Here's the summary from Goodreads: At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape? They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.
What I Liked: 1) This series gets more complex the longer it continues. The plot is so intriguing that I often forget that it's technically a Middle Grade book. Not that I'm saying MG books can't be intriguing, obviously they can. But the intricacies combined with the Greek and Roman histories overlapping make this plot one of the highlights of the story. 2) A lot of questions I've had, particularly regarding some of the characters, were answered in this book. Certainly not everything, but enough that I felt a sense of relief to finally have some of those answers. 3) My favorite part of the book was the time Annabeth and Percy spent in Tartarus. It's such a different setting than we've visited throughout the series and it was so graphically detailed that it was easy to picture. And because Tartarus is basically an unknown, the characters have no idea what reaction their actions will cause. It makes every page turn exciting and new. We also had the chance to meet and re-meet some different folks in here that offered assistance to Percy and Annabeth, some unexpected new friends. I'm glad we got to spend some time in that particular setting, because it opened up a new world of ideas for the plot.
What I Didn't Like: Okay, it was a little long. Not really a big complaint. But my real complaint is that there are too many main characters, and the POV changes to frequently. As much as I love the characters, and couldn't choose any to get rid of, it becomes a little redundant and hard to read, because it prevents the plot to travel in a linear fashion. That's something that is challenging for me personally, because I have a linear brain. It might not be a problem for others.
Overall Thoughts: The House of Hades is an excellent addition to the Heros of Olympus series. There is never a dull moment in the book, and the jumble of characters will give everyone a person they can relate to. I love that the Greeks and Romans have come together, at least in part, to defeat Gaea. If you like things like plot lines to travel in linear pattern, like me, the multiple POVs and number of main characters might force you to read a bit slower than you normally would, so you can absorb all the info, but overall it was very enjoyable!
My Rating: 4 candy corns
And make sure you enter to win a copy of Alethea Kontis's Hero on this week's Trick or Treat Tuesday post!