I finally had the chance to read The House of Hades! Ever since I’ve read the first book of the Percy Jackson series, I knew right then that Rick Riordan earned his place in my auto-buy list. The first series has proven its worth as one of the best stories I’ve read. Why would I stop with just that? As I became a Percy Jackson series fan, I wanted to read more about it. And now, with the second series nearing its end, the story just gets more exciting.
Here’s the plot description from the jacket cover of the book:
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 form 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.
In the previous book, we already know that Percy and Annabeth fall into Tartarus after retrieving the Athena Parthenos. Hence, evident in the title of this book, the story continues on with the other demigods seeking the House of Hades to open the Doors of Death in order to rescue Percy and Annabeth. Along the way, they encounter obstacles that would challenge their skills and talents and perhaps also discover new abilities which would help in defeating Gaea.
It’s nice to see some big changes in the characterization of some of the protagonists. The book is told in the point of views of all the seven demigods – a good strategy which maximizes the dynamism in the characters. Some of them have actually become more developed as compared to the previous books.
For one, I believe the biggest change is seen in the characterizations of Frank, Leo, and Hazel. I wouldn’t give out details to avoid spoilers. Second, it also gives the readers a sense that things that happen to people aren’t always good no matter how powerful they seem to be. This is evident in the vulnerability shown by Percy and Annabeth as they traverse the dark world of Tartarus. On the other hand, while Tartarus is described as a place of all things bad, you might be surprised that good might still come from it. Moreover, humility and acceptance of change is also seen in Jason’s decision of the path he shall take. The list doesn’t end here as there would also be an unexpected revelation which would shock the readers.
Once again, The House of Hades does not disappoint. Rick Riordan’s prose compels me to turn page after page, eager to find out what happens next to the protagonists. As always, I’m immediately drawn to Rick Riordan’s narration. The story will keep readers guessing with all those unexpected twists and surprising turn of events. There’s no way I could predict the future events or even the fates of the chosen demigods in the prophecy. I truly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Percy Jackson fans will definitely love this book. I can’t wait for the final book of The Heroes of Olympus series. Nine more months to go!