The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The last line of the blurb for this book automatically made me think of one of my all-time favorite shows, Dead Like Me, and a key scene detailing the (spoiler) death of its main character. You can witness that scene for yourself here. (you might wanna turn up the volume 'cause the sound sucks)
As wonderfully well-imagined as Dead Like Me was, though, I'm a little more inclined to believe in Valhalla as depicted by Rick Riordan. And holy crap, does this book bring his multiverse of mythology roaring back to life, or what? Whereas The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes Of Olympus had a little something lacking in their first novels (especially compared to The Lightning Thief), the first Magnus Chase adventure is one I seriously, seriously wish had been around when I was in middle school.
Once again, we've got a classic First Person Smartass narrating the tale - Magnus and Percy should get jobs inventing chapter titles for all future novels, and all the other heroes of all the other books will be borrowing their jokes until Ragnarok. Once again, Rick Riordan does a great job balancing gleefully immature, and often gleefully pop-cultural, humor with an unusually dark backstory for our hero - one involving dead and/or missing people that makes Magnus' story DNA even closer to Harry Potter's than that of Percy, if you can believe that - and the sort of madcap action-adventure insanity I don't think we've seen since the original PJO series (it helps that we're treated to a pretty whirlwind tour of the Nine Realms, which means I had to really work hard to keep track of where Magnus had gone - in a good way, of course.)
Oh, and let's not forget the titular Sword of Summer himself. Yeah, I said "himself." He's got even more personality than Percy's famous pen-sword Riptide (whom the Sword of Summer actually makes fun of at one point - I don't wanna assume they must know each other, both being swords and all, but...) He's an instant favorite character of mine for so many reasons, including his repeated arguments with Magnus about names.
One day, I hope, I'll be a famous writer too, with my name mentioned in the same sentence as greats like Rick Riordan. This book is proof of his amazing talent, and I can't wait for the next big, bombastic, blockbusting Magnus Chase book!
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