Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The House of Hades ~ book review

I finally got around to reading the "latest" book (it came out last year) from one of my favourite authors, Rick Riordan. I wasn't sure how I would enjoy the book because it had been so long since I read the last book that there were some events that I didn't remember (that I should to enjoy the book fully).

I absolutely loved The House of Hades. I quickly caught up with the little reminders Rick added in the beginning - those were VERY helpful, I had to say. I guess I understand now why authors put those usually annoying little backstory bits in their books that aren't the first in a series. The story, adventure, and friendships were great. There is a certain section involving my favourite character, Leo Valdez, that brought me to tears of happiness/pain. (And I usually don't cry at books. TV shows, yes. Books, usually not.)

However, there were a few things that gave me pause. I've never had too much problem with whole pagan-gods-and-goddesses theme of these books. I even found one sentence in a Percy Jackson book (I can't remember which one) that one could even read to as in hinting that there is a higher God above the (Greek) gods. However, House of Hades had a little bit of slamming on Christianity. Two of the characters hear about a temple of Diocletian being turned into a Christian church, which is looked on as negative. Another character has an atheistic philosophical quote. But I feel like I could give pass on these things because they're pretty minor.

It's the homosexual controversy in Chapter 36 that had me sitting there thinking, "Did that just happen?" I was shocked. And a little horrified that an author I trusted could do this to me.

Let me go into more details.

Two of the characters, Jason and Nico, are on a mini quest to get a scepter that will be very helpful to their main quest later on. I've never liked Nico. He's very brood-y and he seems to carry a grudge against everyone. During this scene, the two boys meet the god Favonius, who serves Cupid. Favonius tells Jason and Nico that he loved a male mortal, whom the male god Apollo also loved. I wasn't too perturbed by this, as I already know that the Greek and Roman gods were pretty degenerate. But then, in order, to stop Cupid from killing them, Nico reveals his dark secret - he, too had a crush on another of the male gender...who is no less than the main character of the series, Percy Jackson. Nico says he doesn't feel that way anymore, which also made me forgive him. However, Jason assures Nico that if their other five friends knew, they would support him.

I enjoyed the rest of the book immensely, but I still have this little bit of wariness with anything dealing with this character now. However, I feel like I could read the rest of the series comfortably because it's obvious to any reader of the series that Percy and his girlfriend are that close that they will get married someday. Also, so far, Nico appears to be living chastely and not giving in to his desires...which is what that the Church asks, right?

Alyianna's rating: 9 out of 10 (1 taking off for warning flags)

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