Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Review: The House of Hades

The House of Hades
by  Rick Riordan
Date Read: 11/18/2013
Rating: ★

Beware, there are quite a few spoilers in this review.  So please look for the red spoiler tags if you don't want anything spoiled.

I always love Percy Jackson books. I love Greek mythology. I love the characters in these books. Annabeth and Percy are by far my favorite, but I actually grew to love some of the characters in this book more. Leo is probably my next favorite. But I also found myself liking Frank more in this book and even Jason. It’s just so hard to attach to new characters when there are so many different points of view. It’s always hard for me to tell Hazel and Piper apart. They aren’t different enough for me to separate them in my brain.

Ok, this was a long book. Of course a lot happened, but I almost feel like it could have happened quicker if we didn’t have all these different POVs. There was at least 1 chapter from all 7 characters POVS. Really?! Nothing really repeated itself except when the characters were separated. Then we had to know what was happening to each during that time – so I guess you can say that time was repeated. But there was a lot of character development in this book which was needed!!

I thought the parts in Tartarus with Annabeth and Percy were my favorite. The descriptions were pretty vivid and it was interesting watching them try to survive in Tartarus while there are thousands of monsters trying to make it back into the mortal world. But I liked that they stuck together and tackled everything as a team – not wanting to split up again. [SPOILER:  Bob was my favorite! I loved him. He actually reminded me of Tyson a little in how he spoke and his personality. He was a really sympathetic character and I loved that he still chose to be good even when he got his memory back! I hope he didn’t end up dying in Tartarus! I’m hoping that Riordan was focusing so much on their “sacrifice” that that means it is supposed to be a shock when he’s not dead! But I’m also wondering what is going to happen because there were some points where Percy seemed to go overboard toward the dark side and Annabeth was scared of him – like with the poison water. Is this going to come into play in the last book? If it doesn’t come in to play, it seems worthless to me. ]

Leo’s adventure was another one of my favorite parts. I love how he builds things and works things out and always makes the best of a bad situation. He’s also almost as funny as Percy. But while Percy is more smart-alecky funny, Leo is a jokster. [SPOILER:   I am so happy that he fell in love with Calypso! I always felt bad for her in the first series when she met Percy – but you couldn’t feel bad because Percy is supposed to be with Annabeth. And I always felt bad for Leo not getting Hazel. But this relationship with Calypso I really like. And it didn’t start with an attraction. Calypso didn’t like him at all. She just fell in love with him after getting to know him. I was so bummed when the raft appeared! But it also made me go “awwwe!” So I hope she shows back up in the final book. I’m rooting for Leo getting the girl!! ]

Frank changed a lot in this book. [SPOILER: emotionally and physically! ]   Before this book I could really care less about Frank. He was kind of inconsequential to me. Sure it was convenient he could change into animals, but there was really nothing else cool about him. His life tied to the log of firewood was interesting, but it didn’t really play a factor so you kind of just forgot about it. But in this book he steps up and really comes into his own. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s ahead for Frank.

Jason also makes a life changing decision in this book. This along with his conversation with Nico, are why I actually now like Jason. Until this book, I didn’t really care about him either. But I liked seeing him make some decisions in this book and step up. I think this was really needed; otherwise I wasn’t going to care if Jason lived or died in the final book.

And of course Nico – he has a huge development added to him. I won’t say I didn’t see it coming. It’s actually pretty obvious, but I think it was supposed to be more of a shock than it was. But the fact that this was finally told to the audience was a huge step, and it will make for an interesting end. It gives you a little bit of doubt in how you thought everything would turn out. Nico is always an interesting to character to me, so I’m interested to see what happens.

The pacing in the book was pretty good, despite the chapters that happened simultaneously. Once I got some time to sit down and spend some time reading, I blew through the book. And of course, the endings are always exciting, and I never think he can wrap everything up in the few short pages left, but he always does.

Ok, so let me talk about my most exciting moment: [SPIOLER:  I LOVED when Jason had the vision of Rachel and Grover!!! I’ve been so upset that Grover hasn’t been in this series at all! I think Leo is kind of taking his place, but you can’t replace Grover! So that short chapter that had the two of them talking to Reyna was my absolute favorite. And I know they’re heading back towards Athens, but I’m hoping Grover and Rachel show up again. ]

At least in this one there is no crazy cliffhanger! I actually liked the note from Riordan at the beginning of the book: “To my wonderful readers: Sorry about that last cliff-hanger. Well, no, not really. HAHAHAHA. But seriously, I love you guys.” We are given a sort of calm before the storm at the end of this book. I’m not even sure what to expect to happen in the final book, except a fight against Gaea. But you can’t have a 500 page fight. So it’ll be interesting. I expect they’ll run into some Giants along their way. Either way, I can’t wait for the final installment which we now know is titled Blood of Olympus.


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