Oct 13, 2013

House of Hades: Review & Discussion (SPOILERS INCLUDED)

WARNING! Contains MAJOR House of Hades spoilers! Do not read past this point if you haven't finished the ENTIRE book! 

 Friday evening, I finished The House of Hades. Although it wasn't perfect, it was phenomenal. When I was finished, I wondered, "Now... what am I supposed to do with my life?" My answer? Re-read the Heroes of Olympus again! ;D

 The characters overall in this book were BEYOND incredible. Getting seven points of view was both a gift and a curse. I was really excited for all seven to get their own POVs, because I absolutely LOVE all of the members of the seven. However, when I read them, it kind of seemed crowded. I do see why Uncle Rick had to do it: each member of the seven had a little "on his/her own" scene, where none of the other seven were involved (The exception may be Percy and Annabeth, but one does not simply put in one of their perspectives and not put in the other)... Hazel with the Hecate scene in the beginning, Leo with the Calypso thing, Jason with Nico & Cupid (and the dream), Frank with the poison cows and blessing of Mars, and Piper with her Khoine showdown. Everything got really confusing at some points (maybe I was reading too fast?), BUT I did enjoy seeing how each of the characters reacted to the situations and how they viewed each other. It's kind of like a giant reality TV commentary, except a thousand times better. (One can only take so much of America's Next Top Model.)

 I'll take this review/discussion thingamajig character by character, then just add any extra general comments at the end. :D

 Percy & Annabeth: Sorry guys, but these two count as one. They were together for almost the entire duration of the book, which made me (and I'm sure many other Percabeth fans) very, very happy, although I can't say that I would have liked to be in their situation. The cute Percabeth scenes and dialogues really made me smile.
"College," she gasped. "Could we go there together?"
 "Y-yeah," he agreed, a little more confidently.
 "What would you study, Percy?"
"Dunno," he admitted.
"Marine science," she suggested. "Oceanography?"
"Surfing?" he asked.
 Things like that really tickled my funny bone, especially amid all of the sadness. And when Percy referred to Annabeth as "hot" in a barbarian princess kind of way... <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

 Let us all take a moment to reflect upon Annabeth's cleverness when they came to the Hermes shrine. That entire situation astounded me. I just thought it was really cool! (AND RIPTIDE CAN BE USED AS A PEN! WOOT!)

 I was also very relieved that they found a friend in Bob the Titan, even after he remembered who he was. Percy and Annabeth did a good job of convincing him to do what he thinks is good, and they were fortunate enough for him to pick their side! Little Bob also really made me smile.

 Damasen, the anti-Ares, was a great character. His return in the end to help was somewhat predictable (which is a recurring problem throughout the book, sadly). Percy and Annabeth's visit to his home was the answer to what we were wondering about their clothing on the US cover. (For the record, the fact that P&A look like models on the UK cover still bothers me, especially when they're standing in front of Tartarus himself.) The creepy Death Mist chick, Akhlys, was really depressing. I can't say I liked her all that much. The scene with Nyx was priceless. "You weren't in the brochure!" xD

 A lot of stuff happened in Tartarus, and I could go on forever about it, but I won't. My personal favorite scene was the confrontation with the arai (the creepy Fury-like old grandma curse demons). I swear, I'm not a sadist! I just found it very intriguing. It really made them think about how many monsters they've killed or hurt. My heart pretty much broke when Annabeth thought Percy had abandoned her. </3 Calypso is mean. :(

 One last thing on the adventures in Tartarus: Tartarus himself. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around how Tartarus could manifest himself inside of himself. It's kind of hard to understand, and it kind of ruined some things for Percy and Annabeth when he just popped up out of nowhere as they were about to cut the chains!

 Hazel: HAZEL WAS AMAZING IN THIS BOOK. That girl has never ceased to amaze me. If anyone doubted her power before, they aren't now!

 If I had to pick a leader out of the six demigods on the Argo II in House of Hades, Hazel would be my pick. She was the glue that held the group together in the absence of Annabeth and Percy. She's just fabulous.

 I felt kind of bad that she had to do the Mist tricks and work with magic, because that was, after all, one of the many factors that ruined her mother's life. When she did master it however, I couldn't help but be proud of her.

 Piper: Piper had quite a bit of character development in this book as well. Her showdown with Khione was awesome, and I love how she didn't let Khione get under her skin. She found a way to turn the tables, and I think that, in her own way, Piper is just as clever as Annabeth.

 It's also pretty epic how she brought Festus alive with her charmspeak. I'm not quite sure how that really worked, but hats off to her for believing in herself! (I'm beginning to think that belief is a huge theme throughout this series, or at least this installment.) Oh, and she's learning how to sword fight from Hazel. Can I just have more of this friendship?! When I found out that they were becoming friends I kind of freaked out. Little details like this just make my imagination go crazy with ideas about what they could do with each other and how they spend their free time (when they actually have some), and also what they talk about. I hope for a conversation between Piper and Hazel in the future. I don't think that's asking for too much.

 Finally, I have to wonder... WHERE IS MY PRECIOUS JASPER?! Yes, I ship Jasper now. One TLH re-read is enough to get one to that point. Jeyna just seems so unrealistic at this point, and I love both Piper and Jason and simply want them to be happy. So where were the precious Jasper scenes? We had like, two lines. Grrr.

 Frank: Fai Zhang, how you've grown.

 I'm incredibly proud of Frank. C H A R A C T E R  D E V E L O P M E N T. When he got the blessing of Mars around him (TWICE), I couldn't help but just be super happy for him. AND HE'S PRAETOR NOW WHICH MAKES ME BEYOND HAPPY BECAUSE I LOVE FRANK A LOT AND I THOUGHT THAT HE DIDN'T GET ENOUGH CREDIT IN PREVIOUS BOOKS! :D

 Jason: I missed Jason. We got Annabeth, Percy, Piper, and Leo POVs last book, and Frank and Hazel POVs two books ago. It's been three books. I truly missed him. (I may have actually written a post about this at one point...Hmm.)

 Now that I actually got to see inside of that mind of his, I got to appreciate how he's changed since The Lost Hero, and how he's been since his memories have been restored. I was actually astonished to see that he wanted to go completely Greek, but it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside at the same time. Finding out that he chafed under the rules of the Romans excited me, because it actually revealed some of his personality. I may be perceiving this incorrectly, but Jason seems really guarded and unreadable sometimes. I just wanna know him better, know him better, know him better now. (Hehe. Anyone get the reference?)

 However, Jason's combat skills were underwhelming, to say the least. Dear Jason, why must you always become incapacitated so quickly? Dwarves: Upside-down. Khione: Oops, frozen. In the Necromanteion: Can't control the legion, gives up praetorship. Et cetera. He just makes it really hard for me defend him when people point out these things. I love him so much for no apparent reason, and I want to show people that he's not what they think he is, except... Usually, what they think of him is right. Which is sort of depressing for me.

 Nico: Nico seemed to act really strange in this book. I know that he's always been reserved and quiet around people after he figured out his lineage, but he seemed to be sulking around the Argo II for the majority of the book. It made a bit more sense after the scene with Cupid, but his behavior still creeped me out. Nico has mildly scared me since the end of The Titan's Curse. I'm not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with the whole making skeletons pop out of the ground at his will thing. But you know, probably not.

  As I said, Nico was very quiet. Half of the time, I forgot he was there. Until we met Cupid.

 I have to say, the Cupid scene gave me chills. Most of the minor gods in this book were pretty lame, and I didn't really take them seriously: Triptolemus, Sciron (who's technically a demigod but whatever), Favonius.

Not all that impressive. However, Cupid I could take seriously. He was very mysterious and somewhat frustrating. He was making me very anxious. Cupid could be a dangerous enemy...

 So Cupid forced Nico to reveal his secret: he has a crush on Percy. Um... What?

 I have to say, I was not expecting this. Either Rick Riordan just came up with this recently, or Nico has done a really good job of hiding it, because I've never even thought of that being possible. Sure, I've seen fanart, but people draw the weirdest things sometimes (Example #1: Percy/Jason. o_O). It just seems completely out of the blue...

 And to add to that, the only person who knows is Jason! (Did a Nico/Jason ship cross anyone's mind at that point...?) I have the strangest feeling that he's going to spill the beans to someone, and I feel like that person would most likely be Hazel (because she's Nico's sister) or Piper (because she's Jason's girlfriend). This "secret" also builds a golden opportunity for a friendship between Nico and Jason. Secret sharing brings people closer! It seems that Nico pushes away friendship. All the things that Jason said to him are true. He needs to stop running and find a home, and some friends. There are people willing to befriend him.

 Leo: Leo was wondrous, as always. His humor is always in the right place, and that's one of the things I love him for. I had to admire how he handled those dwarfs (aka epicly) and how he sent them after the Romans. xD

 Now, I know the thing that I'm sure all of you want to talk about is the Calypso thing. I have to say, when Khione said that he was going somewhere that he could never leave, I instantly thought of Ogygia. When he crash-landed on Calypso's table, I was first of all relieved that he survived, and secondly very angry at Calypso. I just don't like her after this. She was basically screaming her head off at him for something that wasn't even his fault. (I hate people like that.) In addition to that, she was very quick to judge him on appearance. "A SCRAWNY, GREASY KID JUST LANDED ON MY TABLE! CURSE YOU, ZEUS!" 

 One could argue that she has the right to be angry, because the gods didn't set her free (by the way, what's up with that?), but could she at least have a shred of humanity (yes, I know she's a Titan, not a human, but still...) and help the dude up? If someone fell from the sky onto my table, I'd be more concerned about the health and safety of whoever fell than I would about my table, regardless of how he or she LOOKED. My best friend described Calypso as "acting like a spoiled brat that got cut off from her daddy's money".

 Oh, blah blah blah, they fell in love. I have to admit that Calypso wearing jeans and a t-shirt to help Leo out was somewhat cute, but I still don't like their "relationship", but that's just me. :P

 I was kind of annoyed at that point that I was reading the book on my Kindle, because it will break if I throw it at the wall, and I really wanted to throw it against the wall when Leo swore on the River Styx to come back for Calypso. LEO. WHY? DO YOU HAVE A DEATH WISH? D: My poor Leo. :( If he doesn't find Ogygia again... I don't even want to think about that. He has to find it! He will find it. He will always find it. (OUAT, anyone?)

 Assorted Thoughts: Hazel's and Pasiphae's Mist manipulation confuzzled me. I wasn't sure what was real and what was a product of their minds, but I suppose that's the point of the Mist. I also wasn't quite sure how the whole "hey-Piper-brought-Festus-back-to-life-with-charmspeak-alone" thing. I suppose that I'm like Leo in that respect. That kind of magic just doesn't make sense... There's no reasoning behind it. But hey, if it works... it works!

 I also thought there was a huge buildup to a death of one of the Seven or Nico at the end when they had to close the Doors, and it never happened. That was rather anti-climactic in my opinion, but I'm still relieved that none of them died. However, this probably means that someone is almost definitely going to die in the next book. When you have seven to eight main characters, at least one, if not two of them, is most likely going to die. It really wouldn't be realistic at all if all of them made it out of The Blood of Olympus unscathed. 

 CAN WE JUST TAKE A MOMENT TO TALK ABOUT COACH HEDGE?!? He married Mellie?! When did this happen?!? AND THEY'RE HAVING A KID??? haotaowipetiai;otwhawtji!!! This is one of the cutest couples ever. I just love them. <3

 I was a little bit baffled at a few things, which were probably just mistakes that Rick made and the editor didn't catch. (Patrick probably would have caught them. :P) It said something about Tristan McLean's secretary "Jessica"... I think that was supposed to be Jane. Also, Rachel called Octavian the son of Apollo (which he isn't), and Octavian didn't correct her. Maybe he didn't want to humiliate himself, or maybe it was just a mistake. He strikes me as the "correct-someone-to-avoid-needing-an-actual-good-comeback" type.

 Finally, I think it's important to address the lack of a real cliffhanger, or even a tiny one. With The Mark of Athena, everyone was dying to know what happened to Percy and Annabeth after the fall, and I was right there with them. However, with The House of Hades, we don't have anything nearly as bad as that. Perhaps Mr. Trolldan wishes to make up for the last ending, or maybe he figures that a cliffhanger isn't necessary to keep people reading, since the next book is the last book and we may as well finish out the series. There are plenty of unanswered questions, which will hopefully be answered for us in The Blood of Olympus. Let the waiting begin once again...

 P.S. Feel free to leave a comment, send an email (PJOForever@gmail.com), or tweet us (@HotSauceValdez)! I love to hear your opinions on this. :)

6 comments:

  1. sooo, any thoughts on how mysterious percy was sometimes? Like how fast he killed the spider lady, how calculating he was with Bob, or how the heck he jumped 20 ft over that one river?

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  2. the book is full of surprises i am surprised and got a new view on every character. this book gave me and many more rapid readers a shock and was surprising. from nico having a crush on percy to the titan sacrifice to arachne dying everything was so extraordinary and was also put beautifully into words by new york times bestselling author rick riordan, so hats off to you rick this adventure was far away from ordinary. i was relieved to know that no one dies after the massive build up but now i am expecting the same build up to take place before, the fifth book the blood of olympus. and this time i am 90% sure something serious will happen. Anyways now only waiting for October 2014.

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  3. Personally, I think the ending is rather "the calm before the storm" than a making-up of Rick the Troll....

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  4. this book>>>>>my life i am not even kidding!!
    and the cupid scene i was like what??...
    i thought he just gonna be like no i was in love with Annabeth or something but i guess he had other plans..
    and you are so right like the things in people's minds are so weird..

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  5. also i dont know what to do with my life anymore..
    i finished my book in 2 days i was just so excited and now im doing it for my book report but
    omg like 2014 come to me..

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  6. {Taylor Swift reference? *wink wink nudge nudge*}
    Okay, this book was just... Wow. Like, wow.
    People have different views on this sort of thing, but honestly, I have always liked the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series better than the Heroes of Olympus series. Maybe that's just me.
    But I really think House of Hades made up for that. There was so much build-up on each character, it was almost as if it was written in first person (which is probably what I love most about the PJO series).
    I am really really really scared about what is to come in Blood of Olympus, since it seems likely that at least one of the seven and/or Nico will either get severely hurt or die.
    My gut tells me it may be Percy or Annabeth...
    Who knows! Holding my breath 'till 2014.

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