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 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.
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.