Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #97: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #97: The House of Hades by Rick RiordanThe House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #4
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 8, 2013
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Pages: 597
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
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four-stars

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.

Recommended by:  Debby (Snuggly Oranges)

Oh man, I’m now through the penultimate book in the series. It’s almost entirely over. I’m not sure if I’m ready, but I guess I have to be. The Heroes of Olympus continues to be a very different experience for me from Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Though I love the increased stakes and the addition of more romance, I’m oddly finding them much less emotional reads. Even so, I don’t want to say goodbye to the characters that I’ve grown so close to over many years (their time) and months (my time).

My problem with this second series can be boiled down easily to one element. I mean, there are actually multiple issues, I suspect, but I’ll unpack those once I finish the series and know for sure how they end up getting handled. In this book and all of the previous ones in HoO, my biggest obstacle has been Piper. In The Lost Hero, she was okay. I’d been warned the new cast wasn’t as delightful, and she wasn’t as bad as I expected. Starting last book, she surpassed my expectations of awfulness. Rick Riordan keeps trying to make Piper happen.

stop trying to make piper happen

The issue with Piper isn’t that she’s done something incredibly horrible or that she says horrible things. For the most part, she’s just boring. Incredibly, mind-numbingly boring. If the perspectives were in first person, I would probably end up taking an impromptu nap any time I reached a Piper chapter. I never thought she was interesting, but in the last couple of books it’s gotten worse. For one thing, Riordan seems determined to make me a) respect Piper’s awesome abilities and b) care about her romance with Jason. Unfortunately, I think Piper’s abilities are a joke and that her relationship with Jason is doomed.

What happened in The House of Hades was that I would be riding high, heading for an ocean of feels and then BAM! My feels vessel would slam into a wall of boring. Every time I hit a Piper chapter, I would lose my momentum through the book and it would basically reset the feels meter back down to zero. I should have had a lot of feels, but she kept interrupting.

gif don't interrupt me friends

On the plus side, pretty much everyone else is very much improving. Frank and Hazel are holding steady as not annoying, but still aren’t of great interest to me. Surprisingly, Jason actually got a lot better in The House of Hades. He’s actually learning to make jokes; they’re not especially funny, but he’s trying! Where Piper honestly doesn’t give a shit about anyone but Jason, he’s really learned to care about the other demigods. His interactions with Nico are some of the best moments in the book.

Speaking of Nico, MY POOR BABY. Guh. This book should have been made of me sobbing from Nico feels, if only stupid interrupting Piper hadn’t gotten in the way. I do have a lot of thoughts about the Nico plot. This is one of those things where I want to see how stuff plays out, because I’m not sure if it will be handled well or not. Still, I’m glad of the revelation, albeit nervous about how it will be handled ultimately.

Leo, who has been vaguely annoying to me, has finally become a character I actually like. He gets to develop more of a serious side. I very much appreciate the levity he adds, since he’s the only other demigod aside from Percy who’s able to laugh at the dark stuff. However, seeing that there’s more to him than comedy and a desire for a girlfriend was really nice. Also, seeing him be less comedic was a wake up call to some of the other kids on the quest. Most importantly, HIS SHIP IS THE CUTEST THING EVER.

gif i ship it

Then there’s Percy and Annabeth in Tartarus. Holy shit. Best part of the book no doubt. The Percabeth is strong, partly because they don’t moon over each other constantly. They have sweet moments where they’re sincere, but they focus on staying alive first and foremost. They’re also just such a great team and it’s never more apparent than in this book. The amount that they rely on one another for morale shows how much they need each other.

The scene stealers of The House of Hades are Bob and Small Bob. Man, do I have serious Bob and Small Bob feels. So Bob is a titan who has, against all odds, ended up fighting against his mother, Gaea, and siding with Percabeth. The jaunt through Tartarus really forces Percy and Annabeth to consider their heroic quests from another angle. Yes, monsters are monsters, but it’s becoming more apparent that some of them really do have good sides.

gif mean girls cake filled with rainbows

The House of Hades was my favorite installment of The House of Olympus yet, but I’m hoping for more pain from the final book. If I’m lucky, Piper will die in chapter one. Everything wrapped up fairly neatly here and I’m hoping that nothing will be convenient about The Blood of Olympus. Heck, it has blood right there in the title. That bodes well, right?

Favorite Quote:

“Lots of death, huh? Personally, I’m trying to avoid lots of death, but you guys have fun!”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif hercules a little dark

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