The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2) by Rick Riordan

27904311Publication Date: 4 October 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: eBook
Pages: 528
ISBN: 1423160924
Summary: 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.

*****

Review:
** spoiler alert ** It’s been a long time since I’ve last read a Rick Riordan book and Hammer of Thor reminded me of everything I loved about the PJO series as a middle schooler. It was funny, the characters were witty, and I always appreciate how much Riordan can ‘modernize’ these ancient Norse legends. I think Alex Fierro stole the show for me. She/he (out of respect for one of his/her lines in the book, I won’t use they) was kickass the entire way and still had a lot of depth in character. I thought the use of the pottery wire tool as a garrote was an ingenious choice in

It’s been a long time since I’ve last read a RIck Riordan book and Hammer of Thor reminded me of everything I loved about the PJO series as a middle schooler. It was funny, the characters were witty, and I always appreciate how much Riordan can ‘modernize’ these ancient Norse legends. I think Alex Fierro stole the show for me. She/he (out of respect for one of his/her lines in the book, I won’t use they) was kickass the entire way and still had a lot of depth in character. I thought the use of the pottery wire tool as a garrote was an ingenious choice in weapon.

This book is also very unapologetic about the social issues it covers. 25% of the way in, it had already covered topics such as homelessness, religion, gender, and even touched briefly on cultural appropriation (albeit in a joking manner). That’s rare for an adult book, let alone a children’s book. And while it’s definitely up front (a lot of these topics makes the characters who they are), it never seemed preachy to me. One of the best passages in the book was


“The gender thing wasn’t what surprised me. A huge percentage of the homeless teens I’d met had been assigned one gender at birth but identified as another, or they felt like the whole boy/girl binary didn’t apply to them. They ended up on the streets because -shocker-their families didn’t accept them. Nothing says “tough love” like kicking your non-hetero-normative kid to the curb so they can experience abuse, drugs, high suicide rates, and constant physical danger. Thanks, Mom and Dad!”

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

Perhaps the one complaint I had was that somehow, Magnus & Co. never seemed to make the connection that Loki was in prison -> Loki controls Randolph -> Randolph is not in prison & can be aided by Loki’s magic -> Randolph uses the Skofnung Sword to free Loki from his bonds. From the moment the two of them appeared in the wight’s cavern, I was waiting for one of them to say, ‘hey, can’t Randolph free Loki?’, and it never happened.

Aside from that small complaint, I thought the book was a fun and enjoyable read. I rate this book a 5/5.

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