Death, Doors, and Tartarus REVIEWING The House of Hades

Welcome back to The Real World According To Sam! We are still continuing with our Countdown to Nero!

We are 5 weeks and 6 days away from the release of The Tower of Nero (October 6, 2020)!

This is a The Mark of Athena SPOILER LAND, clearly, because this is a sequel. 

This review of The House of Hades is completely spoiler free for this installment.

Let's begin the review.

The House of Hades

Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Year: 2013

The House of Hades


Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power. 

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea's strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can't exactly launch on a frontal assault.  

Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.

Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series. 


When we last left our heroes, two were in hell....literally. Or at least, the Greek equivalent of hell, which is Tartarus. Percy and Annabeth fell into a giant hole in a spider 's nest because after being six months apart, Percy thinks it is better to go to Greek hell than split off from Annabeth anymore. Time together, just the two of them, with sheer pain and agony to bring them closer together. What could be more romantic? Jokes aside, being in Tartarus really does become another opportunity for us to see Percy and Annabeth together as a couple fighting against the worst odds imaginable. Percy's invincibility star power-up is gone, so he's just as vulnerable as any other player in the game. 

Outside of Tartarus, our other heroes are working on the living side of things to find the other side of the Doors of Death. These doors have two openings, one in Tartarus and one in the mortal world. To be more specific, they are unsurprisingly in Greece. So Nico, Coach Hedge, Frank, Hazel, Jason, and Piper get to go to a sunny island, while Percy and Annabeth get free tickets to Deathland. Percy and Annabeth deal with heat, starvation, and toxic air, while Leo meets a familiar face, the Boreads make a comeback, Frank has to go snake hunting, and Hazel gets a new power. 

The best part of this book is honestly getting to go through Tartarus with Percy and Annabeth. It has been so long since they got some alone time, that even if it's through insane questing, it is nice to see them working together again. Is it insane? Absolutely. Is it fun? Without a doubt. As usual, we have lots of mythological cameos, such as Triptolemus, Cupid, Notus, Iapetus, and Damasen, among many, many others. I really love getting to see new characters and villains, then looking up some of the original myths they were in to see the differences. As usual, there is also a lot of humor, so get ready to have your funny bone tickled. 

For this book, we also get more of Nico, which is fun. Nico was a character that got a bit of time in the first series, but not nearly enough. This time around we get to spend a lot of time with him. We get to peel back some of his layers, get new characteristics revealed, and figure out exactly what it is that haunts Nico. 

We also spend more time with Hazel getting to become a stronger demigod. This is really nice since in The Son of Neptune she was more so a tortured character, trying to find her footing. Now, she gets to have a different perspective of herself as she gets new abilities. She has more power than she originally thought and gets a mentor, kind of, to help her realize them. This makes her a much stronger component within the group, and I am excited to see what she can really do going forward. 

Frank is also dealing with some things, as his dad gets a split personality that is very bothersome. I really like Frank's character progression and this book does a lot for him. He's really coming into his own and becoming gradually less awkward, which is lots of fun to see. 

Everybody in the book has their own challenges and weaknesses to overcome, but I really appreciated the ones I mentioned above. I also really like the big accomplishment that Piper's abilities allow her to achieve in this book, but I don't want to spoil that. As usual, the cast is fun, their dialogue is hilarious, and this book is lots of fun. I highly recommend it and cannot wait to see what happens next. I give this book a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯✯.

This concludes another review here at The Real World According To Sam, where I bring the books to your screen and even throw in my own two cents on them!