Summary: Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.
Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.
Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.
Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.
Review: Oh. My. God. This book was intense. We start where the last book left off; with Percy and Annabeth falling into Tartarus. If you’ve read any of Riordan’s books, you know he uses a lot of humor to lighten the mood, even during serious scenes. While there was still a bit of that, the scenes with Percy and Annabeth were a lot darker than usual. Not surprising since they’re in Hell, but it definitely made for a more serious read.
Percy and Annabeth continue to be my favorite characters, especially now that I’ve seen them go through all the terrible things Tartarus put them through. This is why I love their relationship so much. No matter what they’re there for each other when it counts and you see that so clearly in this book. They’re in pain, starving, being hunted by all the monsters they’ve killed and they still support each other. I really enjoyed seeing a darker side to these characters as well. They didn’t suddenly turn into villians but there’s things they’re willing to do to get out of Tartarus that they never would have contemplated before. This especially is where we see them supporting each other, as they sort of pull each other back from the edge.
I won’t say too much more about the Tartarus stuff because I don’t want to give anything away but these scenes did make me cry multiple times.
The rest of the story continued along the same lines as the previous books; the rest of the demigods are questing and fighting monsters in order to reach the Doors of Death and try to save Annabeth and Percy.
Since there are a lot of characters and I don’t want to make this too long, I’ll try to do a quick overview of each one.
I continue to find Jason underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a bad character. He’s kind and always tries to do his best for the group but he never really does anything particularly amazing. Everyone else has a moment where they save the group with their individual talents and Jason doesn’t get that. Especially for a Son of Jupiter, I found it a little disappointing.
Piper exceeded my expectations in this book. I talked about my thoughts on her in my review of The Mark of Athena. The little disappointments I had over her were erased during this book. It felt like she finally stepped up so she could try to be as useful on the quest as possible. I really enjoyed her character development.
Hazel was really impressive in this book. After the loss of Percy and Annabeth, the group was kind of lost for a bit without a leader and Hazel really stepped up to try to fill this role. It seemed like she finally embraced all her powers and it was nice to see her stop fighting that part of her.
Frank was amazing. Like Hazel, he’s been fighting the part of himself that is a Son of Mars. He never wanted the war god to claim him and has always sort of resented it. He finally acknowledges it and changes a lot in the process (a serious growth spurt included). I found Frank’s journey a little bittersweet. He’s come into his powers but even he knows he’ll never fully be the same as he was and I thought that was a little sad.
I found Leo’s story a little sad as well and really hope to see it resolved in the next book. I won’t say much more about this one but there may be some romance in Leo’s future.
Nico was an extremely interesting character. He’s always slightly on the outside of groups like this. A lot of that is his own doing and partly it’s because he’s a Son of Hades and even demigods tend to be a little reluctant around them. He’s so sad all the time and I just want to hug him and tell him it’ll be okay.
Overall I absolutely loved this book. It had some of everything and I recommend it to anyone who like fantasy and mythology. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!