Author – Rick Riordan
Pages – 583
Publisher – Hyperion
Series – Heroes of Olympus
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.
My Rating – 5 Stars
*Warning. This book is the 4th in the series. This review contains spoilers about previous books in the series. Proceed with caution.*
Okay guys, I’m going to be honest with you…this won’t be much of a review. More like a full on gushing session about how much I love these books and how I wish I was a 16 year old girl again so that I could have a crush on Percy without it being weird.
When we last left our band of heroes, Percy and Annabeth had just fallen in a pit that leads to the Tartarus. You know, the place monsters go to regenerate after they die. Sounds like fun for two demigods that have killed tons of monsters, right? Haha...yea…
They have to travel through the Tartarus to close the Doors of Death, and slow down the regeneration process for monsters. This adventure (um if you can call it an “adventure”) forces Percy and Annabeth to face old enemies and, especially Percy, to think about some wrongs they may have committed inadvertently while they were trying to save the world. They rely on some unlikely friends, including a saber-toothed skeleton kitten to help them survive the Tartarus and all its evilness. Percy and Annabeth are so cute, even faced with death and sorrow and madness. They are ultimately tested in the Tartarus, Percy has no water to fight with and Annabeth has no real knowledge of the Tartarus and what it can do, so her cleverness has its limits.
Meanwhile, Leo, Frank, Piper, Hazel, Jason, Nico, and Coach Hedge are charged with the quest to find the House of Hades and close the Doors of Death from the mortal world. While also battling sorceresses and vengeful minor gods and goddesses and dwarves.
Though each of our heroes has a voice and some strong character development, I think Frank and Hazel are the “winners” in this book. They came into powers they were unaware of. They both realized the magnitude of what they can do and took charge, proving to themselves and to others (and in Frank’s case, his Father) that they deserve to be on this quest just as much as anyone.
That being said, Piper kinda became a HBIC, though her voice in this book was smaller than the last one. Her charmspeak reached a new level of awesome and she happened to pick up some sword fighting lessons.
Jason (I like Jason but I often think of him as Percy-lite) discovers himself and owns up to mistakes (Reyna) and begins to try to correct them.
Leo, I like Leo. Leo’s tinkering gets him into trouble but it also saves everyone’s lives on a few occasions and maybe he finally gets a love interest. (And by maybe, I mean he better because I liked where that twist was going.)
Nico, oh poor little Nico. Life has not been kind to him and it doesn’t seem like it ever will. His twist was a bit shocking (until you actually think about it and then you go “huh, yea I see it”.) though it doesn’t give me hope that he will survive the next and final (noo!!!) book. I don’t see how he’s going to get a happily ever after.
There’s also the pesky matter of the Roman Camp wanting to destroy Camp Half-Blood. Reyna (Reyna! Mr. Riordan, please let that girl catch a break!) makes a small appearance (I think she may have a bigger role in the next book *fingers crossed*) Rachel Dare and Grover also make a brief appearance so I’m hoping they are in the next book.
So, overall, I loved this installment of the series. It had everything a girl could want, Percy and kickass girls coming into their own. Lots of strong character development and overcoming doubts. Tons of action and thankfully NOT an evil cliffhanger like the ending of Mark of Athena. If you aren’t reading this series already get to it.