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 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.
Yay for Greek demigods! This is the penultimate installation of the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, and it is just as grand as the rest of the series. After loving the Percy Jackson novels, I didn’t think I would like another series even more, but this one takes the prize. I love all the characters, which is shocking because I usually dislike different perspectives (as I’ve stated many times) but this just plain works. The demigods are back and they’re into crunch-time. Gaia is rising, the Romans are marching, and the clock is ticking for Percy and Annabeth to meet the others at the Doors of Death. Follow Annabeth and Percy through Tartarus, meeting the monsters they put there, and some surprising allies. It’s a race to get to the doors, but it’s also a challenge to stay in one piece while running from the monsters that want revenge. The others up top-side are also racing to the Doors with the help of Nico diAngelo, who is shady (literally) to say the least. Leo is still tinkering and thinking of a certain girl on an island, Frank is still an awesome warrior teddy-bear with a stick for a lifeline, Hazel has some issues to work through, and Jason is trying to take the reins and lead them all to safety with the help and support of Piper. It’s difficult to review this without giving things away, so I’ll say just read it if you’ve started the series, it’s amazing and Riordan knows what he’s about.
Content warning: If it bothers you, there is a character that comes out as gay. I did appreciate how Riordan handled it with kindness and I thought it could be a teaching moment for parents and kids, whether you agree with it or not.
I give it a solid 4 out of 5 for awesomeness.