the book in Tartarus, however. And even thought the place is gross and terrifying… it was still kind of cool. It’s a gigantic body at the bottom of the world. Isn’t that cool? Or am I just weird?

-~-

I loved The House of Hades. I began the series so I could read this particular book and I’m happy to say that it was worth it. I think this is Riordan’s darkest, most mature book yet – which means it still has some issues, like fart jokes – but hey, I think he’s building up to a hopefully great conclusion.

I’m so excited for the fifth and final book! Who’s with me on that?

And what did you think of The House of Hades?

Rating: 4/5

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
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24 Responses to Review: The House Of Hades

  1. Cori says:

    Hey, it’s Cori here. (yes, first time I worked up the courage to comment xD)
    I, personally, loved House of Hades a whole lot. I read it like two weeks after it came out, as my sisters had preordered it from Amazon and I had it in my clutches. Nico’s part was one I’ve read over and over again because it just makes me so . . . eee. 😀 The the only thing that frustrated me about Nico’s coming out was that the first I’m read about a LGBTQ+ character who’s finally a kick-butt hero, they’re love story is hopeless. Kinda like my own. But still.
    I also loved how Hazel and Frank turned out. I loved em in Son of Neptune and now this book . . . Awesome people. Annabeth and Percy was, of course, adorable and amazing. I loved how Tartarus was written and those chapters always made me so sad and excited at the same time.
    And Leo, I love Leo and Calypso. That was also a chapter I read over and over.
    And yes, I’m so excited for the final book! Although I’m sad because Riorden said someone ‘won’t survive’. Doesn’t necessarily mean dying, but . . . Anyway, Blood of Olympus should be awesome!

    • nevillegirl says:

      I don’t think Nico will end up with Percy, and… I think I’m OK with that? Honestly I’m more interested in reading about how other people (hello, Annabeth) react to Nico’s coming out in book five. (I hope that will be a thing.)

      I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HOW THE LEO/CALYPSO THING TURNS OUT OMG LEO GREW UP SO MUCH IN THIS BOOK I AM SO PROUD OF HIM I WISH HE WERE MY BROTHER.

      • Cori says:

        Well, I do love Percy and Annabeth as couple, so I don’t personally want Nico to end up with Percy, but . . . I dunno, I was kinda frustrated that his story was so hopeless. *shrugs* Oh yes, I’m curious about that. Hm . . .
        YES YES YES BROTHERS ARE NICE WHEN HE WAS SITTING IN THE CAFE AND HE WAS SO QUIET AND HE WAS DRINKING COFFEE- HE DOESN’T EVEN LIKE COFFEE! AND MY HEART WAS JUST BREAKING OKAY

    • nevillegirl says:

      I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE LEO FEELS BUT: I HAVE LEO FEELS.

  2. Strix Spell says:

    Oh my gosh! I cannot wait! Have you seen the new cover? I believe they also released a chapter!

    • nevillegirl says:

      I have seen the new cover, and I love it! It’s much more colorful than I expected, though – I thought it would be gray and black, similar to the last PJO book. But I have not read the chapter yet and I don’t plan to. I don’t want to spoil anything for myself!

  3. I read it and I’m like, RICK RIORDAN WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO US?
    I ship Percico like a crazy person now.
    I have this strong feeling Leo and Nico are gonna die. Just ’cause Riordan’s a crazy person who enjoys messing with our minds. DON’T KILL THEM! DON’T KILL THEM!
    Hehe. Who do you think is gonna die? WIth the prophecy, and the whole ‘to storm or fire the world must fall, an oath to keep with final breath’ thing?

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yes to Percico! Also I like Frank/Hazel as a couple so much more in this book than in the previous novels.

      I think there are a lot of either/or situations here. Either [insert character] dies, or [insert other character] dies. So, either: Leo/Frank, Leo/Jason, Jason/Percy, and Hazel/Nico.

      For example, if Leo dies then I don’t think Frank will. Similarly, Jason wouldn’t. But because Jason doesn’t die, Percy might. And I feel like it would be extremely fitting if a child of the god of death… well… dies.
      Of course, I might be completely wrong. I probably am, because even with the prophecy, Riordan is known for pulling characters out of dire situations at the last possible moment. Also, I love George R.R. Martin’s books too much and have come to expect ALL THE DEATHS.
      …which is probably not very realistic for a children’s book.

    • nevillegirl says:

      I know, right? It’ll probably end then for real… I can’t see how he’d work Percy into the new Norse myths series.

  4. Erin says:

    I actually didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. I don’t know…it felt too much like Riordan’s other books for me. That said, I did really like the character development (though Jason is still just…gah! What a stupid kid. Especially when he couldn’t figure out that Nico had a crush on Percy. Hello! It was totally obvious and Jason STILL couldn’t get it! Geez).

    I don’t really have issue with Nico’s “coming out” (I hope Riordan goes into more depth with this. Does Nico actually identify as gay? Or is he bi? I’m interested to learn more). However, I just don’t want this to create ANOTHER love triangle. We’ve had enough of those! And plus, we all know that Percabeth is going to be canon in the end, so adding in a love triangle would be kind of pointless.

    All that said, I am extremely excited for the next book! I’m hoping Riordan throws in some crazy plot twists (and kills off Jason…just kidding…not really…).

    • nevillegirl says:

      Hmm. It’s true, Jason didn’t figure it out immediately, but I do love how he handles that afterward. He was very nice.

      Same here! I would like to know some more specifics about his identity. (Or – although I doubt Riordan will write about this because Nico is such a minor character – maybe he’s bi but would only be shown being interested in guys. Too many people think being bi means that eventually you’ll end up with someone of the opposite gender. 😦 )

      I like Jason more than I did before and yet if anyone has to die I still don’t think he’s interesting enough to deserve to make it through The Blood of Olympus. (Actually I dislike Piper the most but there aren’t any prophecy-things about her death so I don’t think it’s going to happen.)

      • Erin says:

        I too dislike Piper. If I had to pick a character for Riordan to kill off, it would be Jason or Piper (or Nico…I haven’t been a fan of him since the minute he was introduced, but I will admit that I grew to like him a little bit in House of Hades, mostly because of how brotherly he acts toward Hazel. Sibling love in books is the cutest).

    • nevillegirl says:

      Sibling love IS the cutest. 😀 I’ll admit that when Hazel was first introduced I disliked her because… I guess I thought that was rude to Bianca? I’m still frustrated about Bianca being killed off so quickly. Buuuuut Hazel and Nico are adorable so I don’t mind now.

      • Erin says:

        Same! I thought Bianca’s death felt really rushed. Plus, that’s kind of what turned Nico into such a brooding kid, so…yeah. I’ve never been happy that Bianca died. However, I think bring Hazel into the story was a good idea. Now Nico can have a sister again. *cries*

  5. Pingback: Quarterly Rewind, Spring 2014 – Much Ado About “Game Of Thrones,” College, And Being Queer | Musings From Neville's Navel

  6. Pingback: Book Review: “The House of Hades” | The Cheap Reader

  7. IZZY DID YOU KNOW NICO AND REYNA WILL APPARENTLY BOTH HAVE PARTS IN BLOOD OF OLYMPUS EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
    I’m sorry I’m screaming but I’m rEALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS

  8. Also, I do have to admit, I’m not actually a shipper of Percico or Calypso/Leo. Mainly because Jasico is the cutest thing ever invented and Calypso was basically just a prize to be won for Leo, which was really annoying.
    does anyone else ship reyna/annabeth please help me i can’t handle these feelings

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ahaha, Jasico IS pretty cute, but… Idk man, I think Percy and Nico have more chemistry since they’ve known one another longer. But that’s just my two cents.

      Hmmm. I might be biased because I really really like Calypso. Like, on her own. But now that you mention it, she does seem like a prize…

      I SHIP REYNA AND ANNABETH TO INFINITY AND BEYOND OK

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