The only Rick Riordan book I read before this one was Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. I love Greek mythology, so I wanted to love that series. Instead, I walked away from Percy turned off. I came to Percy Jackson way too late. His voice was too young and I found him irritating. I know some of you may find this blasphemous, but seriously I read this book at nearly 23 after reading almost exclusively adult novels. It didn’t help that Percy was more innocent than I was at 8. Thankfully, I liked the aged up Magnus much more.
Magnus Chase doesn’t hesitate to get right into the action. You get a little bit of set up to understand Magnus’s life before things get crazy and then everything goes completely crazy. I didn’t mind the fact that it jumped right in and never really looked back because it meant I didn’t have time to sit back and wonder if I’d like Magnus as a person, rather than a person under pressure. That said, I probably would because he seemed to be a bit of a geek and into some of the things I like.
There is an interesting array of characters. Sam is a Muslim girl who is fierce and tough and also a the daughter of a god. We have an elf and a dwarf. The elf uses ASL to communicate. The dwarf is a black man, who based on his love of fashion may or may not be gay. There was just so much diversity it felt good.
I actually don’t have too much to say about the plot. Even without having read many of the other books, It felt like the plot could have been plug and play. They had to take different beats and follow a rhythm weaving in and out of the Norse gods and shattering expectations. It did what it did well, but even I got the sense that it’s something he’s used to playing with.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the story was the fact that so much of it was actually set within other realms. I was glad we didn’t spend to much time on Midgard. Honestly, the parts of the story I was must engaged with where the times when they were in other places. Thus, I was glad that the majority of the novel was else where. It made things really feel fresh and different and not so grounded in this world.
Along those lines I loved the things done with the Norse gods. It could have been a bit hokey. They could have seemed so unlike themselves. Instead, I enjoyed their levity. The best thing about them was that they were so full of life. Sure, somethings irked me a little, but on the whole I was most excited when we had another encounter with one of the gods.
I generally don’t laugh during books. Magnus being as pure as he was especially for a 16 year old who lived on the streets had me skeptical. However, over time I found myself truly laughing out loud. There were legitimately funny moments and I found that refreshing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and I definitely intend to continue on with this series.