on October 6, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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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 an uncle he's never met - a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle 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 . . .
Magnus Chase is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. So many scenes made me laugh out loud, from the fashionable dwarf Blitzen, to the TV addicted Thor, to the scary giant squirrel and the most hilarious talking sword in existence. I’ve only ever encountered one other talking sword before, but Jack is hilarious, with a mind of his own and some fancy skills, like flying up giant’s noses.
I didn’t think I knew much about Norse mythology, but thanks to Marvel, I’m familiar with Thor, Odin, Loki and the world of Asgard. Not only does the book cover creative re-imaginings of these great Norse gods, with Vikings, dwarves, elves and magic, it also updates it with hilarious pop culture references and the use of smart phones and Wifi. I learnt so much about Norse mythology here, through the runes used, the language, the Gods and Goddesses that ruled over different worlds and the strange creatures that were about. From the Valhalla with Odin’s warriors, to Valkyries that would handpick brave souls from the battlefield, the setting was like a feast for a fantasy lover like me.
I imagined the sword and me sitting side by side in a movie theater, a tub of popcorn between us. I imagined dragging the sword on a leash, taking it for a walk through the park. “How do I befriend a sword?”
The book is set out like a constantly growing adventure, but there is so much jampacked here that you’ll go from one hilarious situation to another. Often in the book I couldn’t believe what had just happened, as they got more and more ridiculous and I just couldn’t stop laughing. There’s also lots of mention of food here, which is my favourite!
From a homeless teen living on the streets to a hero of Asgard, Magnus isn’t a typical hero. He’s humble, grateful for what he has and the questing he has to do as a warrior in Valhalla. He’s also completely hilarious, brave and doesn’t stand down from a challenge. I liked how his natural stance wasn’t to charge into battle and fight, but to look at the situation in a different light. In fact, he gets out of most situations with pure bravado, comedy, sarcasm and underlying rage at times. Magnus is a great new hero, however like Percy, I do think he’s a bit TOO perfect.
Blitz: “For instance, I could fix your disgraceful outfit. No one wears a brown peacoat with a green headscarf.”
Percy: “A dwarf in sunglasses and a ski mask is giving me fashion advice.”
Blitz: “I have daylight issues!”
The characters in Magnus Chase are diverse, flamboyant and had big personalities, which made them really memorable. We had the dwarf Blitz, who had an eye for fashion, the deaf night elf Hearth, who uses sign language, and the muslim Valkyrie Sam, who is dedicated to her quest despite all odds. I loved all of their dialogue and how hilarious they all were together, but they also had some depth as well.
The only downside about this book is that with all the random occurrences happening, sometimes I felt they were going a bit off track to the original quest. I couldn’t see how some of the zany things were related, and the sheer volume of these made the book a bit longer.
There is never a dull moment in Magnus Chase, with the hilarious adventure, snarky dialogue and diverse characters. With Rick Riordan’s fantastic, conversational writing, I just wanted to keep reading and discovering more witty banter, funny ridiculous situations and more Norse mythology. A fantastic start to a great new series, I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me this book for review.