The House of Hades

The latest and the fourth book in the The Heroes of Olympus series is The House of Hades. The previous book The Mark of Athena ended in a cliff-hanger. It was the first time Rick Riordan has ended a book with a cliff-hanger (which I enjoyed) in either of The Heroes of Olympus or Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. Well the fans criticized him for doing so and the author was prompt enough to apologize for the same (Dedicated one full-page for it!).

To my wonderful readers:
Sorry about that last cliff-hanger.
Well, no, not really. HAHAHAHA.
But seriously, I love you guys.

Not quite an apology but at least he acknowledged it!

The House of Hades

The narrators for this books are Hazel, Annabeth, Leo, Percy, Frank, Jason, Piper. This time round the action is split into two halves, one in Tartarus and another over Italy. Annabeth and Percy are trapped in Tartarus and must find their way out of it through the House of Hades. Hazel, Leo, Frank, Jason, Piper and Coach Gleeson Hedge must find a way to return Athena Parthenos to stop the impending Roman attack on Camp Half-Blood.

A votive sculpture found near the Varvakeion school reflects the type of the restored Athena Parthenos

The book opens on the morning of July 3, two days after the end of The Mark of Athena, somewhere in northwestern Italy. The Argo II is unsuccessfully trying to fly east over the Apennine Mountains running down the center of the Italian peninsula past hostile mountain gods who hurl boulders at the ship. Hazel sees Arion racing through the countryside and she asks Leo to descend so she can speak to him. Arion takes her to a nearby crossroads enveloped by storms where the goddess Hecate is waiting for her.

Hecate tells Hazel that she has four options: go west, back to the United States with the Athena Parthenos to stop the impending Roman attack on Camp Half-Blood, and leave Percy and Annabeth to their fate; go east, to make another attempt at crossing the Apennines, which will get the ship pounded to pieces, and although the Seven may survive the crash, they will be knocked out of the war with the Giants; go south, to Epirus around the southern end of Italy, which will not save Percy and Annabeth, either; or go north, to Bologna and then to Venice via a secret pass through the Apennines once used by Hannibal in his attack on Rome during the Second Punic War, which will require Hazel to use the Mist to protect the ship and her friends.

The rest of the story is about the decision Hazel’s decision and the hurdles Argo II has to face because of it and the path Percy and Annabeth have to take to escape from Tartarus.

This perhaps is the most darkest book Rick Riordan has written in recent time. There are lots of information about Tartarus and the action is gripping most of the time. The biggest improvement this time is that Rick Riordan was able to pull off the seven narrator thing which in my opinion he failed to do with The Mark of Athena. And unlike The Mark of Athena you do not feel that any hero received a raw deal! The book introduces new Gods, monsters and there is detail description of Tartarus.

The House of Hades is the best book in the The Heroes of Olympus series and is a must read.

SPOILER ALERT! Read it only if you have finished reading the book

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Scar Tissue

Scar Tissue is the autobiography of Red Hot Chili Peppers vocalist Anthony Kiedis. The book follows Kiedis’ early years watching his drug dealer father sell to famous celebrities till the release of the album By the Way.

My sole motive for reading this book was that it was written by the vocalist of one of my favourite band Red Hot Chili Peppers. I wanted to know more about the history and dynamics of the band.

Scar Tissue

High Points of the book
1. Making of the albums Californication and Blood Sugar Sex Magick
2. Anthony meeting up with Hilel Slovak, Jack Irons and Flea in high school.
3. Recruiting Dave Navarro, Chad Smith and John Frusciante.
4. Stories involving interactions with Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, Pearl Jam and other bands.
5. His involvement in movies (which I didn’t know of before reading the book), particularly his interaction with Sylvester Stallone on the sets of the movie F.I.S.T..

Low Points of the book
1. Constant reference to Anthony’s drug addiction and his numerous relationships (with famous personalities) which always ended in disasters. Reference to which are made so frequently that it makes it very tiring to read the book.
2. There is very little information regarding recording and band dynamics.
3. There is no structure in narration of the story and there is no build up to a story.
4. Constantly trying to justify his actions. Everybody makes mistakes, Anthony should give himself a break.

If you are a fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and are very patient you can try reading this book. There are some thrills in the books like reading about other artists like Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction but it is too little and too few.

My personal feeling is that his story could have been told in a much better and interesting manner. But I also need to give credit to Anthony for being very honest in telling his story.