Heroes of Olympus: House of Hades by Rick Riordan

house of hades

Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
Protagonist(s): Percy Jackson, Jason Grace, Annabeth Chase, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, Hazel Lavesque
Other Characters: Coach Gleeson Hedge, Nico di Angelo, Calypso
Gods/Goddesses Mentioned (Roman/Greek): Mars/Ares, Cupid/Eros, Hecate/Trivia, Khione, Pluto/Hades

Review: I vowed to myself to finish this series before The Magnus Chase series is released (October 2015). Obviously enough, I failed on this goal. So now I vow to at least finish this series before the year is over. Since I’m practically done, I think I can make this promise stick. Well enough of that tidbit and on with the review. Every time I read a Riordan book. I’m always have a certain hesitation, fearing that this might be the book that will ruin the series for me or even the author. Alas, I have not yet come to such a book. Fortunately for me, every book I’ve picked up pf his has become one of my favorites and it’s really not hard to tell why. There is always action, adventure, friendship and romance in all his books, which is totally what I look for in a book. I mean who doesn’t. So it doesn’t really come as a surprise that this book, in my opinion, is just as fantastic as the others in the series. To be honest I can’t find anything wrong about House of Hades. I don’t know if the book is just very well written or I was too pre-occupied in my reading to realize the negative factors. Which just goes to say how good the book is. Since I really can’t find something bad to say I will give a reason as to why I gave it a 4.5.

For me, I always wonder why a reviewer wouldn’t give a 5 if the book was so perfect for them. So not wanting to look like a hypocrite, it’s only fair for me to defend my rating. When I read, or even watch a movie, I always get annoyed at the smaller details. Meaning the convenience of things For example, if our hero is in trouble, a weapon, or a way to get out, just conveniently appears. Now, don’t get haughty on me. I actually get annoyed at myself for this as well. Obviously movies and books will always have a convenient solution for difficult situations because they are the hero/heroine. I mean if they accidentally die or get harmed tragically, then there really isn’t much of a story. Right?!?! Yes, I know, but I really can’t help myself. So back to House of Hades. I just found that the heroes always find the answer too fast and there were too many freaky ‘accidents’ that they stumble on that leads them to the right path. This though doesn’t make me hate the book, just a personal annoyance of mine.

Now moving on. The one thing I Really enjoyed about this book, in fact the whole series, are the different POV. I love getting the insights of all the main characters, there fears, weaknesses and their strengths are very well written in all their POV’s. I would have enjoyed a POV from Nico, but really beggars can’t be choosers. I also find that the different POV’s add to the character/reader relationship. Meaning you get a lot more attached to the characters when you know their thought process. We get to know them on a personal level. Which is a very important factor to any series. I especially loved this book just because of all the POVs. There are some books that gets overwhelming when too many POV’s are introduced, but Riordan does a really great job on not over loading the readers. With the length of this book, you really don’t feel the bulk of it because the voices changes from one character to the next. Hopefully, the last book will do a great job on this as well.

Another aspect I enjoyed about this book are all the relationships. I know I always say this, but Riordan really does a good job in creating bonds between his characters. Since there are seven different main characters in this book, plus Nico, it would have been difficult to make all of them work well together, but by creating different challenges, Riordan was able to alienate a rift that could have formed. I especially enjoyed the quest between Nico and Jason. It was heartwarming and a different pairing from the usual three. I’m actually glad that he chose Jason instead of other girls, since it’s an uncommon situation. This same quest also enlightens us to Nico’s brooding and explains his hesitation towards Percy and Annabeth.

As for the actual quests of the heroes/heroines it was pretty good. I especially enjoyed the quest of Percy and Annabeth. Yes, I could be biased because it’s my favorite couple, but to be honest, it’s mostly because you really get to see how much the two characters has grown from when we first saw them in the Lightning Thief. I especially love the world that Riordan created on this part of the story. It somewhat gave me the chills just thinking about Tartarus as a ‘someone’ not a ‘something’ and this made me enjoy the last few chapters of Annabeth’s and Percy’s POV’s. I’m not saying that the other quest was a total dud, because it wasn’t. It’s as full of action just as the other one. I’m glad that Leo is getting his own little part in the book, I really hate love triangles, so this small side story was an amazing addition. He deserves his own…story. There were so many things that happens in this book and it literally keeps you on the edge of the seat, it did with me.

I’m becoming over repetitive in this series, but I’m really, really loving Heroes of Olympus and I think it will become one of my favorite. It’s been awhile since a series has impressed me from beginning to end – *ahem* Harry Potter! So I’m really glad to say this book has done just that. Still not as good as HP, but it has come close. I really can’t wait to see how Riordan will end the series, and I hope that I won’t be disappointed.

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

We’re almost at the end of the series, so I won’t start spoiling anything about it.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

HarryPotter
Author: J.K Rowling
Narrated By: Jim Dale
Genre: Fantasy

As stated on the title of this review, its not the actual book I’m going to talk about, but rather the audio version. Since most, if not all, have read the book or at least has seen the movies, I won’t go into details regarding the synopsis of the novel. Yes, I know the book is not the same as the movie, but you get the main idea. This is my honest thoughts and opinions on the audio version of J.K Rowling’s best selling series, so please, if I said anything bad or things that you didn’t like, don’t hate me for it.

I have read this particular book more times than I can remember and every time I pick it up I can’t help but fall in love with Hogwarts and the wizarding world all over again. Many have told me that the audiobook is fantastic and Jim Dale, the narrator, does justice to the voices of the characters and he brings even more life to Rowling’s already vivid world. With such high praises, I can’t help but give in to peer pressure and even if I don’t end up liking it, I at least get the chance to re-read Harry Potter all over again. So its a win, win situation.

Now, if you have never listened to an audiobook in your whole entire reading life, I feel that this is a good place for you to start. I can see why many enjoy Jim Dale’s narration. He gives each character life in his many voices and you will be able to identify each of the characters in the book. If you have watched the movie as much as I have, then the voices might be a hit or miss for you. There are some that I enjoyed and some where I just thought it didn’t suit the character and there are others that made me chuckle each time I hear it. I know that the audiobook was released way before the movies, but I can’t help compare them. I think that Professor Dumbledore and Hagrid’s voices are dead on to Richard Harris and Robbie Coltrane’s. The first time I heard it, I almost thought that maybe they lent their voices to Jim Dale for the book (hahaha!). I did have problems with Hermoine’s voice. I love, love Emma Watson, so when I heard the voice that was used for her, it slightly broke my heart. The audio version sounded very whinny and high pitched, I get that she’s suppose to sound like a know-it-all, I just can’t accept that’s how she sounds like. I would rather keep Emma’s voice in my head. The two that really stood out for me, and made me hold my stomach in laughter, is Mr. & Mrs. Dursley. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. Mr. Dursley sounds like a cross between Marvin the Martian, from Looney Toons, and Mr. Bean. Yea, you heard me right, Mr. Bean! I really can’t describe Mrs. Dursley’s voice, but I think her voice is only hilarious because it sounds very much like Mr. Dursley’s, in a feminine way. That being said, I did enjoy the overall narration of the book. I love the magical sounding voice of Jim Dale and to be honest, it kinda sounds like Professor Dumbledore is reading the to me. I think he did a stupendous job in this audiobook.

Even with the misses on some of the voices, I didn’t really mind it that much. I liked it enough that I would actually listen to the second book, but it’s not the best I’ve heard. There are some books where their audio is so great that I can’t help but associate the voices to the character when I’m actually reading the physical book. For me, this is what makes an audio very good. The problem is, I feel that I’m biased, only because I love the movie actors that plays our beloved characters so much, that I associate those people and their voices to their counterparts. That being said, I still highly recommend the audio, because it’s a different way to “reading” the Harry Potter books. I feel that when I’m listening to the audio, I find bits and pieces that I missed when actually reading the physical book. So, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, and are planning on re-reading the series all over again, maybe you can keep the audiobook in mind. Try it out. Like I said, like it or not, its a win, win situation.