Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: The Hammer of Thor

The Hammer of Thor The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Magnus Chase returns in his second adventurous trip through Rick Riordan's madcap vision of Norse mythology. While the first book had a few certain similarities to The Lightning Thief with its depiction of a boy discovering his connection to a supernatural world of gods and monsters, The Hammer of Thor feels a little more similar to TLF in its focus on the hunt for a lightning-themed MacGuffin - in this case, the signature weapon of a thunder god who, in this non-Marvel 'verse, looks a little less Hemsworth-y and a little more like a flatulent sailor.

It's classic Riordan, updated as always for 2010s readership, with special focus on diversity because we need to teach the middle-grade audience about that early on so they know diversity is just part of reality. Magnus gets into some interesting conversations with Sam about her balancing the knowledge that she's the daughter of a Norse god with her devout Muslim faith. Also, we get some kickass genderfluid and transgender representation with newcomer Alex Fierro, Loki's daughter (unless stated otherwise.) And because it's Riordan, it's filled to the brim with pop-culture references (some of which, most notably the Game of Thrones jokes, will of course fly over the heads of ten-to-twelve-year-old kids) and general snarkage all around, including from that world-class First Person Smartass, Magnus.

Best of all, the book ends with hints that Percy will be joining the fun in the upcoming third (and hopefully not final!) novel, The Ship of the Dead. In which case, all I can say is this: Bring. It. On.

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