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Book Review: "The House of Hades" by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is a very famous YA writer who has written two series about modern teenagers with one mortal parent and one parent who happens to be a Greek god.  (It happens.)  They go on adventures, save the world, train at their godly summer camps (they exist), and blow up ancient monsters.  This has been the general and very enjoyable gist of all of Riordan's YA books up until "The House of Hades."  This newest installment in "The Heroes of Olympus" series is told from the perspective of 7 demigods on a quest to stop the evil goddess Gaia from taking over the world and to save two of their friends from dying in the Greek hell of Tartarus.  It was a very action-packed story, of course, but it was different from its predecessors in that it had more of a conscience.  For example, the two heroes who were banished to Tartarus, Percy and Annabeth, are at one point forced to fight a mob of demons who force them to feel the curses of every enemy and person whom they have ever caused pain.  At another point, one character who had so far been a bit of a joke developed into a leader, and another demigod who had always seemed dark and aloof for no particular reason suddenly revealed a whole new level of depth.  When I first noticed this pattern developing, I was very upset because I had been reading these books since fifth grade and thought they should remain lighthearted and semi-mindless.  But as the story went on I warmed to this new installment of the demigod saga, and I can now safely say that well into his second-of-a-kind series Rick Riordan is still kicking butt.  I encourage you all to scarf this book down.  It had all the explosiveness and irreverence of its predecessors, with a little added morality to it - and really, what's so wrong with that? :)
             -Carly

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