Another Rick Riordan book done. I am really enjoying the books, which is a relief because I was feeling hesitant during the first two books and even part way into the third book. The House of Hades is the fourth book in Rick Riordan’s young adult series, The Heroes of Olympus.
In The House of Hades, Percy and Annabeth are desperately trying to get to the Doors of Death from within Tartarus. They are facing numerous threats since most of the beings within Tartarus are monsters, or otherwise evil, and would love nothing more than to kill a pair of demigods. Fortunately, they get some help along the way from some good “monsters” who’d much rather not see Gaea, the evil Earth Goddess, rise and destroy the world.
In the mean time, the rest of the demigods on the quest, including Jason, Piper, Nico, Hazel, Frank and Leo, along with the satyr, Coach Hedge, have to face their own challenges. Leo gets lost and has to find his way back to the group and Nico has to face a deep secret of his. The challenges that they face bring all of them closer together while they try to reach the mortal side of the Doors of Death to that they can be closed.
** Spoilers **
Nico’s big secret is that he is gay and has liked Percy for years. It’s awesome that Rick Riordan is trying to include a gay character because diversity rocks. In addition, Nico’s always had trouble trusting people and feeling shut out and I think that having Jason know his secret could be a game changer for him because he might eventually feel secure enough in that friendship to come out to a few more friends and be happier because he’ll know he has friends who care about him and support him. I really hope that Rick Riordan won’t just drop this and that there will be some kind of positive conclusion regarding it.
One major pointer is that I feel like it is a lot more cohesive. The first two were largely about Jason or Percy having amnesia, which was a little weird for me when I already knew Percy and just wanted to get on with it. In the 3rd book, the Roman and Greek demigods were still trying to find a way to work together well and that took some time to work out. Now, in The House of Hades, all of the kids have *mostly* figured out how to work together.
Another pointer is that I think Rick Riordan has done pretty well with handling a large number of primary characters, especially in terms of telling the story from their point of view. So far, he’s focused on the characters well by having 2 or 3 that he focuses on the most during one novel and then moving to more characters in the next novel. Nico is probably the character that Riordan has focused on the least, but I think that given the new revelation about him then we can expect to lean more coming up to the final instalment.
I’m not sure if there is much else to say about the book that I haven’t mentioned yet in the previous 3 reviews for the series. I’m actually just really excited to read the next book and see how it ends (aside from the fact that they’ll obviously kick Gaea’s butt because it’s a YA novel and Riordan is not going to pull a George R.R. Martin and suddenly knock off and bunch of or even all of the major good characters.
For parents who like to pre-screen books for their kids, I’d say the books are appropriate for children. Maybe don’t give it to an 8 year old, but I am sure it’s fine for a kid who’s around 11 or 12 or so.
Previous book: The Mark of Athena
Next book: The Blood of Olympus
Previous series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Title: The Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Page count: 597
Genre: Fantasy, Young adult, Greek and Roman mythology