Book Critique: The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2)
For review of all books in this series: Go here.
Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: A young adult fantasy novel involving Gods, Demi-Gods, Prophecies, Quests and Ragnarok - a good sequel, but felt a little bit dragging at some places.
The Hammer of Thor is the second book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan based on Norse Mythology, published in October of 2016. The story continues six weeks after the events in the first book, The Sword of Summer, with more adventures around demi-god Magnus Chase, and again written in first-person narration form. In this sequel, Magnus Chase is now on a hunt to find the Hammer of Thor that has gone missing.
Similar to the first book, Riordan has a diverse variety of characters, some carried forward from the first book and some added new. The book won the 2017 Stonewall Book Award for Children's literature.
After healing from his wounds from his war with Fenris Wolf, Magnus Chase is again on a new adventure. He and his friends - Samirah "Sam" al-Abbas, a Valkyrie; Hearthstone, a light elf and Blitzen, a dwarf - set about to find the missing Hammer of Thor. An adventure that takes them across the Nine Worlds again, having them fight some giants and evil gods, all along trying to stay safe and alive.
Compared to the first book, I felt this a bit drag, a lot of descriptive and a story told in a lengthy form when it truly is a short one. There were places that I felt bored or lost. Yet, Rick managed to include all the usual elements - gods, giants, conspiracies and preventing the Rangnarok.
One key thing though that Riordan shows the readers that being Gods doesn’t mean they are perfect and all good. He shows their imperfections, insecurities and above all how they treat someone lesser than expected the same way how we humans mis-treat another human being whom we don’t understand or don’t see them as normal.
There is very slight comic relief in this plot, but Rick added new characters to Magnus's team and new villains for them to fight against. Although he still kept the gods obnoxious, not so handsome, loud and pretty much irritating.
When I first met Magnus's cousin Annabeth Chase in the first book, The Sword of Summer, I had totally missed out on the fact that she is the same Annabeth Chase whom we met in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series as her friend and girlfriend. She is seen in the spin-off series The Heroes of Olympus as well. Rick had Greek and Roman gods in that series having Percy and Annabeth fight them, while for Magnus he gave the Norse gods.
Rick keeps tying back his plot somehow to Percy Jackson series one way or the other. Now I want to go back and read both the series again, which I just might do if you know me by now.
Surprisingly Rick had quite a few grammatical and character errors in this book. Another fact to further assert that he had written this book perhaps in a rush without giving it a thorough justice in every which way.
This plot ends in a cliff-hanger and also revealing part of what the plot for the third book in the trilogy could perhaps revolve around. Even though bored in this story, I am curious to see how Rick ends this journey of Magnus Chase and Norse Gods. So, stay tuned for the review of the next book in the series.
1) Plot Reveals:
a) The usual jaunts Riordan has the readers travel through while his characters move in the nine worlds:
i. The Thinking Cup in Boston
b) Loki and his wife, Sigyn, escape the clutches of punishment by the gods at the end of the plot and Sam is tasked to find him. Magnus, Alex, Blitzen and Hearthstone are assigned along with her for aiding her in the task.
c) We also see that Annabeth Chase indicates Percy joining them in the next book. Should be interesting to see all the three demi-gods under one book cover. And references to Annabeth and Percy's fights against the Greek and Roman gods - where Percy falls into the underworld called Tartarus; Annabeth chasing three evil Roman emperors and a god who has fallen to earth as a human.
a) Magnus Chase's family includes - his mom Natalie Chase, Uncle Fredrick Chase and his daughter Annabeth Chase, Uncle Randolph Chase.
b) Magnus's uncle, Randolph, had a family - a wife Caroline and two daughters Aubrey and Emma - who he had lost in a storm at sea.
3) Grammatical / Geographical / Location / Character / Historical Errors:
a) On Pg. 29, Line 8, it should be "..I could've taken…"
b) On Pg. 44, Riordan mentions that Jack, Magnus's sword, has a date with a hot spear. But later on Pg. 48, he mentions that Jack went on a date with a polearm. Both although look similar are different weapons.
c) On Pg. 123, Line 20, it should be "…What do you mean…"
d) On Pg. 136, Line 16, it should be "…was not going to put…"
e) On Pg. 149, Line 7 from bottom, it should be "…seemed like a question I should…"
f) On Pg. 303, Line 4, it should be "…you were at the bottom…"
g) On Pg. 319, Line 3, it should be "…all you can eat…"
h) On Pg. 339, Line 2 from bottom, it should be "…is still my bowling alley…"
i) On Pg. 373, Line 14, it should be "…appeared out of nowhere…"