My Rating:★★★★☆ 4/5
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: YA Fantasy
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 defenseless 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. (Goodreads)
“Nothing beats camping out in a dreary Jotunheim forest while your friend stitches runes on a giant bowling bag!”
This book follows the main character Magnus Chase in his race to find Thor’s hammer. He meets his friend Samirah’s gender-fluid brother/sister, is set to help his friend Blitzen from his past, and saves the world from Earth giants. He retrieves Thor’s hammer, destroys a wedding, and afterward plans to thwart Loki’s next big plan; breaking free from his cage.
The settings in the book contribute a huge deal to the story. First of all, Valhalla or Hotel Valhalla is a place where valiant warriors are sent when they die courageous deaths, and here they train for Ragnarok or “the end of the world”. The main setting is in Boston, Massachusetts, a place that is located at the heart of the universal tree that connects the Nine Worlds of Norse cosmology. This place is important to the story because this is the main character Magnus’ home. Other settings include Alfheim where one of Magnus’ best friends who is a deaf elf is from. This is where they break the contract of Hearthstone’s cruel dad, covering a large blue rug with golden coins. This is important because it brings back Hearthstone to his past, trying to mend the loose ends. The last important setting of the book is in Loki’s cave prison. Loki was locked up here for centuries, tied to the floor with the hardened guts of his children he murdered, a large serpent above him dripping venom on his scarred and bleached face, his wife Sigyn with a bucket desperately trying to relieve the venomous pain. This is where the supposed “wedding” takes place before all of the giants die, and Loki escapes. They then retrieve the hammer back to Thor. Overall, there are many important settings in this book that contribute overall to the story.
The characterization was created seamlessly in this book, after all it is Rick Riordan. The character that stood out the most other than Magnus was Alex Fierro. Alex Fierro ends up in Hotel Valhalla when her half sister Samirah, who is a Valkyrie, takes her in for a valiant death. Being a daughter of Loki she can shapeshift, and what’s more… she is an augr. She turns out to be a gender fluid teen who comes from an abusive past. She hates her father and uses his power at will. At times she is male, at others she is female, relating to her gender fluidity. Her vicious garrote originated from an old clay cutter that Loki had created for her. Overall, she is a very powerful character who plays an important role in the story, because without her, they couldn’t have thwarted part of Loki’s plan.
I really liked this book. I devoured every chapter in small and careful bites. I love the way that Rick Riordan is tying in the Greek Mythology from the other series, and I can not wait for the next book to come out. This book was a mixture of humor, wit, and other themes that can be found by prying into the many layers. Rick Riordan seamlessly combines these elements to the point that you can’t help but think that this story could be real.
© Boundless Daydreams 2016
Author: Rick Riordan