John is the protagonist of the story. He was born and raised in Hades and is some-what embarrassed by his birthplace. He loves material goods and works to impress others because of it. As he states to Percy, "The richer a fella is, the better I like him." However, although he obsesses over wealth, he is also a sensitive young man, as he begins crying upon separation from his father. He is not entirely self-motivated, as he may appear at first. In fact, he has a kind heart. He is appalled at the Washingtons for their lack of sensitivity for other humans and when saving himself at the end, he also saves Kismine and Jasmine, without a second thought.
He is the elusive friend of John, who invites John to his home for the summer, fully aware that John will have to die. This proves his selfishness as well as his disregard for human life, as he would rather let John die than be without a friend for the summer. He is conceited, insensitive, and is obsessed with wealth. "I love jewels. I've got quite a collection of them myself," he proudly informs John. He even refers to his limo as "old junk used for a station wagon." He shows that he cares for nothing except for his own personal wealth and happiness.
Mr. Braddock Washington establishes himself as the antagonist early upon meeting him. Percy's father and the richest man in the world, he stumbles upon a diamond the size of an entire mountain and goes to great lengths to protect his wealth. He has captivated slaves, "darkies," to mine the diamond, and even has aircraft guns to protect the mine. He has complete disregard for the human race, and anyone that comes to his home is locked in a cage in the ground or promptly killed. Even when his end is near, he tries to bribe God with a diamond, even though it is the diamonds that have caused his destruction.
She is Percy's younger sister who falls in love with John. Because of her love for John, she warns him of his upcoming death and says that she is "sorry that John will have to be put away." This statement of hers also brings out another of her traits. She is very naive of the common world and even death. Although she hasn't invited any "guests" to stay at the house yet, she believes that she will "harden up to it." Her naivete also prevails when she is looking at her collection of rhinestones. She states that she would much rather have rhinestones than diamonds, because she was "getting a little tired of diamonds." As she has only experienced her own rich life, she is also very naive of the average life style. She casually states to John, "Think of the millions and millions of people in the world, labourers and all, who get along with only two maids."
She is another sister of Percy Washington and a static character. The readers do not learn too much about her except that she is also very "hardened" by the wealth. She thinks little of inviting friends to her home, knowing fully that they will be murdered at the end of their stay. However, she is selfish and would rather have their company for the summer before they are murdered, than be without friends.