The House of Hades
Cover of first edition
|Cover artist||John Rocco|
|Series||The Heroes of Olympus (bk 4)|
|Genre||Fantasy, Greek and Roman mythology, young-adult novel|
|October 8, 2013 (hardcover, audiobook CD, Kindle/Nook eBook)|
|Media type||Print (hardcover), audiobook CD, e-book|
|Pages||597 pp (first ed.)|
|LC Class||PZ7.R4829 Son 2011|
|Preceded by||The Mark of Athena|
|Followed by||The Blood of Olympus|
At the conclusion of the previous book in the series, The Mark of Athena, Annabeth Chase and Percy Jackson fell into a pit leading to Tartarus. The protagonists are on a quest to close the Doors of Death, rescue Annabeth and Percy from Tartarus, and stop the Roman demigods from Camp Jupiter from attacking Camp Half-Blood.
The five remaining demigods: Jason Grace, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, and Hazel Levesque, accompanied by Nico di Angelo and Coach Hedge, continue to set sail towards Greece aboard the flying warship, Argo II, to search for the Doors of Death and possibly saving Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase from Tartarus along the way. After unsuccessfully attempting to cross the Apennine Mountains due to the Ourae's hindering, Hazel leaves with her horse Arion to meet with Hecate, who offers Hazel four directions to choose. She promises the northern route that Hazel picked will work under the condition that Hazel has to practice manipulating the Mist first. Arriving at Bologna, the Argo II is raided by the Kerkopes, Passalos and Akmon, who steal Archimedes's sphere that Leo had found in Rome, among other things. Leo corners the thieves inside the Two Towers and retrieves the items alongside an agricultural book belonging to Demeter's helper, Triptolemus, and an astrolabe belonging to Odysseus but he spares the two under the condition that they head to New York City to stall the impending Roman demigods from attacking Camp Half-Blood. Frank, Hazel, and Nico meet with Triptolemus at Venice, but upon discovering Nico's status as a demigod of Hades, he forces Frank to kill the katobleps of Venice by taking Hazel and Nico hostage first before he gives them barley to make cakes that will render them immune to the poison of the Necromanteion. After Frank succeeds, the Argo II heads to the direction of the Balkans, but is blocked by the bandit Sciron, who would use his giant carnivorous turtle to devour them. By manipulating the Mist, Hazel is able to make him fall into his own trap. Her father, Pluto appears to inform her that the Doors of Death are located at the lowest level of the Necromanteion in Epirus.
At Jason's behest, the demigods visit Split in order to visit the palace and tomb of Emperor Diocletian, Jason's personal hero who was the last Roman Emperor to worship the Roman gods before the Empire's adoption of Christianity. Searching for Diocletian's scepter that is said to be capable of commanding dead Roman soldiers, Jason and Nico are transported to a remote mountain by Favonius and are confronted by Cupid, who forces Nico to admit that he had a crush on Percy before leaving them the scepter. Sailing through the Adriatic Sea, the ship is barred by Khione and her siblings, who sends Leo to Ogygia before she is stopped by Piper, who had used charmspeaking on Festus to wake him. At Ogygia, Leo meets with a cynical Calypso and learns of her curse and her previous encounter with Percy. After developing a closer relationship, Calypso helps Leo escape the island, and he swears on the River Styx to return. The rest of the crew of the Argo II rest in a north African coast to meet with Notus, and Jason decides to become a part of the Greeks. The demigods rendezvous with Leo at Malta before heading to the Necromanteion. Descending through the temple's complex structure, they are separated with Leo and Hazel remaining to confront the guardians of the Door of Death: the giant Clytius and the sorceress Pasiphaë. The others are surrounded by a horde of monsters until Jason gives his praetorship to Frank, who uses Diocletian's scepter to take command of undead Roman soldiers and defeat the monsters. By manipulating the Mist, Hazel traps Pasiphaë inside an illusion, leaving only Clytius.
Meanwhile, Percy and Annabeth have to cross through the otherworldly Tartarus to find a way out. They navigate through the alien environs and face several enemies. Annabeth uses an underworld altar to tell Rachel Elizabeth Dare to meet with Reyna and inform her to rendezvous with the demigods in Greece. Meeting up with Percy's old friend, Bob (actually the Titan Iapetus), who has been longing to see the outside world, they also befriend the outcast giant Damasen who is forced to stay in Tartarus by Gaea. Percy and Annabeth also come across a flickering skeleton cat, who Bob later names Small Bob, who says 'He is a good monster'. Near Chaos, Percy and Annabeth are double-crossed by Akhlys while attempting to receive the Death Mist to take cover, and meet with the primordial entity Nyx in her residence. They narrowly escape Nyx and her children and arrive at the heart of Tartarus, where a tall elevator functioning as the Door of Death and guarded by Titans Hyperion and Krios is located. Hyperion and Krios have let all of the fallen Giants return to the mortal world. The personification of Tartarus, angry at the Titans' badmouthing of him, takes form and swallows them up. To buy them time, Bob and Damasen sacrifice themselves to fend off Tartarus while Percy and Annabeth head upwards to the mortal world in the elevator to the Necromanteion. There, Hazel, with Hecate's aid, manages to kill Clytius.
The reunited demigods have a small picnic before continuing through Greece. Reyna also joins them, having heeded Annabeth's message and crossed the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea at the cost of her pegasus, Scipio, and her status as praetor possibly stripped. Annabeth says that Reyna, as a Roman, should bring the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood to appease both the Greeks and Romans, with Nico and Hedge volunteering to accompany her. Later on, Percy looks up at the night sky and recalls Bob's final wish: "Bob says hello".
The Seven Demigods of the Great Prophecy
- Percy Jackson – Son of Poseidon
- Annabeth Chase – Daughter of Athena
- Jason Grace – Son of Jupiter
- Leo Valdez – Son of Hephaestus
- Piper McLean – Daughter of Aphrodite
- Frank Zhang – Son of Mars and descendant of Poseidon
- Hazel Levesque – Daughter of Pluto
Additional crew of the Argo II
- [[List of Camp Half-Blood characters#Nico di Angelo
|Nico di Angelo]] – son of Pluto half brother of Hazel Levesque
- Bob/Iapetus – Titan of mortality, lord of the West
- Calypso – Nymph, daughter of the Titan Atlas
- Clytius - Giant, nemesis of Hecate
- Damasen – Giant, nemesis of Ares
- Hecate – Goddess of magic, crossroads, and the Mist
- Octavian – Augur of Camp Jupiter, legacy of Apollo
- Pasiphaë – Witch, daughter of Helios, sister of Circe, wife of Minos, mother of Ariadne and the Minotaur
- Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano – Praetor of Camp Jupiter, daughter of Bellona
- Small Bob – One of the kittens that sprang up from saber-tooth tiger teeth in The Titan's Curse
The House of Hades was published on October 8, 2013. It is available in hardcover, paperback, eBook and audiobook formats. Special edition versions were also released which were signed, and had exclusive drawings inside. Versions with the short story "The Crown of Ptolemy," a crossover with the other Rick Riordan series, The Kane Chronicles, and the short story "Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades" printed at the back of the book were also released.
The Guardian commended Riordan's ability to handle the multiple perspective format smoothly and referred to his treatment of "more mature themes," specifically the revelation of Nico's sexual identity, as "subtle and effective." Rick Riordan has said that Nico's sexual orientation was not planned but rather developed "the longer [he] wrote about his character" and that he included a gay hero in his books because he taught so many gay and bisexual students whom he felt deserved representation. He has stated that because his books are for middle grades, they should not and will not contain sexual content beyond "expressions of who likes whom, holding hands, and perhaps the occasional kiss" but that treating sexual identity as an adults-only topic is "absurd."
The House of Hades sold over 350,000 copies during its first week, about 249,000 of them through retailers that report Nielson BookScan data. This is 26% more than The Mark of Athena during a comparable period.
- What Does It Mean That 1 in 4 Adults Didn't Read a Book Last Year? - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
- "The house of Hades". LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress (lccn.loc.gov). Retrieved November 9, 2015.
- The House of Hades - Heroes of Olympus: The Online World of Rick Riordan
- "Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan – review". March 11, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Riordan, Rick. "Frequently Asked Questions About Me: The Online World of Rick Riordan". Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- "A Home Run for 'Hades'". Publishers Weekly. October 18, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
- The Heroes of Olympus series site from publisher Disney (readriordan.com)
- Rick Riordan Myth Master at publisher Penguin Books (UK)
- Rick Riordan at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database