Following the events of the previous book, the god Thor has lost his hammer which is the only thing stopping the giants from invading Asgard. In order to prevent this from happening, Magnus Chase and his friends must find the hammer otherwise it will cause Ragnarök — an apocalyptic battle that will end the world as they know it. The book is set in the nine worlds of Norse mythology. The main character of the book is Magnus Chase, the son of Frey, the Norse god of summer, fertility, and health. Magnus is brash, often uttering sarcastic retorts as he embarks on his adventures. Magnus is joined on his journey by Alex, Loki’s gender fluid child. Another of his friends is Samirah, a Valkyrie, a figure in Norse mythology who chooses who lives and dies in battle. Finally, Blitz, a fashion-conscious dwarf, and Hearth, a deaf elf, lend a hand in Magnus’s adventures.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. Riordan is creative in his world building, giving us wonderful characters and a real feel for this Norse setting. As a long-time reader of Riordan, I’m beginning to see the same old stale and predictable formula of Riordan’s books — they always include a bunch of snarky teenagers embarking on a mission to save the world. Even plot points that are supposed to be twists are easy to predict for a reader familiar with Riordan’s many character-driven series. If you are a fan of Riordan, this book will certainly please you. If you are someone who feels Riordan needs to explore new material, you might want to skip this adventure.
When Magnus and his friends are looking for the hammer, they uncover a tomb. The people in the tomb come back to life. When they come back to life, they keep voting on their next course of action. This passage is a wonderful example of Riordan’s humor — the bureaucratic nature of these ghosts is at odds with the threat they pose.
Reviewed by Aidan, Grade 7, Gayton Library