The Heroes of Olympus: House of Hades
4.5 / 5
One word: Unputdownable
House of Hades is the 4th instalment in ‘The Heroes of Olympus’ franchise. At the end of the previous book, Percy and Annabeth have dropped into Tartarus and have vowed to the others that they will meet them at the Doors of Death, where they will attempt to prevent monsters from continuing to carry on coming back from the pit by closing the immortal side of the doors. The others are trying to meet them on the mortal side of the doors but they are thwarted by Gaia’s forces at every turn of their journey.
Percy and Annabeth’s punishing passage through Tartarus tests not only their bodies but their sanity as well. They are faced with seemingly impossible obstacles and foes hell-bent on their death and destruction as they make their way closer to the Doors of Death. Thousands of monsters await their arrival consisting of: Giants, Titans, Earthborns, Telekines, Cyclopes, Gods, arai spirits, empousa, gryphons, Laistrygonians and ghosts. But before they reach the heart of Tartarus they have to survive not only the acidic environment and deadly rivers but also the trials that test the very fibre of their being. Percy and Annabeth will have to fight against incredible odds to reach the doors to their escape but despite being in Tartarus they find help in unlikely ways.
The crew of Argo II set sail for Epirus and Nico, Hazel, Frank, Leo, Piper, Jason and Coach Hedge will attempt to reach the House of Hades where they will try and meet Percy and Annabeth at the Doors of Death. They have bad omens aplenty with Hecate offering only crossroads with awful consequences, bad dreams of Clytius and Pasiphae who appear to be the undoing of their task and Piper’s Katoptris knife showing horrible scenes of Camp Half-Blood in ruins. But despite the odds being well and truly against them, they continue to Epirus with Gaia’s forces attempting to prevent them from reaching their intended destination.
Riordan creates an utterly compelling adventure for the heroes which is gripping from beginning to end, he also delves further into each character’s persona. The reader learns more about each hero and we become more attached and sympathetic with each of them as they agonise with themselves over feelings and decisions that go through their head. Each of them proves their worth as a hero through various challenges that the crew of Argo II face, as well as the two battling demigods in Tartarus.
Fans of the Percy Jackson/ Heroes of Olympus series will love this book for its mesmeric, spellbinding and enthralling storyline, especially the wonderfully woven tests that the heroes face. Riordan’s typical electric paced action and cliff-hanger-ending chapters leave the reader breathless and thirsty to find out what happens. This book feels like it is the beginning of the end. This magnificent adventure is nearing its conclusion and the final showdown with Gaia’s forces is looming large. The end is nigh … August 2014!