REVIEW: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1

LOVELY READERS, I DID IT. With this book, I have COMPLETED MY GOAL of reading 15,000 pages in 2015. I can’t believe it! It’s not even November. Shows what can happen when you put your mind to something, I guess! Now, I do feel slightly guilty, because 4,000+ pages were from the Harry Potter series, so I’m going to see if I can reach 15,000 without those pages, but if I don’t, I was still able to complete my goal!

And now! I guess it’s time for my yearly new-Riordan Book Review! Honestly, I don’t know how Riordan does it, constantly putting out books each year, but I’m glad he does, because I really enjoy reading them!

I’ve been really looking forward to his Norse mythology series since it was announced a couple of years ago. While I don’t know nearly as much about Norse myths as I do Greek/Roman, I was excited to see it presented through Riordan’s clever points of view.

With that said, I was definitely nervous for this book! I’ve never read his trilogy dealing with Egyptian mythology, so I just wasn’t sure how he’d write about the new myths. And, dealing with a 16-year-old guy? I was nervous he’d remind me too much of Percy. Luckily, my fears were (mostly) assuaged.

REVIEW: The Sword of Summer, Rick Riordan
Published: 2015
Length: 491

Plot: Sixteen year old Magnus Chase has been homeless since his mom died two years ago. When long lost family members come to Boston looking for him, he returns to the last place he ever thought he’d go: his Uncle Randolph’s mansion. When Randolph, a person his mom always said was dangerous, tells him he’s the son of a Norse god, Magnus realizes his troubles are only beginning.

Most Memorable Line(s): “Squid ink at midnight would not have been so black.”
-I just thought this was an incredible bit of description. Can’t you see it? Or, rather, NOT see it? Riordan, who’s so wonderful at the humor and the sly thoughts, really just put a brilliant bit of descriptiveness into this sentence. So much so that I literally stopped and thought “wow, what a picture.”

What I liked: Okay, we all know Riordan’s strengths. Or, well, I certainly do, having read ten of his previously books. And man did he play on them. These characters, WOW. While I was annoyed with his pacing (as you’ll read below), he (almost) made up for it by letting me just sit with his new characters. Magnus had a lot of Percy-esque moments, but he really was a different character, which I was glad to see. He was edgy, more mature, yet just as moral. It was great. Sam, honestly, she was amazing. She was an incredibly complete, complex character and I think, while Annabeth still has my heart, that Sam may be Riordan’s most complete character – male, female, mortal, immortal – that he’s ever written. She was amazing! To make her a young, American Muslim girl was just so well done. There was no stereotype, no judgment, not preconceived notions. She was a regular girl (actually, she wasn’t, but that’s okay), and I think people really need that in their books. I just thought she was so well written. Her voice is incredible. Blitz and Hearth were also incredibly well done. I loved that Hearth was deaf. It provided such a wonderful gateway to his sadness but also his incredible strength. Riordan truly showed off how to create a group of characters work well together while all being truly distinct.

Also, I’ve got to obviously mention, Riordan did a great job with these myths. As someone less knowledgeable about Norse myth, I grasped the concept of the mythology really quickly and it made me want to know more. Isn’t that all you can ask for?

What I didn’t like: The one issue that I really had with this book, and it really surprised me based on Riordan’s other writing, was the pacing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know he had to set up the whole story – in the same way he had to do with Percy in The Lightning Thief. But this, well, it just felt like too much. I think I was 70 pages in before I felt we were really getting to the story, and there were only 50 pages left when I felt we were actually going to get a conclusion for this actual book. Because of the pacing issues, I was just a little thrown off while reading.

Grade: 8.5/10, for some pacing issues.

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