“The Demigod crew of the Argo II is standing at a crossroads. They 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 on 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 (if they have survived), 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.”
The best thing about The House of Hades is this: it’s not The Mark of Athena. It feels like a proper adventure book and not an awful attempt at fan service. The story progresses, the characters develop, and the plots weave together into a culminating event that becomes the main concern of the book that will follow: The Blood of Olympus. Now, let’s expound:
What I liked best about The House of Hades is the pace in which the story progresses. It doesn’t feel rushed, and nothing feels like filler. Author Rick Riordan deftly handles the adventure that doesn’t make it look stretched. In fact, parts of it happen so quickly that you don’t realize that it already was a separate adventure.
I also like the fact that Riordan is now tapping into the lesser-known mythologies to challenge our main heroes’ capabilities. Mostly because I don’t second-guess what’s going to happen next as I’m less familiar with these new gods and goddesses and monsters.
The characters are more likeable this time around too. The Mark of Athena made me dislike a lot of the characters. This time, their insecurities and strength are balanced well enough that they just feel real–not overly flawed protagonists trying hard to be relatable.
And I have no complaints about the two story threads we had to follow throughout the book. Both were very compelling, and leaves the right amount of tension every time we would switch perspectives.
I think The House of Hades is the best book so far in the Heroes of Olympus series. But that’s just me.