November 5, 2013

The House of Hades - Rick Riordan

[This is the fourth book in The Heroes of Olympus series, so there may be minor spoilers for the previous books in this review. If you haven't started this series, but are interested in doing so, you can check out my The Lost Hero review. Otherwise, you can check out my The Son of Neptune review or The Mark of Athena review.]

The House of Hades - Rick Riordan
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #4
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

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. (from Goodreads)

No matter how many Rick Riordan books I've read, I still cannot pinpoint what it is about his writing that is so magical. The House of Hades is yet another incredible addition to The Heroes of Olympus, complete with characters familiar and new, and epic adventures. It takes the seven demigods that we've fallen in love with in the first three books - Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Leo, Frank & Hazel - and tells more of their story, all in line with the great prophecy, and it is so good.

At the end of The Mark of Athena, the group gets split when Annabeth and Percy fall into Tartarus. With that cliffhanger, I had high expectations for this installment and those expectations were met and completely surpassed. The story breaks off into two veins, one set in Tartarus and one in the world above. I didn't prefer one over the other, mostly because Riordan's storytelling is just that good

Annabeth and Percy's journey through Tartarus to the Doors of Death is an incredibly emotional journey. They are faced with terror after terror, with only a few good things thrown into their path. What their story really demonstrates is the strength of their relationship, and their feelings for one another. I adored reading about how much Percy and Annabeth loved each other, as it gave me warm and fuzzy feelings in spite of all they faced. I could not give up the hope that they would survive, mostly because such wonderful people deserve the right happy ending.

As for the others, their adventures in search of artifacts and gods and landmarks keep them moving from place to place. Each person on the Argo II - including Nico, who had joined them in the last book - experiences something over the course of their journey that completely changes them. Riordan wove each person's adventure so naturally into the tapestry of this entire series that it flowed effortlessly from one to the next. I loved that each of the characters got a chance to shine, which was a strong decision on Riordan's part.

What I love most about this book is that it gave me so many feelings. Riordan has really grown as a writer, and he's writing these stories about these characters that make me go from hopeful to sad to angry in an instant. I love that he's able to tap into my emotions so easily, which probably has a lot to do with how he's written all these incredible characters. It's easy to love them once you get to know them, and Riordan takes full advantage of that fact.

As The House of Hades drew to a close, I felt a sense of satisfaction mingling with dread in my stomach. The state of things might be a bit peaceful, but there's certainly a bigger battle brewing with the Earth Mother. I'm dying to find out how Riordan is going to bring everything to a head -- and how it will all be resolved. I've learned that I can never quite predict how things are going to go in his books, so I'm content to just wait and enjoy the ride when I can. 

If you're wondering, I obviously recommend The House of Hades. It's such a smart, strong addition to this series, with introductions to new gods and reasons to love the demigods we know even more. If you haven't tried any of Riordan's books, particularly this series, I really think you're missing out and highly suggest you remedy that right away.


  1. I'm really excited for this book! The cliffhanger in The Mark of Athena left me happy that I didn't read that book when it initially came out and therefore didn't haven't to wait a whole year to find out what would happen! I'm really nervous about the Tartarus scenes with Percy and Annabeth - I just want them to be happy and safe and not facing terrors!

    It's great to hear that this is yet another great addition to the series! :D


    The past month of October was full of House-of-Hades-frenzy, many of my friends ran out to get the book at its midnight release even though we still had exams the next day. They've been trying to get me to read this series since forever and I really must get to it! I kind of skimped through your review since I don't want to be spoiled but ugh the story sound so exciting and amazing and squeee!!

    Hopefully I'll be done with both series before Blood of Olympus is out! =) Thank you for the awesome review!

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  3. This book has a great way of telling the story of all the characters at the same time while show what is happening for each one with all their struggles.
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