The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2)
By Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Find This Book: The Hammer of Thor
I am absolute Riordan trash and will always read his books but this one was seriously good (Book 1's review can be found here. As usual, I pre-ordered Rick’s book and started it the second it arrived! Unfortunately, college life has got me reading and writing so many things that I didn’t get a chance to finish until after my finals ended this Friday (4/28). Just in time for Rick’s next book that comes out May 2nd!
I love this book because I love the quips and sassy banter that fills all of Rick’s novels. They’re even better because I’m actually learning about mythology while reading them! Percy Jackson got me hooked because I absolutely adored and extensively read about Greek mythology as a kid and it was awesome to see the myths in action. Now, the Norse Gods have become just as enjoyable.
What is truly my favorite part of this series that puts it above all of his other books is the diversity of characters represented. Our main character, Magnus Chase, was homeless on the streets of Boston before he was killed and taken to Valhalla to train to fight in Ragnarok. He’s such a caring guy which is such a refresher from the macho hero stereotype going around YA. Hearthstone is a runes magician who’s deaf and all the gang learns ASL to communicate with him. The book doesn’t treat his deafness as a disability which is amazing for kids to be reading, while still acknowledging situations that make Hearth uncomfortable that an able-bodied person wouldn’t think twice about (such as having your hand held or pinned down, hence losing Hearth’s ability to communicate). There are also the very badass children of Loki, Sam and Alex. Alex Fierro is the only character that wasn’t in book one, and they’re gender fluid which is why this books gets 5 stars. Rick added a new character and that character expanded the books diversity- thank you Rick! Alex’s presence respectfully teaches Magnus, and therefore kids reading the series, about gender fluid people and representation is so important. So far, I have not read a single book including a gender fluid person and being able to read about a character like some of my friends helps validate their existence. Rick also does an awesome job of Samirah al-Abbas being a POC Muslim without using stereotypes. Magnus again respectfully learns her boundaries and her religion which is again great for kids to be reading. Diversity is such a good thing and for a popular author to delve into it is fantastic for the kids growing up now. I seriously wish books were like this back in my day.
The book is fast-paced without feeling rushed, and has a perfect balance between dialogue and action. Having recently started living in Boston for university, having a book that’s partially set in Boston has been a blast and reading about all of the Nine Worlds of Norse Myth and exploring them for the first time along with Magnus is the best!