Title: Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: October 4th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Hardback: 471 pages
My rating: 4.5/5
Summary (From Goodreads): Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenceless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.
By this point, Rick Riordan is on my auto-buy list. If he brings out a book, I will read it.
This one does not disappoint.
It’s also way better than the Sword of Summer.
I’m going to do a quick headcount of the characters here to show the amount of diversity and representation in this series:
- Magnus Chase – Previously homeless, atheist but can respect religion, is not automatically fantastic at sword fighting
- Samirah al Abbas – Muslim, in an arranged marriage that is not toxic and she is happy with it, deals with Norse gods, but fully believes in Allah.
- Blitzen – Dwarf, black, clothes designer
- Hearthstone – Elf, deaf, pretty terrible home life
- Alex Fierro – Gender-fluid, actually amazing
- Jack – A sword. Literally. (I know, but I had to add him in.)
- Otis the goat who is having therapy
So, this book is already amazing on that alone. I’m going to have to talk about Alex a bit more because she/he is such a brilliant character and I’m so glad that Rick decided to add her/him in.
One of my favourite scenes in the book is Alex explaining to Magnus how gender fluidity works and not getting overly upset when he doesn’t fully understand, as long as he respects them. This book is aimed at middle-graders and I really hope that it helps explain acceptance to them.
Of course, my favourite other character is Hearth and this book only served to make me love him even more than the first one. The scenes with his father were heart-breaking and it really hit home that some kids are actually treated like that for having a disability. (Also the passage about kids being thrown out of home for being trans/gender fluid was dead on. I hope any parents who read it that have done that realise what their actions can do.) Magnus and Alex seem to have some sort of chemistry, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens there.
Same goes for Hearth and Blitz, although I’m about 60% sure they’re already married.
I love that the book explores Sam’s religion too, including the scene where she does her prayers. It’s nice to see positive media representation of Muslims and women who wear hijabs.
It’s also nice to see that her and Magnus haven’t been forced into a romance.
The sarcasm and wit was as entertaining as ever. The funny chapter titles made me snort with laughter:
- Your Standard Rooftop Chase Scene with Talking Swords and Ninjas
- A Cheetah Runs Me Over
- All in Favour of Slaughtering Magnus, Please Say Aye
- We Nuke All the Fish
- When in Doubt, Turn Into a Biting Insect
- Or You Could Just Glow a Lot. That Works, Too.
- You Keep Using the Word Help. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.
- Here Comes the Bride and/or the Assassin
And that’s just a few of them.
Possibly my favourite thing about the book is the reference to Thor dressing as a bride to get his hammer back, because why not?
In all, it was a good book. It follows the usual route of Riordan’s books, but I can forgive that for the diversity of the cast.
Anyone else read this book and want to share?
P.S. What was that cliff-hanger, are you kidding me?