Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Book 2
By Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan is a machine when it comes to putting out middle grade fiction. I had never read one of his books before this series (I know, how could I have completely avoided the Percy Jackson series?!?) and I was initially surprised by how much fun I had reading it. Magnus Chase is a homeless teenager living on the streets of Boston, which made this book extremely easy to picture in my head. Much like the Percy Jackson series, Magnus discovers that he’s the descendant of a god and must fight to prevent an impending threat. The difference is that the focus in this series is on Norse mythology instead of Greek, and Ragnarök is the impending threat of world destruction, fueled by Loki, of course. In this sequel to The Sword of Summer, Magnus must help Thor find his lost hammer Mjolnir so he can protect the 9 realms from an onslaught of giants.
The characters are easy to love and grow attached to in this series. There’s a deaf elf, a fashion-conscious dwarf, a Muslim Valkyrie, an undercover goat, and a gender-fluid Einherjar (a warrior who has died in battle and is sent to Valhalla to await Ragnarök), just to name a few. Riordan has a way of incorporating humor and wit into his characters that you don’t see very often in children’s literature and it’s a breath of fresh air. There are no slow parts to this story; every chapter is filled with action, plot twists and revelations that propel the story forward. I kept trying to guess where the story was going, to no avail (which was a good thing!) I’m looking forward to seeing how Magnus and his team prevent Loki from starting Ragnarök in the next and final installment to this series.
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