Title: The House of Hades
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus, #4
Release Date: October 8th 2013
The House of Hades is the fourth book in the bestselling Heroes of Olympus series, set in the action-packed world of Percy Jackson.
The stakes have never been higher. If Percy Jackson and Annabeth fail in their quest, there’ll be hell on Earth. Literally.
Wandering the deadly realm of Tartarus, every step leads them further into danger. And, if by some miracle they do make it to the Doors of Death, there’s a legion of bloodthirsty monsters waiting for them.
Meanwhile, Hazel and the crew of the Argo II have a choice: to stop a war or save their friends. Whichever road they take one thing is certain—in the Underworld, evil is inescapable.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
The seven now have the Athena Parthenos, they rescued Nico from Ephialtes and Otis, and are now on their way to the Doors of Death. However they have lost Percy and Annabeth to Tartarus and without the two of them the remaining members of the seven and Nico seem to be left adrift. Without the two of them things seem a lot harder for each of the heroes to face.
Their journey to Greece is a tough one, and with Gaea awakening in a few short weeks, the Romans marching ever closer to Camp Half-Blood, and their need to reach the Doors of Death in time to meet Percy and Annabeth there are a lot of challenges the heroes need to face. However they find help as well, from Hecate in the mountains, from the Kerkopes in Bologna, from Triptolemus and Mars in Venice, and from Cupid in Croatia. Their real challenge remains the Doors of Death, where powerful enemies await for them to stop them reuniting with Annabeth and Percy.
Meanwhile in Tartarus Percy and Annabeth are following the trail of monsters heading towards the Doors of Death. Every enemy they have ever defeated is down there with them, and without something to shield their presence it is unlikely they will get close enough to the Doors of Death to free them from the chains that keep them in one place for the monsters to use at will.
After the cliffhanger ending to The Mark of Athena I couldn’t wait to jump into The House of Hades. Unlike the previous three books where all the POV chapters seemed to carry on the same journey, The House of Hades is split into two stories. We follow Jason, Piper, Leo, Hazel, Frank and Nico on their way to the Doors of Death in Greece, and Percy and Annabeth as they travel through Tartarus and face all the horrors it has to throw at them. The way Rick Riordan wrote these two stories made me desperate to get back to each when a new POV was introduced. No matter what character I was reading I always ended up wanting more from the other story.
Trapped in Tartarus is every demigods worst nightmare, and it’s no different for Percy and Annabeth, but at least they are together and the two of them know they have a better chance of survival together than they ever would have alone. Percy and Annabeth work well as a team with Percy acting as the strength, fighting enemies with his actions, whereas Annabeth uses her words and her brain, after losing her weapon somewhere in the fall to Tartarus.
Both Percy and Annabeth are forced to face their pasts while walking through Tartarus. Every monster they have ever defeated, including the Titans and the giants they have beaten so far, have ended up in Tartarus. While it was the best course of action they could have taken on Earth here in Tartarus, the monsters home ground, they need to face the consequences of their actions which have everyone chasing after them hungry for the taste of their blood.
Nico plays a bigger role in The House of Hades, as Percy was falling into Tartarus he made Nico promise to see the others safely to the Doors of Death, and Nico keeps that promise in this book. He is not comfortable among the other demigods, constantly on the outside of their group and their meetings with one another, but that has always been the way Nico is, his very presence as a child of Hades unnerving them.
However there is another side to Nico we see in this book. He’s hiding a big secret from the world, one that causes him to draw away from everyone who has ever reached out to him, and learning it, especially the way it is revealed, pretty much broke my heart. After everything he has done and been through it is hard to remember Nico is just a fourteen year old kid, who lost his sister and has no other family save Hazel.
After losing two of their team the other members of the seven are lost. Without Percy and Annabeth they seem to be falling apart in small ways. Jason takes over the role of leader, a role they all relied on Annabeth to fill when she was there, but all of them are determined to prove their worth however they can. Hazel in finding a way across the mountains, Frank in gaining Triptolemus’s help, and Piper in proving she is more than her charmspeak. The seven are still a team, but with Percy and Annabeth gone it seems like something functional that made them a real team is missing.
Tartarus is a place that has been mentioned before but that we’ve never really seen, and for good reason. Even seeing Tartarus, where the worst of the worst monsters the seven have faced have ended up, can drive demigods insane. As Percy and Annabeth travel through Tartarus you get small glimpses at the truth behind the place; the truth which terrified Nico so much and which even Percy and Annabeth cannot fully face. Annabeth likens the parts of Tartarus they see to the body parts of the god Tartarus; his throat, his armpit, his feet, all the way to his heart where the Doors of Death have been chained. Everywhere they go there is danger to be faced, monsters are being reformed and there is always something waiting in the shadow to attack.
The House of Hades splits up the seven and shows us what they can do separated from one another. All of them have their own individual strengths and this book is all about them overcoming their doubts and fears and focusing on those strengths. There will be deadly consequences if the remaining seven can’t get to the Doors of Death in time to meet Percy and Annabeth, and that made this story addictive, every chapter ending on a cliffhanger that had me hooked.
What did you think of The House of Hades? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.