Published by Penguin Teen Australia on October 6th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
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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 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 . . .
I was so excited to find a copy of this book in the mail! I loved the Percy Jackson series and the idea of another Rick Riordan series featuring Norse mythology? Yes Please! Though this book was a hefty 550 odd pages it was a fast paced enjoyable page turner and I enjoyed every minute of it.
The story starts on the eve of his 16th birthday with troubled teenager Magnus Chase living on the streets surviving day by day since his mother’s death two years earlier. When another homeless friend warns him that two people are handing out flyers looking for him, Magnus soon finds himself caught up in the middle of part family legend and part drama as his rich and suspicious uncle tells him a story about Boston but not as we know it.
In a few short hours Magnus discovers his father isn’t what he thought he was and he finds himself facing down an evil fire lord who is determined to destroy Earth and the other 8 worlds of Norse lore. In an act of bravery and perhaps stupidity Magnus sacrifices himself in order to save the other people trapped on the bridge during the show down and he finds himself dead.
This is just the beginning of an epic story where Magnus is brought to be a warrior of Valhalla, a hotel for the dead heroes waiting for Ragnarok (the final battle in Norse mythology). Soon he finds himself alongside his recently outcast Valkyrie, Samirah as well as his dwarf and elf protectors on a quest to delay the final battle and find the legendary Sword of Summer.
Like previous Rick Riordan books this novel is a great combination of mythology, adventure and quirky humour. I love his spin on hotel Valhalla and the personalities of each of the gods was sheer comical genius. Thor and his TV show obsession, Freya and her love of shiny things – these were just a couple of examples, it was pure entertainment to read.
The four main characters were all enjoyable and complemented each other well. There is no romance in this story and it was refreshing to be completely honest – it certainly didn’t detract at all from the story and instead let you focus on the journey this odd group was on.
In some ways this story was too similar or perhaps familiar is a better word, to the Percy Jackson series. It’s been a long time since I’ve read them but I felt a strong sense of deja vu with parallels on the short time frame to stop the end of the world, the sudden discovery that they lost days of time and now have even less time to complete their quest as just a couple of examples on how the plotting was remarkably alike.
That being said it was still a unique protagonist and it brought with it new mythology and this definitely was enough to feel it worth a read even if you have read his previous works. The other good thing is that while there are some insider jokes and cameos from his Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series this is a completely new book and it can be read on its own.
If you’re wanting to get into a Rick Riordan book and see what the fuss is about this is a great way to start.