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Book Review

Book Cover

Heroes of Olympus
Book 4
The House of Hades (Hardback)


Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Puffin Books
RRP: £12.99, US $19.99
ISBN: 978 0 141 33918 4
Publication Date: 08 October 2013

Rick Riordan has created an on-going franchise from what started as stories for his son. Well, if it was good enough for Tolkien, why not? In the figure of Percy Jackson, Riordan has created a hero popular with his young adult audience as well as creating stories which can be enjoyed by adults alike...

The series popularity meant that in 2010 Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief appeared as a film, which was an adaptation of The Lightning Thief (2005), the first book to introduce Percy as the semi divine son of Poseidon. Other characters would be introduced; all the children of gods. The series Percy Jackson & the Olympians ran for five books to be followed by a new series, The Heroes of Olympus, which continued the story.

Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades (2013 - 597 pages. Hardback) is the fourth book in the new series and contains a thirteen page glossary.

At the close of the previous book, The Mark of Athena (2012) Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase have fallen into the chasm leading to Tartarus, a region below Hades and prison of the Titans. Together the other demi-gods have to rescue these two, close the doors to death and stop the roman demi-gods from attacking the camp of the Half-Bloods. The story is told from multiple perspectives.

It’s fair to say, having thrown them down a hole to a place lower than Hell, Riordan is content to just keep the occasional tab on Percy and Annabeth. The greater part of the book is dedicated to the journey the crew of the Argo II take through Italy. This is told as a series of revelations, generously interspersed with meetings with other mythical beings. To say any more would spoil the enjoyment of reading the story.

Riordan has gone for epic in this story, but is also able to tell his tale with humour, with this latest book he has thrown into the mix, so expect a large amount of action, from a pantheon of monsters as our protagonists, Hazel, Frank, Leo, Jason, Piper, Nico and Coach Hedge try to get to the human side of the doors of death, whilst Percy and Annabeth try from their side.

Even with the glossary, the main problem with the book is that it doesn’t work well as a standalone novel, but then as the fourth book of the second series, most would expect readers to start at the beginning rather than jump in here.

So, it’s a well written young adult novel which should thrill fans of the series.


Charles Packer

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