The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow! There is so much to say about this book. I was both pleased and a bit disappointed. How can that be you ask? I shall explain......
The story picks up right where the Mark of Athena left off. Percy and Annabeth are in Tartarus and the rest of the crew are on their way to the doors of death. The Greek and Roman camps back home are on the brink of war. The character development undoubtedly made this story, that is except for a few that seemed to have became undeveloped. The action back home at camp also takes a back seat as we only see what's happening in glimpses from dreams and in Piper's knife.
Frank undergoes quite a metamorphosis coming into his own as a hero finally. We learn quite a bit more about his heritage as well as his own powers and talents. Hazel as well learns she is more than what she has always believed. Leo has a detour on his own and grows quite a bit as a character. I felt his pain as things took a new course for him. Piper also becomes a stronger character as she takes on the baddies all by herself at one point. But the true revelations come from Nico. I certainly didn't see that coming but I applaud Rick Riordan for taking Nico in that direction. He revealed Nico's secret and really brought this character to life in the process. I felt his pain and insecurities from dealing with such a secret for so long alone. That really earned this book the fourth star.
Percy and Annabeth kinda went backwards in this book. I know they are in Tartarus and trying to keep from dying but Annabeth went from being a strong female character to a rather weak one. Her strategy developing abilities tend to go out the window and overall just seems more dependent on those she's with than the other way around. Percy doesn't grow any either. He's just the same old Percy and there's no real focus on his character. Maybe in the next book we will see more of what we tend to expect from these characters.
Overall I enjoyed this book about as well as the others before it. The humor was a bit off but it didn't detract too much from the story. I definitely look forward to the next. If you've read the ones before it you can't stop now, pick this one up and continue the quest.
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