So recently I finished House of Hades and all I can say it: OH MY GODS IT WAS SO GOOD!!! SO SO SO SORRY to my followers that I didn’t post earlier. I did get the book the day it came out but I was so busy with tests and projects and presentations (and just general crap-I mean homework) so it took a while to finish it (and then some more time to write the review).
Anyways, since I don’t want to ruin the fun for anyone who hasn’t read it yet: MASSIVE SPOILERS ALERT! SPOILER ZONE, DO NOT ENTER! SPOILERS BELOW, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVEN’T READ HOUSE OF HADES (unless you WANT to spoil it for yourself)! The full review with spoilers is below for those of you who have already read the book!
Let’s start with the dedication because it was dedicated to ME (jk, it was dedicated to all the fans) and because it is another primary source of evidence that Uncle Rick is the King of Trolls:
Like WTF, TROLLING US BEFORE THE BOOK EVEN STARTED AFTER THAT TRAUMATIZING ENDING OF THE MARK OF ATHENA? But he says that he loves us, so I guess that kinda makes up for it.
Hazel – Sooo much character development. House of Hades made me love Hazel even more as a character. She seems so much more well rounded, more dynamic. She even discovers her new powers over the Mist. I just loved her POVs in this book and how much stronger she became (even though she was already kickass before).
Leo – He’s slowly becoming a more and more dark character. He still jokes around but it’s more cynical and he just seems plagued with negativity. I won’t be surprised if Rick kills him off. Especially with the whole theory Piper had that ‘to storm or fire the world must fall’ and ‘an oath to keep with a final breath’ are related meaning only Jason or Leo would die. Leo seems like the most obvious choice since he made a promise to come back to Calpyso, but you never know when it comes to Rick and his surprises.
Nico – Speaking of surprises, Nico is gay. That revelation is really significant because he is finally coming to terms with his identity. It hurts my heart to know how much hatred he feels for himself over it, how much of an outcast he feels like because of his sexuality. It explains a lot about his bitterness and isolation from Camp Half-Blood and other demigods because he is ashamed.
Frank – He has changed quite a good deal in this book. He’s grown both physically and mentally. He’s no longer a total klutz, he’s slightly less awkward, and more serious (in a good way) and mature. For the first time, he is embracing the Mars side of his identity and with that comes awesome powers. He’s also given the title of Praetor which he totally deserves and is a big deal cause it means that others see him as a leader (including Reyna).
Jason – I’m still kinda in the dark about his character. He’s just there, there’s not really anything that stands out to me. He’s impossible to figure out, but I’m starting to see bits and pieces. He obviously has good judgement since he’s stable in stressful situations, and he is wise because he recognizes the qualities and potential of others (such as bravery in Nico and leadership in Frank). I’m warming up to him more now, especially since he defended Nico, my favourite character.
Percy – He’s continuing his self-realization from Mark of Athena when he admits he isn’t so different from Luke. House of Hades gave a whole new perspective on Percy. For the first time, he feels guilty for all the monsters he killed, and especially for never visiting Bob after taking away his memory. You finally see that as much of a hero as he is, Percy isn’t perfect.
Annabeth – She saves her’s and Percy’s butts plenty of times in the past, but even more in this book because of the constant danger they were in. As usual she uses her wits to get out of sticky situation and just generally kicks ass.
Piper – There wasn’t a lot from her, I feel like she’s a very static character in the House of Hades. There was hardly any character development so I can’t comment on her character much. In general, I don’t really like her as a character.
Reyna – Again, not too much from her, but I definitely think she is portrayed as a strong virtuous woman as she went against the entire legion to do what she believed was right. Despite the fact that Leo blew up Camp Jupiter and Jason kind of left her in the dark, she still had faith in the seven and may be the only Roman who does.
The mood is pretty dark, especially at the beginning and only gets worse when Hecate shows up all ominous-like. I loved that Rick put Hecate into this book because she’s my second favourite goddess after Athena and I really wanted to see her in one of the books.
Then came Tartarus and holy fucking gods, it was practically a pit of eternal pain, misery, and death. Even the air there can kill you. Annabeth and Percy had to drinking fucking fire so that they wouldn’t die from the acidic atmosphere. We see a bunch of old monsters, first of which is the cheerleader empousa bitch Kelli, but good ol’ Percy beat the shit out of her for a second time.
Then Leo is desperately trying to figure out how to use the Athena Parthenos, but he can’t cause it’s magical and he’s only used to working mechanical things. The ship is attacked by the Kercopes (monkey dwarves) in Bologna, who were quite amusing little thieves.
Afterwards, they go visit Triptolemnos (that is quite a mouthful to say) in Venice to return a book stolen by the Kerkopes (whom Leo sends to New York to impede Octavian’s army). Frank has his dad’s Greek and Roman personalities constantly screaming in his head (which must be goddamn annoying). Hazel is injured by a Katobleps (some kind of poisonous cow monster) and Trip turns Nico into a corn plant. Frank bargains with him and has to get a snake to fix the dude’s chariot and to do this he has to prove himself to his father by slaughtering every Katoblepones in the town which he does (like the badass motherfucker he is!) after which he receives a blessing from Mars and grows (literally, like a few inches taller).
Bob (aka Iapetus) who in the Sword of Hades was pushed into the River Lethe shows up and becomes Percy and Annabeth’s bodyguard and tour guide as they travel through the depths of hell and run from other Titans. It was kinda sad seeing how Hades had treated Bob by making him a janitor and Percy feels guilty for never visiting him (damn right he should be). Then they are attacked by arai (spirits of curses) and Percy is cursed by every monster he ever killed. Eventually Bob kills them all.
Then the butthead Octavian shows up Jason’s dream plotting to attack Camp Half-Blood against Reyna’s direct orders not to until she returns. We also learn her full name: Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano. And Rachel and Octavian interact for the first time which immediately intensified my fangirling since I ship them.
The crew has to deal with Sciron (robber who kicks people off cliffs) and his turtle, Hazel uses her badass powers over the Mist to trick him and then Pluto comes and congratulates her (his first attempt at being a good father).
Then the Argo II heads to Croatia where they need to get the scepter of Diocletian which would give them an army of ghost legionnaires to defend them when they get to the House of Hades. They go to the Emperor’s palace where Nico must face Eros (the god of love). When Nico admits that he has a crush on Percy, I’m just like: HOLY FUCKING GODS, WHAT BULLSHIT DID RICK JUST PULL ON US THERE? But really, there’s nothing wrong with him being gay. No problem with that. I’ve got nothing against gay people. In fact, I love gay guys. No, I mean it, like literally. I’ve been in love with Nico’s character for five years, ever since I read the Titan’s Curse when I was eleven, I’ve had a massive crush on him (stupid, I know, since he’s fictional and all). It seems that these days, every bloody fictional guy I fall in love with turns out gay. First Alec from the Mortal Instruments, now Nico – I’m just praying to the gods that this doesn’t happen in real life (if I ever find a guy who can live up to my standards). Anyways, I really commend Rick for taking a risk like this with a children’s book. I think it’s really important for children to be taught acceptance rather than bigotry towards homosexuals. You see it in YA fiction all the time, but it’s still considered by many to be a danger zone for middle grade fiction, so hats off to you Rick (you fucking troll). Anyways, that was probably the most shocking part of the book for me.
Back to Percabeth, they go meet a friendly giant names Damasen (opposite of Ares) who heals Percy. Annabeth tries to convince him to come along with them, but he refuses. To camouflauge, Bob suggests that they get Death Mist. For this, they have to get past Nyx which they do. Bob is confronted by his brothers who try to win his allegiance but Bob remains loyal to Percy. And then they come to the Doors of Death…Tartarus (the god) rises. Damasen comes to the rescue, holding Tartarus off as Bob pushes the button for the elevator that is the Doors of Death. I was literally almost crying at this part because Bob and Damasen sacrificed themselves for Percy and Annabeth making the line of the prophecy come true ‘foes bear arms to the Doors of Death’ because half-bloods, giants, and Titan’s tend to be enemies.
The return of Khione except this time Piper has to deal with her all by herself. I won’t really praise her much for getting out of the situation cause she took the easy way, charmspeaking a mechanical dragon. Robots don’t have emotions, so logically that made no sense. Leo is blown off the ship onto Ogygia where he meets Calypso and they eventually fall in love, but he has to leave which was SO sad. They meet up in Malta and head to Epirus. Frank finds out that Coach Hedge and Mellie (btw, they got marries) are having a baby. The group becomes separated in the House of Hades. Frank is promoted to Praetor by Jason so he can lead the ghost army against the monsters and he receives a blessing of Mars. Hazel fights Pasiphae and Leo tries to fight Clytius (anti-Hecate) and fails so the goddess herself appears and together with the demigods, the giant is obliterated. Percy and Annabeth are out of Tartarus.
Reyna shows up the demigods figure out that a Roman must return the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood in order for peace to be restored and Nico offers to shadow travel her, the statue, and Coach Hedge home. The crew sets sail for Athens where the final showdown happens.
Now they have to wait until August 1st, the Feast of Spes (goddess of hope), when Gaea plans to rise – and we have to wait another freaking year (but at least there was no literal cliffhanger this time) to find out about it when The Blood of Olympus is released.
SIBLING/FRIEND RELATIONSHIPS (there’s a ton but I only covered the main ones)
Hazel and Nico – This book definitely strengthened their brother sister relationship. Hazel is still super protective of Nico even though she thought it might mean dying for him because Hecate said that only one of them would make it to the Doors of Death. She’s obviously very concerned for Nico because Nico is just hella depressed (more than normal) in this book.
Hazel and Piper – I loved hearing more about the friendship between these two. I’m glad to hear that the girls are finally bonding (not that they had much of a choice being the only two girls on the crew since Annabeth was not there).
Leo and Frank – I’m glad that all the stupid rivalry between these two is over (Hazel never really liked Leo anyways) cause it just didn’t feel like them when they were constantly fighting. Leo has a lot more respect for Frank and Frank can tolerate Leo more now.
Leo and Nico – I had high hopes for this bromance, but I was kind of left disappointed though there were a few moments of Leo joking around with Nico some playful banter but no connection as deep as the one I’m covering next.
Nico and Jason – Now this one, I wasn’t expecting. Especially since Nico gives Jason the heebie-jeebies. But I guess it’s impossible not to trust and bond with someone after you reveal your deepest darkest secrets in their presence (or vice versa). Jason’s attitude towards Nico had obviously changed massively since Mark of Athena as we can see when he defends Nico. THIS IS MY NEW FAVOURITE BROMANCE (second to only Percy and Grover).
Percabeth – *SQUEALS* As usual, my bbys, the number one OTP of all time, were so freaking cute! I loved how they supported each other in Tartarus. It just makes my heart ache when I think about all that they’ve been through. I’m so freaking glad neither of them died. Now maybe, just maybe, they have a chance at the dream Percy had of living in the safety of New Rome, going to college, getting married, and having kids (cute Percabeth babies *squeal*)
Jasper – They didn’t really have many moments in this book, which was surprising considering that they both had a POV. I think I’m starting to lose my patience with this ship cause Jason thinks that Piper is using love magic on him every time he mentions Reyna. That just doesn’t sit well with my mind. It’s like she’s forcing him to like her and only her. Kind of control freaky if you ask me.
Percico – Okay, so I was so not expecting Nico to have a crush on Percy. First off, cause I thought he was straight for the last like 6 books and since I’ve been in love with him since the Titan’s Curse. But yeah, the tension is evident, especially in the end. I kinda feel bad for Nico, having to hide his homosexuality because that kind of stuff wasn’t accepted at all in the 1940s. But I’m still a bit pissed cause I wanted Nico for myself, but hey, if you love someone and they don’t love you back (and never will because they don’t exist), be happy for them! Except that there isn’t much to be happy about since Nico feels bitter and disgusted with himself and Percy doesn’t love him back (not in that way).
Frazel – I feel like this book confirmed this ship because there was a lot of Leo/Hazel tension in MoA. But in this book, Hazel is definitely head over heels for Frank and without any doubts in her mind about Leo (who has found his own lovely lady). I don’t blame her, I would too if my boyfriend (who is non-existent) became a tall, sexy hunk overnight. They obviously feel very strongly for each other and I still ship them over Lazel, especially cause of the next ship I’m gonna be talking about
Leo X Calypso – I practically died of happiness for Leo when he and Calypso kissed. I was just sooo happy that he finally got some attention from the opposite sex and his first kiss. But then, as usual, Uncle Rick (that troll) just has to make poor Leo miserable by forcing him to leave Ogygia and his new sort of girlfriend behind. But he does promise to come back and rescue her from the island, even though he knows the prophecy says ‘an oath to keep with a final breath’, which I find so romantic!
So yeah, that’s pretty much it. Dear gods, this is long, almost five Microsoft Word pages, but hey it was an amazing book and I can hardly wait for the next one. Thanks for reading ALL of this even though it’s super long and rambling. I love you guys!