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October 30, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan

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

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.


As you’ve probably guessed from the description, this is not the first book in this series. It is, in fact, the fourth book in Rick Riordan’s “The Heroes of Olympus” series. If you are familiar with his first series, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”, it comes after that chronologically. As an avid fan of anything to do with Greek or Roman mythology, I have been reading this new series of Riordan’s almost since it came out. This is probably the most anticipated book (so far), since the last one ended in a massive cliffhanger (understatement of the century). Since the events of the last book influence the plot of The House of Hades, I advise reader discretion beyond this point, as there will be potential spoilers.

Have you ever heard the phrase “everything you hoped and dreamed of”? In my experience it’s usually used sarcastically. In the case of The House of Hades, however, Riordan lived up to his reputation as a wonderful storyteller. I couldn’t have asked for a better continuation to the story.

I think the thing I most appreciated while I was reading was the pacing. The book starts off with a bang and does not let up until the very end. There is some sort of unexpected twist or element in almost every chapter, and the action sequences leave little to be desired. Not only does this draw the

into the story, but it also packs an insane amount of information into only 587 pages. In my opinion this only makes the book better–you can read it multiple times and perhaps discover something you didn’t notice every time. That doesn’t mean that the plot, once it’s been laid out, is extremely complicated. It’s actually quite easy to follow, provided you’ve read the other books and are up-to-date with previous events (some going back to the first series).

The story is told from multiple points of view, all narrative from one of the main characters. As is standard procedure for Riordan, each chapter is told from one character’s point of view. Once again, it is easy to follow. It actually enhances the story even more, since not all characters are together all of the time.

Finally, the actual plot was decidedly satisfactory. Even though I was furious (once again, an understatement) after realizing that I had to wait almost a whole year to find out what happened after the cliffhanger in The Mark of Athena, I was not disappointed. In fact, it was even better than I could have imagined.

Although Rick Riordan’s work is intended for pre-teen to teen audiences, I have no trouble recommending it to people older than that. If you enjoy an action-packed story with mythological elements and plenty of humor, I think that you will definitely enjoy his books. The best part? He’s only gotten better over time. The House of Hades is one of my favorite books that he’s written–and I’ve only read it once so far.

If you’d like to check it out, you can find it here!





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  1. mollypagewrite / Oct 31 2013 12:55 pm

    First of all, I find it awesome that we’re both named Molly and love Rick Riordan. I’m sure there are hundreds of Mollys that love him, but what’s the chance we’d find each other? Also, great review! I loved House of Hades and bought it the day came out.

    *spoiler in progress*

    I hope you are like me and love the fact that he made characters gay. I was so proud of him!

    • Molly Chenault / Oct 31 2013 5:37 pm

      Wow, thank you for the lovely comment! I think it’s awesome that we share a name 🙂 I really like both series involving Greek/Roman, but I could not for the life of me get into the Egyptian series. What about you?


      I thought that it was a good way to resolve alot of the questions!

      • mollypagewrite / Nov 1 2013 12:43 pm

        I actually love his Egyptian series, because I didn’t know as much about Egyptian mythology, but he established his credibility for me with the Percy Jackson series. The characters I think are still growing and I think/hope it’ll just get better.

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