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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 11 October 2013
This review is on my own behalf, and that of one grandson, one nephew and two godsons. Which in itself tells you why Rick Riordan rocks. He's got boys reading. And his books just keep getting better. We were all blown away by The House of Hades, for so many reasons. The story kicks in hard from the first line and never lets up; it's so exciting it leaves you breathless, none of us were able to put the book down. The descriptions of place are haunting, Riordan really does have a genius when it comes to the spirit of place, all described with his trademark simplicity. So this adventure delivers all any reader could ask of it - faultless plotting, atmosphere, shocks and surprises, just the right loose ends to make you long for the next in the series.

But Riordan has another gift; he knows young people. He knows what they worry about, what scares them, what makes them doubt themselves, what they care about, how they wish they could be. All his characters have an inner life that draws you to them; they may be demigod heroes, but they are recognisably real at heart. Riordan's kind and inclusive compassion for those in personal turmoil really comes to the fore - and the story of Nico di Angelo is the heart-stopper. Nico really does grow up in the most dramatic, honest and honourable way. The scene in which he opens up in front of one of his friends - because for all his friends' sakes he must - is one of the best, and most loving, scenes Riordan has ever written, and in getting it so right he has done a very great service to any young reader who identifies with this troubled yet courageous boy. It's beautifully done. And all the other characters grow just as much, just as bravely. Yet the whole tale is told with the same laugh-till-you-choke humour that made the Percy Jackson books so popular from the first.

So, heart-in-mouth thrilling, scary, funny, full of information, imagination, and the message to keep hoping even when it seems no rational person could. There are weird characters, wild ones, and two unexpected heroes...complete with an awesome cat. So thank you - again! - Rick Riordan, you can officially do no wrong.
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on 8 October 2013
Once again, Rick Riordan has made it so that hoards of fans will be screaming: "WHY?" at the top of their lungs. His way of combining witty dialoge with heartbreaking scenes and tragic stories has really brought The House of Hades to life. Imagery that lingers with you and makes you want to cry with these beautiful characters Riordan has brought to life. This is a world away from The Mark of Athena in so many ways, addressing important new issues and taking our demigods a step further in discovering themselves and the prophecy.
Jason has been developed and brought forward as a character and filled out so that his '2d personality' has become flawed and personal one I looked forward to reading. Piper, once more often accused of being 'flat' came into her own. This may have been because her POVs were few and far between, meaning she was described more from other perspectives and therefore, there was little - if any - tragic thoughts on her relationships. Frank... well Frank has grown up. In more than one ways in in so many directions that my heart swells when I think of him as if he's someone I can pat on the head. Hazel has struck me more in this book than she has in all the others, burstig from her normal role as a backing character and taking on important roles in the quest. Leo, everyone's favourite mechanic, has also changed although his range of inappropriate jokes are still wide, varied and flying all about the place.
Percy and Annabeth who left us hanging off the edge of our seats have grown to rely on more than each other, but on themselves and other people who help them. They trust their insticts implicitly and act so adult, yet with the childish aspects that we have never really seen before, in the face of danger that coupled with Riordan's writing makes you feel you are with them.
And Nico, who I always leave til last, has faced his biggest fears, his biggest enemies and himself - probably the most dangerous one of all. This character always struck the protective bone in me and I wish with all my heart, that I could give him a hug. Because, ladies and gentlemen, this boy needs one.
Can't wait for the next book, The Blood of Olympus, to come out.
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on 8 October 2013
This is the quickest time I've read a book with this many pages and I am blown away. I've always been a big fan of Percy Jackson and have (im)patiently waited for HOH for a few months now and this doesn't disappoint. You get really attached to all of the characters which is uncommon and I found myself exclaiming out loud. Jordan also manages to keep a sense of realism and addresses issues and topics that most authors would dare not to. Adore this book and can't wait for the next.
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on 9 October 2013
This is the 4th book in this series and as with the previous books it is very hard to put down. I put this book down once because I had to sleep. The story flowed well and gripped you as you turned each page to see where the story would lead you next. Autumn 2014 is too long a wait for this series to continue, but to pass the time I will go back and read Percy Jackson and co., again and again. Another great book in this series.
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on 11 October 2013
Heart wrenching and beautiful, so Riordan through and through. Loved every second of it, I hope to see a happy Nico at the end of the last book, as well as Leo, Calypso and Reyna. Somehow I doubt I'll see that. 5/5 would recommend.
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on 13 October 2013
We are used to our band of demi-gods having to face monsters but in this book they must also face their own darkest places, the secret fears they keep tightly inside themselves.

Frank comes into his own as a son of Mars and from being a gifted but fearful demi god learns his own strength and his ability to lead others, despite his fear of his life wood burning away. Hazel is given a large part to play in the events of this book and she has to learn her own sorceress abilities and stop trying to hide from the gods' notice as an anomaly who should be dead. She rises to become a pivotal character in the struggle to close the Doors of Death which is the key part of the quest in 'House of Hades'.

Jason must realise he cannot always lead the others and his divided loyalties to Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-Blood are at the heart of his dilemma. Piper comes into her own as well as she learns that her somewhat nebulous talents as a daughter of Aphrodite can be utilised to much greater effect. She must learn her own value as part of the team.

Leo, insecure, brilliant, scared of his fire powers as well as embracing them, conflicted about his feelings for other members undergoes an emotional experience which allows him to grow up.

Percy and Annabeth must endure the terrors of Tartarus, dungeon of torment, and must learn to rely even more heavily on each other. Annabeth must discover that all her brilliant plans and knowledge cannot always help in such a terrifying place and Percy must learn that even a monster can be a friend who sacrifices everything for you and what is right.

And as for Nico, his dark journey continues, is even harder and, I suspect, he has so much more travelling to do before Gaia is defeated. In this book he is forced to expose his personal tumult completely and utterly in the service of his friends and you become aware of just how brave and honourable he is.

But the heroes have no time for emotional reflection, the never-ending action drives them on in their quest. The writing is tight and fast-paced. There is tension, witty dialogue, action and plenty of sword play and demi-god magic. Riordan's ability to render Tartarus as a living and breathing place is exceptional. He brings the Roman and Greek myths to life, breathing life into the ancient characters for a modern generation to know and love. This is a worthy addition to the saga.
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on 17 October 2014
This is the last book before The Blood of Olympus and it is a stunner. Oh wow there were so many things that happened in this book that I just didn't expect. After the Mark of Athena ended I was thinking that things could not get worse than that ending but they did...and it was great. I was shocked and stunned and gripped and wanting more from the very start to the very end of this book.

I loved that there were characters that appeared in the previous books briefly mentioned, in some cases like Grover, but also sort of a main character like Bob. I loved Bob he was so cute. I also loved how we got more information from Nico and eveything made much more sense when his secret came out. It was brilliant.

Just like the rest of the series this book was completely and totally brilliant. It grabbed you from the first page and did not let you go until the very end. It was fantastic with its twists that I just did not see coming and it really makes you excited and impatient for the last book in the series because you just cannot wait to find out what will happen with these heroes.
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on 18 January 2016
For fans of Percy Jackson and anyone who has the slightest interest in Greek and Roman Civilisations or mythological masterpieces of fiction.
Truly an Epic set of stories from the First to the Last!!!
From Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson Books 1-5 plus two more extra books on the Greek Gods and Demigods) and continuing all the way through (Heroes of Olympus Books 1-5).
To end with The Blood of Olympus. An Epic story all the way through, a great coming of age story in beautiful and rich environments full of danger and mystery. A thoroughly cracking read. I loved it so much, I read it twice through. Wonderful.
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on 27 December 2013
We find ourselves in Tartarus on a long and dark journey with Percy and Annabeth. Riordan does a good job at depicting the depths of hell. You can almost imagine taking the journey with Percy and Annabeth and you grow to love Bob just as much as they do.

Meanwhile, Nico, Frank, Jason, Leo, Hazel and Piper continue on their journey to find the House of Hades. We are introduced to more Gods and Godesses who pose more challenges for the team. What I liked about this book is Leo and his encounter with a familiar but forgotten character who changes Leo to the core. How much we have yet to see. Also, Frank really proves to be a strong demigod in this book and grows into a true hero.

Overall, the story has progressed and the battle draws to a close but I'm not sure Riordan progressed the story enough in this book and it did seem to drag on in parts. This is why I've given it 4*'s and not 5*'s.

Let's see what the final installment brings next year. I do hope Percy and Annabeth get their wish and we don't lose too many along the way. Will the Greeks and Romans unite and save the Gods? Or is it best they remain seperated?

I look forward to finding out :)
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on 9 October 2013
Great individual stories making up the next phase in this book series. More in sight in to the main characters with some great twists. Some old faces making a clever reappearance too. Makes a great read for all ages. Can't wait for the next one even though it is a 12 month wait....!
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