Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
Better and better.
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.