I re-read Halo just before picking up Hades which helped me to remember exactly where I was in the story. I have to say, the pace of Hades way much more to my liking than Halo. I felt like all the explanation of the angels' background and nature, etc. really bogged down the first part of Halo, that information was not necessary for the follow-up so the story really took off rather quickly.
The majority of Hades takes place, well, in Hades. Jake has kidnapped Bethany and is holding her in Hell. I was actually really intrigued by Adornetto's interpretation of Hell. She took Dante's image of Purgatory and added her own twist to it. It definitely kept things interesting.
And as for characters, I was really happy with the growth of Bethany's character. She really took control a lot more than she did in Halo and even her human personality was more developed. Even Xavier's and Gabriel's personalities was revealed more extensively. And Gabriel is by far my favorite. Then there's Jake. Now Jake really trips me up. I still can't really figure him out, and I really wanted him to be more developed. We see a lot more of his character, but I was still left wanting more.
Overall, I really liked this one. It did not seem to be as stereotypical as Halo.
3 1/2 stars