Book Review: “The House of Hades” by Rick Riordan

So far, this is my favorite book out of the Heroes of Olympus series. It’s nearly 600 pages long, and it’s got everything: battles, heartbreak, jokes, and gut-wrenching loss. I was correct when I predicted last week that at least two heroes would fall in this book – but I’m not going to tell you who they were, of course.

This book was published back in 2013, which means I’m eight years late on it (the last book was published in 2014), and yet it’s strange – I have never heard a single spoiler for this entire series. Maybe I don’t hang around the right people (aka, middle/high school aged kids). But it’s even more obvious to me at the end of this book that Riordan’s audience that grew up with the original Percy Jackson is now seeing their childhood heroes growing up as well. This is a dark book.

You’ve got two storylines in this book: Annabeth and Percy in Tartarus, where they fell at the end of The Mark of Athena, and the rest of the crew (Leo, Piper, Hazel, Frank, and Jason, along with our loveable Coach Hedge) piloting the Aegon II across the sea towards Greece. While Tartarus would appear to be the more awful out of the two choices, by the end of the book I’m not sure if the Other Five didn’t have a similar experience. Sure, they never had to drink from a river full of fire, but every single second of their journey, something new attacks them. It sort of starts to drag after a while.

Because yet again, there is not a single instance of slowing down in this book. Every single page, every single chapter, has something incredible going on. I will say that a few of the battles that should have taken much longer seem to be over much sooner than they should have been, but I suppose that if you give every single battle the attention to detail it probably deserves, you’ll be sitting and reading a much longer book. (And I mean, The Lord of the Rings didn’t exactly drone on and on about battles, either. I realized that while re-reading it this year. Get to the point, say the important stuff, and move on.)

Is the book perfect? Not quite. I’d give it a 4.5/5 star rating, because it seems like Riordan throws some things into our heroes’ paths just because he can’t think of where to take them next. Hm, lost in Venice? Let’s get some bloodthirsty cows in there. Bring back the Ice Queen. Bring back the Isolated Girl. Bring them all back, and try to cram every single Greek/Roman myth into one book. I’m even more grateful for the glossary at the end, because I can’t keep all of these names/places/legends straight. I should probably go find myself a book of Roman mythology.

We’ve got one book left until the end – what do you think will happen? Who lives, who dies, who tells the story of Seaweed Brain and his pals? Let me know in the comments!

And as always, keep reading.

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