Percy Jackson Project: The House of Hades
Coming up with words to describe how much I love The House of Hades feels impossible, but I’ll do my best. I am so mad at myself that I slept on this series for so long! These books are some of the best content I’ve encountered in a long, long time. I am excited to read again! This is honestly such a pleasure.
Before I even read a single word of the book itself I was laughing from the dedication alone. Riordan dedicates the book to his readers, and pulls a sorry-not-sorry about the cliffhanger at the end of The Mark of Athena. His signature humor is rampant throughout the book. The House of Hades is just as witty and entertaining as the rest of Riordan’s books. It also contains a deep soulfulness to it, as the characters discover things about themselves and their worth that they were not confronted with before.
One of the things I love most about this book is getting to see Percy and Annabeth work together as a team. The two of them have been together since the beginning. It is amazing to see them stick by each other literally through the depths of hell. I love all of the new characters in this book, but seeing Percy and Annabeth together continues to warm my heart.
Speaking of newer characters, I love how this book highlights the journeys of both Frank and Leo in different ways. Leo’s relationship with Calypso and his promise to go back to her stirred something inside of me. Leo has been the isolated and odd one out among the seven for this entire journey. I enjoy seeing this new side to him, and watching him care for another person the way that he cares for Calypso.
Frank’s journey also draws my attention. I love the contrast between having the scene in Tartarus where Percy is wishing Frank was with them to the next scene showing Frank struggling with his own self worth. It goes to show that we can never truly understand how others will see us from the outside. We can be told what others think of us, but our internal opinion will always be different. In this case Percy is absolutely right that Frank is a skilled and strong character capable of taking charge and controlling situations. We see this in Venice, where he destroys all of the katoblepones to save Nico and Hazel. We see it again in the House of Hades itself, where Frank takes control of the Roman legion and the army of the dead.
It will be difficult to forget the scene where Frank, Piper, Jason, and Nico arrive to save the others from Clytius. Part of that is because it is a badass scene in general. The other is because it is yet another time where we get to see a critique of the gods and how they operate. I have said it before and I will say it again that I appreciate all the times in this series where the gods are taken to task about how they treat their children. Holding them accountable is important, and I am glad to see Riordan do that.
I love a particular moment in The House of Hades. Percy reflects on the regeneration of monsters and has a moment of despair before realization. He first begins to sink into thoughts of misery as he considers how titans, giants, and monsters regenerate. But before he can submit fully to hopelessness, his thoughts stay on the idea of “sons and daughters” and his own potential family, the generations of demigods.
Okay, maybe monsters kept coming back forever. But so did demigods. Generation after generation, Camp Half-Blood had endured. And Camp Jupiter. Even separately, the two camps had survived. Now, if the Greeks and Romans could come together, they would be even stronger. […] Sons and daughters. A ridiculous thought. An awesome thought. Right there in the middle of Tartarus, Percy grinned.
Another godly interaction that I appreciate is when Jason and Nico visit Eros/Cupid. Cupid tells them
Love is no game! It is no flowery softness! It is hard work—a quest that never ends. It demands everything from you—especially the truth. Only then does it yield rewards.House of Hades, p. 289
Love is a force to be reckoned with that can make or break people. Cupid makes clear that it wrecks havoc on many lives.
Unfortunately this scene is made lesser because Cupid outs Nico—something which I absolutely hate. No one should be forced to come out, especially around people which they are not comfortable. Although Jason considers Nico his friend, Nico cannot bring himself to feel the same. Nico is an outsider. The only people that he allowed close are Bianca, and to a lesser extent Hazel. His relationship with Percy is complicated. Not only does he have an unrequited crush, but he is not out to anyone. He is a son of Hades, which pushes him even further to the fringes of society.
This is all to say that Nico’s relationship with love is complicated. Cupid pushing his buttons is horrible and makes this scene hard. Yet I still love its exploration of how we become powerless when our emotions are used against us. Sometimes the only way to get what we want and need is to submit and admit to how we feel in order to move past it.
It brings to mind my favorite quote—the one I have tattooed on my arm, and that lingers in my email signature.
Love is the most powerful weapon that we have, because love is a form of hope, and like hope, love abides, in the face of everything.”Doctor Who, “Demons of the Punjab”
While reading I found myself fully engrossed in The House of Hades. I keep saying that each book gets better and better because it’s true! As this series goes on and on I find myself falling deeper in love with these characters. The Heroes of Olympus is a fantastic and fast-paced read. I am excited for the next book, but sad at the idea that this will be the end! Of course there are many more books in this universe, but I am still finding myself reluctant to start The Blood of Olympus. I do not want to say goodbye to this story just yet.
All the same, I must continue! So thank you for reading all my thoughts about The House of Hades. Check back in next week to hear what I will think of the next novel in line, The Blood of Olympus. I cannot believe we’ve nearly made it to the end! Make sure to subscribe to this blog so that you will be notified when I post next Tuesday. You can follow me on Twitter for more updates about my writing and current projects, as well as a variety of other topics as is my chaotic wont.
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