Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Review: Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

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 . . .

Date of Publication: 6th October 2015

I absolutely love Rick Riordan, and all the books he writes, and this is no exception. I was a bit hesitant to begin this series because I didn't want to start comparing it to the Percy Jackson series (because I love it so much!) but this series is hilarious, sweet and hits all the right places in its own way so it doesn't beg to be compared. When Tom Hiddleston plays Loki he becomes such an intriguing character that you crave to learn more about- and he becomes so three-dimensional when you learn a bit of his backstory - so Norse mythology was something I was excited to read about. Rick Riordan's skills at finding fascinating myths within these mythologies and molding them intelligently and delicately into the bits and pieces of the plot never fails to amaze me.

I loved Magnus Chase! - he was an adorable, strong and intelligent (intelligent in the same way as Percy as he doesn't always act like he is and has slight Seaweed Brain tendencies;) but he's undeniably smart, daring and strategic in a battle). There's just something so relatable about Magnus because I get what he thinks and why, and you can tell how much his heart motivates him - there are so many frustrating protagonists in other novels so it was a relief to enjoy his voice wholeheartedly. He also starts of as 16 which makes him closer to my age than I thought he would be - and this makes it feel even more like I'm having a fascinating and fun conversation with a friend who happens to be a son of a Norse god. Sam was also a great character because of her strength, loyalty and determination to succeed despite constantly feeling like an outsider. I liked the moments of vulnerability we saw in her too because characters are so much more than a list of a few traits. The relationship between Sam and Magnus becomes a friendship after some struggles shall we say - but I can't help but wonder, as someone who loves Percabeth, whether it'll evolve into something more.

Talking about Percabeth, we also get to see our resident Wisegirl Annabeth Chase in this book because as Rick Riordan revealed, she is his cousin. The consistency in Rick's description of her made me feel so nostalgic as when the girl with the fierce, stormy grey eyes appears, I couldn't help but miss Percy. But I can't not mention that Magnus has many other relationships with friends or allies that are so moving and fun at the same time. Hearth and Blitz were so original, and Rick's development of the oh-so-fashionable Blitz and the determined Hearth was beautifully executed as usual.

The plot was inspired! The plot feels like a large and intricate spider web that Rick masterfully weaved because there are so many different dimensions of Norse mythology he explores from the gods, the nine worlds, runes, and a giant scary squirrel, but they all tie together in a natural and perfect way. There's also the fact that, like in Percy Jackson, Rick ties together one part of the plot - so one chapter of a bigger story closes which is refreshing because I feel satisfied rather than like I'm wheezing for some sense of closure.

Overall, I loved this book and I had a feeling I would because of who wrote it:) It was a perfect escape from school because it made me genuinely laugh out loud unlike so many other books. It has magic, Loki, quirky and unexpected plot lines, friendship and family - what more could you want?:P SO 5 GOLDEN stars!