Book Review: House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Posted December 11, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: House of Hades by Rick Riordan

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Series: Heroes of Olympus, #4, #4
Genres: Children's Book, Urban Fantasy
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 8, 2013
Pages: 597
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library


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.

Also by this author: The Hidden Oracle, The Titan's Curse, The Sword of Summer, The Hammer of Thor, The Ship of the Dead, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian, The Dark Prophecy

Fourth in the Heroes of Olympus urban fantasy series for children. This one is on a cruise around the Mediterranean, and in and out of history.

My Take
I do like how Riordan uses Greek and Roman myths, and I greatly appreciate that he doesn’t distort them as do so many, including Disney.

It’s a fun combination of the mythology with modern day kids.

Interesting possibilities in this. Percy wants to settle down with Annabeth in Camp Jupiter while Jason is dreaming of Camp Half-Blood.

I’m perverse. I love Octavian’s accoutrements. I hate his character, but when Riordan mentions the animals he sacrifices, well, I can’t help but crack up! I love what Leo insists the Kerkopes do. It’s too, too funny. It would have been even better if Riordan had slid a few details in…hint, hint… The scene with the last minute save? Yes!

A somewhat scary look at friendship. And an almost scarier look at the gods. Especially when their Greek-Roman counterparts are battling it out in your head.

There are rites of passage for Hazel, Leo, Jason, Nico, and Frank in this one, in which they’ll have to prove themselves. But all of them suffer bad dreams and even worse adventures. I did enjoy Leo’s dreams of a machine shop. Oh, LOL, Annabeth’s jibes at Nyx are too funny. Nice use of psychology in her and Percy’s confrontations, seems everyone wants to be the best. No matter what that might be.

Cool! Those food sacrifices burned for the gods? Yup, they’ve very useful.

Oh, it makes me want to cry, when Percy tells the stars hello for Bob.

The Story
A horrific journey through Tartarus, slaying and fleeing monsters and giants and vampires, oh my!

The Characters
Our 7 Heroes (& Public Enemies 1-7 at Camp Jupiter)
Percy Jackson, a demigod son of Poseidon with a sword named Riptide, and Annabeth Chase, a daughter of Athena, fell into Tartarus in Mark of Athena, 3.

Nico di Angelo, a conflicted and angry demigod of another era, is Hazel Levesque‘s resurrected half-brother, who had rescued her from the Underworld. Both are children of Pluto. Hazel’s gift is pulling metal from the earth, and she must learn to wield her magic. Her original body died in Alaska in 1942. Now she’s with Frank Zhang, a shapeshifter son of Mars who can shift into whatever he can imagine. Arion is Hazel’s magical horse.

Leo Valdez is a son of Hephaestus, Sammy’s grandson, and loves to tinker, especially with the Archimedes sphere. He’s done quite a bit to “enhance” the Argo II.

The unconventional Jason Grace, a son of Jupiter, was a praetor back at Camp Jupiter, who is about to add horses to his skills list. Piper McLean is a daughter of Aphrodite with the dagger, Katoptris, and a cornucopia of more weapons: muffins, buns, bananas, anything food as well as her charmspeak. Her father is Tristan McLean, an A-list movie star.

Coach Gleeson Hedge, a satyr, is their counselor-chaperone, and he’s hanging with Mellie, a cloud nymph.

Festus is the bronze dragon whom Leo captured, repaired, and then improved with wings in Lost Hero, 1. Now he’s the figurehead for the Argo II.

Camp Half-Blood
Rachel Elizabeth Dare is their human oracle. Grover Underwood, a satyr, is a leader of the Council of Cloven Elders. Ella is a harpy who has memorized the Sibylline Books, and she’s dating Tyson, the Cyclops. Clarisse LaRue of Ares Cabin is still bossing people around. Chiron the centaur is dressed for war.

Camp Jupiter
Reyna Avila Ramírez-Arellano is the praetor of New Rome; Aurum and Argentum are her metal dogs while Scipio is her loyal pegasus. Octavian is their augur, always clamoring for war. Dakota, Nathan, Leila, and Marcus are part of the army descending upon Camp Half-Blood.

The gods
Poseidon/Neptune is the god of the sea; Hades/Pluto is the god of the Underworld, and Thanatos, the god of death, is his servant; Persephone/Proserpine was Demeter’s daughter who fell in love with Pluto; Hecate, a daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria, is the goddess of magic and crossroads who helped Marie Levesque (Hazel’s mother) summon Pluto; Gale is the polecat transformed from a nasty witch; Hecate’s black Labrador is Hecuba, a former queen of Troy; Ares/Mars is the god of war; Athena/Minerva is the goddess of wisdom; Demeter/Ceres is the goddess of plants; Aphrodite/Venus rules through emotions with the oldest of power of the Olympians; Favonius is the god of the West Wind, and Eros/Cupid is his master; Psyche is Cupid’s wife; Lord Auster is the Roman god of the South Wind; Notus is the Greek version with a test for Jason.

Akmon and Passalos are the demon monkey dwarfs, who enjoy pranks and thievery. They claim to be Kerkopes but I’m not sure if this is a last name or what they are. They’ll steal the zipper right off your pants! Triptolemus was once a human, and now he’s the god of farming. The forgotten Calypso is Leo’s challenge; her father is the Titan Atlas.

Sciron is another son of Poseidon with larceny in his heart, and he provides Hazel with a testing ground. He’s bright in some ways, not so much in others.

Iapetus, a.k.a., Bob the Titan, was the lord of the west, and was blasted by water from the River Lethe in The Son of Neptune, 2. Small Bob is a skeletal kitten from the Smithsonian adventure. Hyperion, the lord of the east; Koios (Leto is his daughter); Kronos; and, Krios are Bob’s brothers. Ouranos was their father, and Gaea their mother.

Pasiphaë is a hazard, a sorceress, who must be overcome at the Doors of Death. Minos, king of Crete and son of Zeus, was her husband. Damasen is a peaceful giant, a son of Gaea and Tartarus, who can cure poisons, and he’s been exiled to Tartarus for it.

Gaea is the Earth Mother waking and planning to destroy the Earth. Arachne is a weaver turned into a spider by Athena. Serephone and Kelli are empousai, vampires. Khione, a snow goddess, and her brother Boreads, the incredibly stupid Cal and Zethes, the really disgusting geeky one who thinks he’s the gods’ gift to women. Their father is Boreas, god of the North Wind. Lord Clytius is a giant. Akhlys is the goddess of misery and poisons. Nyx is the goddess of Night. Geryon is one of the many enemies of Percy. Polybotes is an evil giant.

In Mark of Athena, the heroes found the Athena Parthenos, a magical statue.

Demigods are the offspring of a union between a god and a human. Camp Jupiter is the home of families of Roman demigods; Camp Half-Blood is the Greek demigods, but more of a summer camp. Tartarus is a hell dimension in the Underworld built of this Titan’s body.

The Cover
The cover is a fiery backdrop in Tartarus with an exhausted Percy and Annabeth struggling to escape the mist chasing them as they stagger to the Doors of Death.

The title is where most of the story is focused: Percy and Annabeth struggling to survive, and the rest struggling to find The House of Hades.

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