Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, Rick Riordan (2017)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology
This hilarious sequel in the Magnus Chase series had me laughing out loud a fair few times, which is exactly what you expect from a Rick Riordan book. His mythology, mixed with humour, creates a reading experience that not only teaches the reader, but also entertains them.
This story picked up where the last left off, so if you are new to this series, I would advise reading the first two books before reading this review.
As soon as I read these books I am flooded with diversity, thank you to Rick Riordan for normalising so many topics in his novels and making them part of the plot. The new character, Alex, is gender fluid, which was not something I knew much about before reading this book, however now I’ve got a pretty good grasp of it. It was interesting to see Alex’s character develop from someone who we initially disliked, to a key character in the plot. Alex promoted diversity and brought a new layer to this story. Alex is a child of Loki, as is Sam, and we see constant prejudice against them for this, but throughout this book we see them fight against this. I’m rooting for Sam and Magnus to get together here personally, they seemed to make a good pairing!
This book was all about trying to find Thor’s hammer and stop Sam’s wedding to Thrym. We’ve got two issues going on here; Thor’s hammer being missing is leading towards the potential beginning of Ragnarok and Sam’s impending wedding to a giant, when in fact she is already promised to Amir and wants to marry him. So we have two ends of the spectrum really, the end of the world and a marriage that would go against Sam’s religion and feelings. Personally I really enjoyed this balance, it made the humour work perfectly and kept the plot interesting. Of course Loki is at the crux of all of this and remains the ultimate bad guy. I would say that this version of Loki is portrayed as much more evil than Marvel’s Loki, but perhaps that’s because he’s one of the only God’s in this book that you can take seriously.
I think it might be time for my favourite quote that had me laughing for a while and I’m not even sure why:
‘Perhaps,’ Amir suggested, ‘if you simply looked without using your phone?’ …
‘It’s all right, Amir. I know you’re confused about the Nine Worlds and whatnot. But I’m afraid you’re saying words that don’t make any sense.’
This was a conversation between Amir and Heimdall and generally everything this guy said cracked me up. The God of Vigilance is obsessed with his phone and taking selfies, I love how Riordan has merged the modern world with the mythology and he can definitely get away with the piss take element.
I could talk about this book series for hours, I think it’s very clever, perfect to get younger readers interest in mythology!