Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Middle Grade / Childrens
Other Books By Author: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
“Hearthstone Passes Out Even More than Jason Grace (Though I Have No Idea Who That Is)”
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.
Magnus Chase was a letdown for me. Yes, you read that correctly.
Why? For those of you who know me, I’ve been a BIG fan of the Percy Jackson series, devouring the books and re-reading them 98236427178 times. The Percy Jackson books have a special place in my heart- they were probably the first real books I read when I was younger after Abby Hayes.
Maybe my expectations were too low, or too high, but here’s why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I should have:
Did you feel the Magnus Chase books were somewhat a drag-on of the Percy Jackson series, similar to how Pretty Little Liars and 39 Clues just went on and on? Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus were AMAZING, but any more I feel is too much. I’ve heard that when you receive the best praise, a high level of attention and that perfect, high peak, you should stop and leave it there to have a good, lasting, end impression. But Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer went on and on- I found quite a few of the chapters boring and lacking in originality when compared to Percy Jackson.
The characters in the book could have had some more development- I felt they were missing something. You know in the really good books, the main character is immediately likeable, relatable, sometimes has good humour, and you feel like you really understand the character as if you were in their position? Magnus Chase felt like nothing to me- Magnus, Blitz, and Hearthstone weren’t all that bad, but frankly, they need something more. And I’m not quite sure if Riordan really captured the feeling and reality of homelessness that Magnus has to face.
Some chapters I found felt like fillers or drag-ons, where nothing really happened. Parts in the middle and end especially left me a bit sleepy, and I would suggest deeper characters, a faster plot, and longer battle-enemy scenarios.
Here’s a little thought: I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but for those who read The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede, didn’t the Sword of Summer and Mendanbar’s sword both have personalities, with all that humming magic and alive-ness? Not that I minded, but I’ve just read the Enchanted Forest Chronicles so many times I couldn’t help comparing Mendanbar’s sword to the Sword of Summer, and I liked Mendanbar’s sword much, much better.
One thing I felt the book did great on was the romance. Have you ever read those really bad FanFictions or books, when the character accidentally bumps into this hot guy with dreamy eyes, and BOOM, insta-love? Or when the poor, little girl meets her Prince Charming and finds herself in the arms of a gorgeous, rich prince? Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer had none of that, and that was amazing. In real life, you don’t just fall in love with someone you just met (Romeo and Juliet anyone?)
Overall, this book did not meet my expectations- it wasn’t horribly bad, but I’m sure there could be a lot of room for improvement for the characters and plot. It was not the great first impression for a new series, and frankly, I did not like this book as much as I probably should have, but all of Riordan’s other books were utterly amazing and I’m sure this can all be fixed in the next one or two books.