Author: Rick Riordan
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Description: 597 pages, Young Adult Fiction
The demigod crew of the Argo II is standing at a crossroads. They 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 on 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 (if they have survived), and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the modern 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.
Six Degrees Of Separation
obstinately, almost losing the already loose grip on my sanity patiently, I was happy enough to have finished reading feeling more than just a little ecstatic—if I dispensed all the feels in that instantaneous moment before I slammed the book shut, I could have summoned a tidal wave that would’ve put Percy Jackson’s to shame. Though the plot itself was reminiscent of the previous, I found myself completely assiduous of adventure regardless, captivated by the beauty of Croatia, the Mediterranean, the Argo II itself, and even (surprise!) Ogygia, Calypso’s island, realizing my apparent inhalation of its content only after it came to a disheartening close. The character development was staggering, and I found myself the least annoyed by their minor skirmishes and disagreements, completely sold to the idea of the seven demigods of prophecy evolving from kids on a suicide mission to the heroes they were meant to become (+ Nico, who’s development was probably the most jaw-droppingly astonishing of all). The book was captivating and irresistible, keeping me on my toes and reading on, long after my eyes began growing tired of burning holes into the pages. Gladly enough, this book did not lack for action and a healthy dose of plot twists that were this time completely uncalled for, thankfully a far cry from my nonessential disappointment.
Hope And Heartbreak
As aforementioned, the characters in this book were unbelievably tenacious. Percy and Annabeth, despite the walk through the merciless pit of death and torment, remained steadfast in their belief that they would find escape, and their chemistry as always, was nothing short of amazing. Bob was one of the most, if not the only adorable Titan in the series (probably was), making the journey through Tartarus twice as enjoyable (assuming you’re not taking this the wrong way). Jason and Piper, both lackluster in the previous books, breathed more life into their characters in this one. I was honestly impressed despite Piper’s useless powers (charm and a horn of plenty. REALLY?!), and the fact that Jason’s only flaw was that he seemed not to have one. Jason acted more like a leader and less like a Bench model, and Piper stopped singing him endless praise. Frank and Hazel on the other hand, remained supportive of each other and useful to the rest of the crew, making rational decisions and standing up for their friends and for themselves, no supplementary hesitation involved. Nico’s ‘big reveal’ was nothing short of unexpected, although I was proud of how he handled change, yet remaining an enigma, just the way I liked him. Most impressive of all however, was the fact that I fell head-over-heels for Leo’s character even more, which was initially impossible, given how my love for him maxed out come The Mark of Athena. This was not the case, however, and one cannot even begin to imagine how happy I was when [insert unforgivable spoiler here]. Suffice it to say, Leo was definitely not just some seventh wheel.
Though many of the action scenes did not seem all that realistic, and could not seem to paint vivid images in my head the way I would have liked them to, and I could hardly take most of the monsters seriously, I still found myself enjoying the carnage, and approving of the compromise through quantity. The book miraculously retained its hilarity despite a sorry amount of chapters in Leo’s POV, and I was grateful for the fact that none of the demigods seemed particularly out of their element despite their growing troubles. This time, I was impressed by the strategic decisions the characters were making, one more formidable than the next. I loved how the subsequent scenes were capricious and unforeseeable, and I found myself appreciating the dexterity and resilience of the demigods even more. Though the monsters weren’t as terrifying as they should have been, the presence of blood was extraordinarily refreshing, coupled with the awe-inspiring fact that Riordan decided to embrace certain social issues many authors wouldn’t have had the balls to address in the first place. And no, I am neither troubled nor bloodthirsty.
Into The Abyss
Overall, The House of Hades was easily one of the better books in the entire Percy Jackson franchise, despite the fact that many seem to think that it did not have much to add to the table. It did, in fact, not quite sticking to the status quo by introducing surprising plot twists, and giving the characters a better chance to fully mature and develop. Though the action remained insufficient with gullible monsters and strange dialogue out of place during battle, the action scenes by the end of the book were thrilling and satisfactory. Despite the fact that I’m back to waiting an entire year for the final book in this impressive installment, there is much delight and vindication in claiming this book an amazing read, one that will appeal to lovers of Greek myth and total ownage alike.