Oh Rick Riordan, how you break my heart and put it back together in a completely different way. I have been reading basically everything Riordan has written and I am never disappointed. I will admit that when starting House of Hades I had pretty much forgotten everything that happened in Mark of Athena. Don’t ask me why, but I can’t remember that book. Doesn’t matter because House of Hades was AWESOME!
First of all, this was the character book. Sure lots of things happen but they all led to character development for all of our seven heroes, which I loved.
Frank basically becomes a man instead of a pudgy boy. He takes charge, bulks up, kills an army of poison-gas cows, then leads a ghost legion army. Jason names him praetor and Frank becomes “The Man”.
Jason has been mister rule-follower, goody-two-shoes, but we actually get more from him. Turns out he doesn’t want to follow the rules; he is all about change and making things better. And he decides he would rather be Greek!
Leo has always been one of my favorites and that didn’t change. Leo is crazy inventor man and does all kinds of things in this book (like building a personal helicopter while falling from the sky). The best thing he does is fall in love. That’s right…Leo and Calypso are going to open Leo and Calypso’s Garage: Auto Repair and Mechanical Monsters. They are too cute for words and I hope Riordan brings them back together soon.
Piper became kind of a bad ass instead of comic relief. She is always shooting things from her cornucopia (muffins anyone?), but her magic hasn’t ever been strong as some of the others. Then she wakes up Festus with charmspeak and defeats a goddess. She still loves Jason and her and Hazel become besties.
Hazel learns to control the Mist. She can now trick gods and goddess and mortals alike. I loved how she learned magic, with a little help from a farting weasel (there was a lot of gas in this book!). She is also seriously digging on the new and improved Frank. Hazel is basically the one to lead them to the Doors and Death and save the day. Go Hazel!
That leaves us with Percy and Annabeth who took a wonderful vacation tour of Tartarus. Tartarus is basically as horrible as the brochure promised. They have to drink fire water to stay alive and fight monsters every time they turn around. Thankfully, they have tour guide Bob the Titan and his skeleton kitten Small Bob to help them out. Bob and Small Bob might have been my favorite characters in this book and I really hope they come back.
Those are our main seven questers, but lets not forget Nico. He might not be a member of the quest but he is along for the ride and his revelation was a pretty big one. Turns out he is grumpy because he is in love with Percy and having trouble dealing with it. I loved how Riordan handled this revelation. Nico is hiding his feelings mainly because they are unrequited and he doesn’t know how his friends will handle it. But Jason is super supportive and accepting and I think the rest of them will be too. It is great to have a character like Nico in children’s books so that kids reading it who are feeling the same thing know they are not alone. I loved Jason’s line about how Nico can’t help how he feels or who he is. Basically, he needs to decide how he is going to go forward. Nico has always been kind of a shadow character and I think this explains a little bit why he sets himself apart. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book with him.
I really enjoy the fact that these characters are not really kids any more. They are older teens and they are starting to become the heroes they will be as adults. They are forming relationship and they are much more mature than in previous books. I wish I could say I have grown up with these characters, but unfortunately I am a little old to make that statement. I have really enjoyed watching the progression of this series however. Riordan writes awesome characters and stories. I love the mix of mythology and adventure. I love that I feel like I learn something as I am reading these books. He is always throwing in minor gods or monsters that most people haven’t heard of. Reading these books is like getting a really entertaining Greek/Roman mythology lecture. Can’t wait to see what happens in The Blood of Olympus.