I will preface this review by expressing my love for Rick Riordan‘s young adult fantasy books. I love the Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus. I have not read a book of his that I didn’t enjoy. So…
Yesterday (October 8, 2013) The House of Hades, from The Heroes of Olympus series, made its official debut. I bought one, just like I have bought all of his other books. I brought it home and ignored the laundry, the dishes, and everything else so I could read. My oldest is a huge fan, and I knew she’d steal the book the next day if I didn’t finish it. In fact she tried to steal it while I drove her to robotics club.
I like the action in The House of Hades and the mythology woven through it. I like the characters and how they learn teamwork, self-confidence, and self-reliance. The story was fast paced and plot twists were awesome. One thing that I like about fantasy novels is the fact that plot twists can be totally off the wall and still work.
Percy and Annabeth are in Tartarus struggling to stay alive and find the Doors of Death while the rest of the team are struggling to make it to the Doors of Death on the mortal side of things. Both groups endure terrible hardships and enjoy unexpected help and friendship at the unlikeliest times. Some of the scenes are heart-rending. Some are hilarious. I can tell you that I will never ever think of Cupid the same way again!
I loved this book, except for one thing. Rick Riordan reveals one of his characters is struggling with same gender attraction. Now I know this is something that some people, including teens, struggle with in their personal lives. I have read many books with characters that have this attraction. But why in the world do you want to put this in a book that many millions of impressionable kids will be reading? It did not add to the action. I don’t think it was necessary to explain the actions of this character. I always assumed he had his issues because of the death of his sister and it works that way.
Perhaps Mr. Riordan thinks this will help some teen facing a similar problem. Maybe he’s trying to be politically correct to sell more books. Whatever his motivation it is the one thing in the book that really stood out to me. What kind of conversations am I going to be having with my children in the next couple of days? (And yes, we have talked about this before.)
I still want to read the rest of the series, but I hope that this is not the one thing I remember whenever I think about The Heroes of Olympus. I also hope that Mr. Riordan doesn’t exploit this situation in his next book because it really detracts from the overall effect in my opinion.