Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: The Sword of Summer

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1)The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1)
Rick Riordan
middle grade, Norse mythology

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.
One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.
The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.
When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.
Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . . 
Behold, the book I basically started reading in November and finished a week ago.  Round of applause, please.

No matter what, come hell or high water, Rick Riordan's books will be good. However, I realize now that the appeal will lessen the older you get. 

Unlike the Percy Jackson books, and like Heroes of Olympus, The Sword of Summer was a massive, almost 500-page book. Let's be honest - Heroes was not as good as PJ, but we loved it and read it anyway, partially because we loved the familiar characters and world. In the case of Magnus Chase, I found the size a bit of a problem. The Norse world and it's rules are not as familiar to the average reader as the Greek Gods and stories are (at least to me) and I found all the character arcs and backgrounds and subplots rather confusing. 

Also, I found the supporting characters rather dull and not as relatable as Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson always were. Blitz and Hearth were not young kids, and Samirah, while having cool and useful abilities, didn't usually add much to the scene. 

Truthfully though, all of the above is really just one flaw, and that is that the book was not Percy Jackson. If you can read it without expecting it to be what it cannot be, you should enjoy it(:

On to the things I loved: humor as spot on as usual, THE CHAPTER TITLES, the cover, the fact that it's a trilogy, pure originality, pop culture references, the dedication, Rick Riordan fandom inside jokes (passes out even more than Jason Grace), the talking goats, the talking sword. 

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