The House of Hades
By Rick Riordan
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 from 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.
Gr 5-8 Fans won't be disappointed as the cliff-hanger ending from the previous book, The Mark of Athena (Hyperion, 2012), leads to further exciting adventures by the intrepid demigods in this penultimate book in the "Heroes of Olympus" series. Annabeth and Percy have fallen down into Tantarus, and they must fight off the attacks from the monsters stuck there long enough to find the Doors of Death. The other five demigods must get to Eprius in Greece, find the House of Hades to open the Doors of Death on the mortal side, save Annabeth and Percy, and seal the entrance to stop Gaea's forces from escaping into the mortal world and destroying it. The Gods are incapacitated by their Greek and Roman personalities warring with one another, and the demigods from Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter are on the verge of an all-out war. As Annabeth and Percy struggle to survive Tantarus's poisonous atmosphere and creatures, the other demigods must undergo harsh trials particularly Hazel, Frank, and Leo, but they learn and grow mentally and physically from their experiences. The heroes realize that they cannot change their parentage but they can control their legacy. While more serious than the previous titles, there are lighthearted moments here, many involving a farting polecat. The horrifying monsters are nicely balanced by peace-loving Titan Bob, a skeleton calico cat called Small Bob, and gentle giant Damasen. Fans will be thrilled to know the series continues with The Blood of Olympus in 2014. Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton SLJ"
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