The gift of Valmiki’s Ramayana for Christmas when I was in sixth grade started me off towards mythology. Somehow, I’ve always been a huge fan of Fantasy books; they’ve always managed to capture my attention. It didn’t matter which other genre they were coupled with, Romance, Teen Fiction, Adventure or Paranormal.
For those of you who follow my blog, you’d have noticed a countdown to 8th October, the day when the fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan released. Since I had exams then, I couldn’t read it. Today, I finally finished the book, after reading the entire Percy Jackson series again, because it’d been over two years since I’d read the books.
If I had to describe reading House of Hades in one word, it would be: disappointing.
For those of you who haven’t read it yet and are planning to, there are spoilers ahead.
So I began the book today morning already knowing a couple of spoilers, the really obvious ones, happy ending, and blah de blah.
The book starts off fine, it begins when the ship Argo II sets sail for the House of Hades in Epirus, a region between Greece and Albania, to close the Doors of Death and to get Percy and Annabeth out of Tartarus.
So, seven heroes? Check. Quest akin to Mission Impossible? Check. Happy ending where everyone lives? Also check.
So, there’s this thing Fantasy books I like to read have: Death. Actually, pretty much every book in my library contains characters that have died. Except Twilight, of course.
So, one assumes that on a quest to close the Doors of Death there’s gotta be someone who dies? Perhaps one of the many main characters? Maybe the boy who’s lifeline is a stick?
The book is terribly disappointing. Beside the lack of deaths, the excess of romance kinda made me want to hurl. Too much of romance and not enough fantasy isn’t a great combination for a Fantasy novel aimed at the youth.
Riordan tries too hard with this one; he tries to appease all of his fans in one go. No deaths for the faint-hearted and plenty of teen romance for the innumerous fangirls.
Also, he jumps on the bandwagon of introducing a gay character. I sincerely hope that he had it in his head all along, or I fear for the last book, The Blood of Olympus.
The book is written is a childish way, with everything being explained multiple times. It’s okay, we read about it in chapter five, there’s absolutely no need to summarize it in chapter fifteen.
Another thing that caught my attention was the repetition. The plot has been overdone, stuff trying to destroy the earth, well, in this one, earth trying to establish a new civilization. Riordan did the same with the Olympian series, only that one turned out well because there weren’t too many main characters.
Funny thing about this book, the demigods manage to overcome everything. Every single thing. From tricking Nyx, the Night Goddess to yakking with Tartarus, the eternal abyss of torment, the demigods manage to do it all. Well, credit to most of it goes to Annabeth, the one of the biggest Mary Sue characters there ever was. Seriously, she managed to get the nicest giant Damasen, the Anti-Ares,to come fight Tartarus himself! Kudos.
The book’s ending was the most disappointing; everything turns out okay, well, as okay as it can be with Mother Earth Gaia out to kill you.
The sole redeeming aspect of the book was the introduction of many new monsters, my interest definitely increased. But, even there the majority of the monsters were old ones. Greek Mythology is vast, there are so many things to write about and yet the book goes on and on about empousai.
So, I guess there probably won’t be a countdown to Blood of Olympus which releases next November. I sincerely hope that one manages to tie up all the loose links, because that’s the last chance Rick Riordan has.
So, there’s it. Not a great review of course, but this is how I felt. Have you read the book? Did you like it?
Until next time,
Ares: God of War