The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series

four out of five dragons
four out of five dragons

I gave this four stars because while it is hilarious it doesn’t have quite the same fun relaxed feel as the Percy Jackson series or even as the first book in this series. Though I did still really enjoy it.

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The Hammer of Thor has a good cover, but it wouldn’t kill them to include Sam and potentially Alex.

This particular series is of special interest to me and my husband because we started out with Percy Jackson and the Olympians and loved them. We read the Kane Chronicles and loved those. Now just so you know my husband is a heathen/Asatru believer. Basically he believes in and communes with the Norse Gods. So we were really excited to see how Riordan would Riordan (verb) these Gods. We were not disappointed. It was cool to see how Riordan stuck to the mythos and updated it at the same time. Thor is known to be a bit dim and it’s not a stretch to imagine him gross so the Thor in this series is a hilarious mix of both. And the rest of the Gods and characters are just as awesome.  

The character list is super diverse. And it doesn’t come across like Riordan is trying too hard. His books have always had at least one diverse character simply by having a ton of dyslexic kids turn out to be demigods. This series takes the diversity like ten steps farther with people who are Muslim, Deaf, Homeless, LGBTQ, and an atheist. It’s awesome and done well.

In my library classes we often talked about how a book can be diverse and still be a piece of crap. Don’t worry this doesn’t fall under that category. But my professors made sure to hammer home that the most diverse book in the world can still be terrible literature or worse it can be diverse and still stereotype and overgeneralize. This book (and series) seem pretty good about not doing that. It lands solidly on the side of the line that says people in a particular group have similarities but are not the same people.

As for the storyline if you’ve read Riordan you know exactly what to expect. Completely ridiculous capers with completely ridiculous heroes and villains with a heaping of over-the-top humor and a dash of wit. It’s not what I would call a smart read nor is it particularly witty (hence it has only a dash of wit), but the humor works well for the age range and it’s ridiculous enough for us adults as well.

My husband and I started out reading the Percy Jackson series to each other eons ago and as soon as a new Riordan book comes out we pretty much snatch it up. Usually we try to buy it second hand because there is such a thing as book broke. I have yet to eat a book out of necessity, but I’m still fairly young so it is still possible.

One thing I thought was a tad unrealistic (you know farting gods, celestial hammers with Netflix, and edible resurrecting goats were totally realistic), was that they didn’t think Loki was up to something. Like, really people? You don’t think maybe the god known for “mischief” aka the death of the worlds is maybe going to try some sketchy stuff? You’re just going to assume you have his whole plan figured out?!

I can forgive them for their lack of foresight as this is only the second huge mishap they’ve had to deal with and it so nicely sets up the third book. Let’s be honest most second books in a trilogy are just transitional and this one technically fits the bill.

*spoiler*

Also, I’m stupid excited for him to meet Percy! I love crossovers and soon I’ll have to look into the Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles crossover. But for now I’ll calmly (ish) await reading the next book in this series.

*End of spoiler*

I’m excited to read the next one to see how everything pans out. I still have a ton of Riordan books to read, but soon I’ll be able to cross one more series off the list.

I would recommend this book for anyone with a childish sense of humor, anyone who has read and enjoyed Riordan before, and WTH for anyone who is Asatru and can handle a little humor at their Gods’ expense.

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