Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – Book 1: The Sword of Summer – By Rick Riordan

Jared,

I agree wholeheartedly; Star Wars Battlefront is in desperate need of a campaign or some other similar mode. Split-screen was what really elevated Battlefront I and II from just good game to truly great games.

Now back to the books. This is the first of many Rick Riordan books I’ll be reviewing. Please note that this is one of his newest books and newest series…..for the next couple of months. He puts out new books every 4-6 months lately. It’s pretty impressive actually.

15724396Title: The Sword of Summer
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard; Book 1
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Youth
ROTS Setting: EU, Modern, Magic, Mythology/Supernatural
Synopsis: Magnus Chase has lived on the streets for the last two years after his mother was violent murdered. Now, on his 16th birthday, his uncles and cousin are desperately looking for him under the very real guise of imminent danger. In classic Riordan fashion, Magnus is thrust into a world of Norse gods and mythology. Will he stop Ragnarok or hasten it’s coming?
Recommendation: A very easy read that is perfect for newer readers. Found this in the “Youth” section, with mild gore and moderate violence. I pretty much love everything I’ve gotten on my hands that’s by Rick Riordan!

As I said, I haven’t found a Rick Riordan book I haven’t liked. My greatest challenge writing this review is not giving away spoilers. I don’t know how successful I’ll be so forgive me if I slip up.

First thing you need to realize is that Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles and now Magnus Chase all exist in the same expanded universe. While each focus on different pantheons and utilize magic, monsters, and myths in their owns self contained way they are in fact happening together in the same universe. There are even some special cross-over books between Percy/Heroes and the Kane Chronicles. The first book in this new series actual ties directly into that universe with the appearance of Annabeth Chase from Percy/Heroes. She is the cousin of Magnus Chase, the main character, and is a very minor character in the book. Thankfully you won’t need to know anything about her past other than to say she is a prominent character in Percy/Heroes.

The second thing you need to know is that every series explores the relationship between the pantheons of the ancient world and humans/mortals. This is usually where those worlds literally meet in the form of demigods or human/god offspring. For instance Percy Jackson and the Olympians focused on the ancient Greek pantheon. Heroes of Olympus is a mix of Greek and Roman. Kane Chronicles focuses on ancient Egyptian. And now we have Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard which, obviously, focuses on the Norse pantheon.

If you have already read any of the other series then there really wouldn’t be anything else to say. Magnus Chase is cut from the same cloth as the others. I, personally, had to spend a few minutes deciding if this book was too similar to the others or not. Other than the obviously different pantheon and mythos there are some subtle differences but as a whole it might feel too similar for some people.

Anyway, moving on. Magnus as a character is only moderately annoying. For a 16 year old that’s pretty good. And when I compare him to characters in the universe that puts him right at the top. I wish I could say more about him but that takes out nearly all the fun of this whole book. However I can say that I think he is a complete character and is fairly three-dimensional.

The group of secondary characters is diverse and well rounded. I enjoyed their presence. ( that could be considered high praise from me.)

Boston is the location of choice in this book. New York City and area were featured extensively in Percy/Heroes and also in Kane Chronicles. So the new location is a refreshing change. You might even notice the Bostonian accent in the trailer above.

The plot line is a little weak for this first book but that doesn’t surprise me. We needed to be introduced to a whole new aspect of the universe, plus build characters, and provide an interesting and engaging experience. With an established community, I can see why the focus was on world and character building and less on the plot line.

Lastly, I’ll speak briefly of the Norse pantheon and mythos……it’s weird. Seriously, it makes the absolute craziness of Greek mythology look and sound tame in comparison. Thankfully this makes for quirky dialogue and interesting plot twists.

I get that this is a really cryptic review, Jared. Sadly I don’t want to give away ANY spoilers on it though because it’s a brand new series. I do have the first book of Percy Jackson in my stack, which I was going to get more in-depth with. I was also considering a sort of intro into the whole Riordan universe. Let me know if you’d even look at something like that.

 Robert


Review of The Hammer of Thor >>


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Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – Book 1: The Sword of Summer – By Rick Riordan

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