Review - The House of Hades - Rick Riordan

The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4)Title: The House of Hades
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #4
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: October 8th 2013, Puffin
Pages: 584 pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Penguin Publishers for sending me The House of Hades in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 5/5 Cupcakes!
The House of Hades is the fourth book in the bestselling Heroes of Olympus series, set in the action-packed world of Percy Jackson.
The stakes have never been higher. If Percy Jackson and Annabeth fail in their quest, there'll be hell on Earth. Literally.
Wandering the deadly realm of Tartarus, every step leads them further into danger. And, if by some miracle they do make it to the Doors of Death, there's a legion of bloodthirsty monsters waiting for them.
Meanwhile, Hazel and the crew of the Argo II have a choice: to stop a war or save their friends. Whichever road they take one thing is certain - in the Underworld, evil is inescapable.

After finishing Mark of Athena and barely being able to cope with that cruel ending, I immediately dived into House of Hades.

Once again, Rick Riordan has created a fantastic novel that I adore and has me eagerly waiting for the next book in the series, The Blood of Olympus.The House of Hades begins a few days after where The Mark of Athena ended. Percy and Annabeth have been confined to the fiery, hellish pit of Tartarus, the place where monsters go when they have been killed. A place that no demigods' eyes should ever see. While Percy and Annabeth struggle to survive in the fiery pit of despair and get to the Doors of Death to delay the awakening of Gaia; Hazel, Frank, Piper, Jason and Leo, along with the help of Coach Hedge and Nico, the enthusiastic satyr hell-bent on revenge and Nico, the son of the god of the Underworld, have to try and close the Doors of Death from the mortal side, otherwise known as The House of Hades. 

Although this isn't an easy quest in itself, there is still an on-going war brewing between Camp Halfblood and Camp Jupiter that needs to be stopped, as they need to combine forces to be stronger, in order for them to have all the strength possible in order to defeat Gaia and her minions. But with Gaia growing stronger with every waking second, as well as more monsters being unleashed through the Doors of Death, and the disturbing lines of the Prophecy of the Seven, things aren't looking good for the demigods, but hopefully with their wits and courage, the seven (as well as with the help from others), they'll be able to defeat Gaia and close the Doors of Death.

I loved The House of Hades. Rick Riordan has brought yet another fantastic piece of work to life. Combining humor, adventure, danger, and lovable characters together to create a riveting novel. I was once again amazed at the intricate novel Riordan has created. His words bring the characters from Greek mythology to life, as well as the demigods that we have grown to love. It's easy to see how Rick Riordan has been named the Myth Master, as he gives the stories a life of their own.

I think what makes Rick Riordan's novels so fantastic, is the characters. They all have their individual personalities and their own little quirks that makes us love them even more. Not one of Rick's characters seem the same, and through reading his books, it honestly feels like I have become best friends with each and every one of them. As I have progressed through the books, I have grown to know the characters. I have seen them overcome their greatest fears, seen them fall in love, seen them battle with their inner demons. I have grown close to each and every one of these characters and I look forward to knowing them even more in the following book. Rick Riordan has a way with words that honestly makes the characters seem alive. In The House of Hades I fully got to appreciate the character growth that each character has undertaken. There is a visible change in each of them, they have all become stronger, yet sadly, more cautious and more weary, their innocent minds tainted by things no one should have to experience.

Percy and Annabeth, delving into the pit of Tartarus, witnessing endless suffering and endless monsters thirsty for blood *SPOILER*and managing to stay alive and escape unscathed*SPOILER*. You could see the weight of worry and stress that being in Tartarus had placed on them. Yet with their wit, charm, faith and wisdom, they managed to avoid becoming a soulless void that was expected by the people wanting them to fall. Percy was still brave, loyal and determined. Still ready to lay down his life for those he loved. Annabeth was amazing. Using her wisdom and being so encouraging so that their spirits weren't completely snuffed out by the darkness that so desperately wanted to envelop them. 

After reading House of Hades, I was once again awestruck about how these two completed each other, how devoted they were to the other. Every word of encouragement, every hug, every kiss, you could see the pattering out hope be restored once again. I love Percy and Annabeth, I can't explain it, but they are just so perfect for each other. They bicker like any ordinary couple but we all know the love that they share for the other. After finishing HoH I could see that their experience in Tartarus hung like a cloud over their heads, but I have faith that they will help each other ease the nightmares that will inevitably consume them.

Hazel and Frank were astonishing in this book. I could just see the physical and emotional change that they undertook in this book, and the new power and confidence that they radiated. Since I met Hazel in The Son of Neptune, I instantly fell in love with her character, as well as Frank's, and I hated it how they doubted themselves...but after what they managed to do in HoH, I can't imagine that they, or anyone else for that matter, will ever be in doubt again. They both displayed extreme shower and strength and I am so proud of them for doing that! They're just such sweet people and I'm glad that they're finally getting some recognition for their talents.

I warmed up to Jason and Piper in The House of Hades, I never really connected with Jason in the previous books but in HoH he seemed more likeable. He pulled his weight a bit more and wasn't constantly being knocked unconscious like in The Mark of Athena. You could also see that he was more comfortable around Percy and not as challenging. Sometimes I think maybe I just misunderstood him in the previous books.

Piper was also fantastic in HoH. I've always liked Piper, I didn't quite connect with her in TMoA but in the HoH, I once again liked her. I could see her really becoming comfortable in her skin and learning how to use her charmspeak to the fullest abilities.

I'm also beginning to see the strength in her and Jason's relationship and they are extremely well suited to one another. Both poised, brave and ready to jump into battle.

Leo, my favourite, changed a lot in this book, especially towards the end and it saddened me. He didn't have that same enthusiastic energy within him after being to the island and becoming love sick when he returned. I really hope that the relationship will work out between him and the special girl who he fell in love with. I won't mention her name, as I don't want to spoil it, but her and Leo are perfectly suited for one another, they both create things and are both unafraid to get their hands dirty. I love Leo. He has an amazing personality and sense of humour, and I wish he would stop feeling inferior and comparing himself, because he is utterly amazing. Towards the end of the book, you could see he had lost some of hope and their were personal issues clouding his mind. Including him needing to devise a plan to rescue the girl he might just have fallen in love with.

The secondary characters were just as developed and real as the main characters. From Bob the friendly Titan who helps and protects Percy and Annabeth when they're in Tartarus, to Damasen the friendly giant who believes he is a failure and is cursed to kill a drakon every day and is destined to a fate he can't escape, to Nico, son of Hades, who has a secret that he is ashamed of and when he is forced to reveal it, it shatters him.

I loved Bob, he was so sweet and gentle and I got a fright when he begun to recall his previous life as a Titan before his memory was wiped. But luckily he chooses to do right and not be bad like his relatives.

I felt extremely sorry for Damaster. Destined to the fate of killing a drakon every day and not being able to leave his house that is now a prison to him, all because he has decided to be good, like Bob. The ending saddened me when it came to him and Bob and I hope things will end up better for them, *SPOILER*when they reform*SPOILER*.

We also begun to understand more about Nico and why he was so bitter and full of resentment. At first I wasn't expecting the twist to do with Nico but as the story went on I started suspecting it. I wouldn't have thought he was *spoiler*gay*spoiler* but it added an interesting aspect to the story. Nico has been through a lot and I couldn't help but feel sympathetic towards him.

The plot was once again fantastic and I don't have many complaints - only one. I feel like the problems in the stories are solved too easily. It's too good to be true that they keep surviving all these things. It's not that I want the characters to be hurt but it isn't realistic, seeing as what kind of world they live in, for them to always find a solution to the problem. But otherwise it was an extremely good book.

The House of Hades was an amazing fourth instalment in the Heroes of Olympus series. With even more action, more devastating events and more evil, The House of Hades has me completely riveted and begging for more. This series is fantastic and The House of Hades was no exception - I couldn't stop reading. With characters who will become your best friends, witty dialogue and a heart-warming romance, The House of Hades will have you captured and needing more.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!