Book Critique: The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3)

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 - thoroughly entertaining and very enchanting. A few flaws here and there yet a decent read for those young adults.

The Ship of the Dead is the third and final book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy by Rick Riordan based on Norse Mythology, published in October of 2017. The story continues six weeks after the events in the second book, The Hammer of Thor, with more adventures around demi-god Magnus Chase, and again written in first-person narration form. In this sequel, Magnus Chase and his friends set about to re-capture Loki before he wreaks more havoc on the world.

At the end of the previous book, I realized that Annabeth Chase is in fact the same one whom we met in Percy Jackson series and the spin-off The Heroes of Olympus series (which totally eluded me until then). And we also see that Annabeth Chase was going to bring Percy Jackson and meet with Magnus Chase so he can get trained better for his next adventure. That is where this plot begins.

Now that Loki and his wife Sigyn, escape the clutches of punishment induced on him by the Gods, Samirah "Sam" al-Abbas is tasked to find him and get him back. Magnus Chase, Blitzen "Blitz", Hearthstone "Hearth" and Alex Fierro - new addition to the group - set out along with Sam to find Loki.  Other friends at Valhalla also join them. But the adventure is not going to be easy for them, and takes them across the Nine Worlds fighting off all kinds of Loki's traps and their enemies.

It was cool to see Percy Jackson train Magnus in the plot. After seeing him and reading a few facts - has a tattoo on his forearm with words SPQR; his new baby sister Estelle; his friend Frank who's a shape-shifter; another friend Jason - I am more than determined to read both the previous series again. Oh, if only I had time to do so.

Riordan gives more history for Magnus's friends Mallory Keen, Halfborn Gunderson and Thomas Jefferson, Jr "T. J." - his friends from Floor Nineteen in Valhalla. They stop being just his friends who usually accompany him in his adventures, and become more, their characters solidifying further as the trilogy comes to a closure.

He has a diverse variety of characters in this particular series, more than his other series -  a Muslim Valkyrie, a deaf-mute Elf and a gender fluid Einherji - that makes this series rather unique. But he did have some of the repeat paraphrasing. Also Sam did not sound so whiny as she was sounding in the second book.

I always liked Riordan books in the fact that he humanized the Gods, Giants and all the Super Beings. But, it always had the typical teenager, a demi-god, who gets roped into the huge plans the Gods have for humans and fights saving the worlds along with his friends. I am hoping he will add another element into his routine plots in the next series.

Since we have a Muslim Valkyrie in the mix, Riordan goes to show the Muslim practices of Ramzan, the beliefs they hold about public display of affection and other aspects. And when we have a devout, it is only natural to have an atheist to counter. Although Riordan does not have any theological discussion between them.

All in all, even with the similarities with Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of the Olympus series, this trilogy wasn’t that bad. It did give enough entertainment and adventure to the readers also a thirst to read the previous series again. That counts as a success in my book. Another good end to a well-written series despite a few flaws.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot Reveals:

a. At the end of the plot, Riordan shows Annabeth Chase and Percy Jackson have some bad news and more fights to face in California. I wonder if their story is in parallel to Magnus Chase's. Now definitely have to read the previous two series to connect the dots.

b. Riordan also ends the series indicating that there might be a spin-off coming out of it. One has to wait and see. 

2. Sub-Plots:

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. 139, Line 2 from bottom, it should be "..As the day wore one…"

b. On Pg. 191, Line 10, it should be "…Flam, the old Norse land…"


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