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Book Review: The Hammer of Thor

Tuesday, October 18, 2016



WARNING: WILL CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS

"You understand there's no such thing as a little death prophecy, right?” ― Rick Riordan, The Hammer of Thor

October 18, 2016

GUYS.

Here's the thing, I was born in 1997, I am considered an 'adult' these days for some odd reason and yet some of my favourite books are supposedly written for 'children'. Eleven years ago, a little book known as Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief was published and eight year old me was THRILLED. Fast forward a decade or so and I'm still reading Rick Riordan's books. I grew up on his Percy Jackson series and just recently started reading this other books such as Heroes of Olympus, Trials of Apollo, Kane Chronicles, and of course his Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. Speaking of...



I read book one The Sword of Summer back in May, and I absolutely loved it. Then like everyone else, I was so excited for book 2, The Hammer of Thor. Yet, I was also very skeptical about the sequel because when it comes to Rick Riordan books, I never really care for the second books of the series. For example, Sea of Monsters....not my favourite. However, I thought this sequel was brilliant. At times I was a bit confused because I couldn't really remember what had happened in book one as I read it in May and it is now October, but luckily Riordan managed to give us little reminders throughout.

All of our favourites are back in this one! This includes: Magnus, Samirah, Hearthstone, Blitz, TJ, Halfborn, Mallory, Loki, Thor, and even that little weasley Randolph! We also get some new characters including Hearth's dad, Lady Sif, Heimdall, and the ever so lovely/badass little gift that is ALEX FIERRO.

Let me tell you about Alex Fierro. Alex is a transgender and gender fluid child of Loki. Now, I didn't know anything about gender fluid individuals while reading this. I knew about transgenders, but this was new ground for me and I think Rick Riordan explained it beautifully and if I were an eight year old kid again, I would be able to understand it rather easily. Alex is this fiery little light that sort of just takes over the story. Alex just takes the reigns from Magnus and is like, "Move over goldilocks! This is my show!" And I will gladly allow it. I am not sure where Riordan is going with Alex's character, but I am very excited. Will Alex become a love interest for Magnus...? I am slightly hoping...

Anyways, in this book, the gang is out looking for Thor's hammer...STILL. The bloody thunder god still can't find it...as usual. It turns out that a earth giant by the name of Thrym has it and as long as Loki's daughter, Samirah, agrees to marry him, he will return it. Yeah, Samirah...the young Valkyrie who is already betrothed to the lovely Amir...girl just can't catch a break...Along with Sam's daddy issues, Magnus has major uncle problems as Randolph is still allowed to walk this earth. I never liked his character, so I was very disinterested in his character arc for book 2. Loki, however, was just as magnificently evil as last time.

In Norse Mythology and in the Marvel movies (just because) Loki Laufeyson is my favorite Norse god. Not just because he is magic and is an evil little bastard, but from all the stories and books I have read on Norse deities, he is also clever and very determined. He sort of reminds me of Fred and George Weasley...if they were in Slytherin, catch my drift? Loki has some major issues in book 2, but I think they were perfect as they foreshadowed everything that I predict will happen in book 3. Now when we talk about Loki, we have to talk about his kids. We met Sam in book 1 and she was very against her father. She never wanted to use the magic he passed down to her or even really acknowledge that she shared a bond with him. Then there's Alex. Alex embraces Loki and uses his powers of shapeshifting all the time. Alex has turned Loki's power into her/his own and uses it against him. I like the two different dynamics there.

Something I wish was in these books: More Magnus and Frey. It seems to me that the Norse deities are way more friendly and frequent than the Greeks and Romans, but c'mon, even Percy Jackson sees his father more than this. I am so hoping that Frey will make an appearance in The Ship of the Dead (book 3) and perhaps we will understand more...for example, WHY DID THE GOD OF PROSPERITY AND SUNSHINE ALLOW HIS CHILD TO BE HOMELESS...FATHER OF THE YEAR.

Another interesting and somewhat infuriating part of The Hammer of Thor was Hearthstone's back story and his father...whom I officially do not care if Riordan decides to kill of in the end. It was mentioned that Hearth had a bit of a hard childhood in book 1, but I had no idea it was this bad...my poor little elf. The only bright side is that Magnus introduces us to another of the Nine Worlds: Alfheim. Alfheim is the realm of the light elves...emphasis on the LIGHT. All I see in my head when I imagine Alfheim is that scene from Pirates of the Caribbean three when Jack is in the locker and everything is just LIGHT AND WHITE. Yikes. Speaking of Jack...

Yes, he is back! Jack or Sumarbrander, the talking sword that is, is still hanging around...you know, Magnus' neck.When I first read Jack's introduction, I was so wary that it would turn cheesy...I mean a talking sword that sings pop songs...a bit ambitious, HOWEVER, somehow Riordan has made this object into a vivid and complex character and I have no idea how he does it. At times I even forget he's a bloody sword because he seems so human in the way he is written. Well done, Mr. Riordan!

In a nutshell (HA)...that's a joke if you read this book....This book was a 4/5 for me. It would have been a 5/5, but I found it difficult to get into at the start, but once I was a third in, it was a straight shot to the finish line. I thought the characters were great and the plot was new and exciting. The mythology was as incredible as ever as was the humor and I cannot wait till next year when book 3 comes out. You can read my status updates as I read this book here: Hammer of Thor

If you read this book, please let me know your thoughts on it!

Happy Reading!

- Haley

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