Rick Riordan is the well-known author of the Percy Jackson series and The Lost Hero series. But now he is working on his new addition the Magnus Chase series. The first book of the series The Sword of Summer was released in 2015. His second book of this series, The Hammer of Thor, tries to tell the reader that if you want to change, it is only possible if you believe you can change.
This book is told in the nine worlds: Asgard, Vanaheim, Alfheim, Midgard, Jotunheim, Nidavellir, Niflheim, Muspelheim and Helheim through the eyes of Magnus Chase, the son of Frey, a god of summer, fertility and wealth. Like the other series the protagonist is a demigod but, this time, of Norse mythology instead of Greek or Roman. Unlike the other characters in the series, Magnus Chase is a little less alive than other people.
It all happened when Magnus lost his mother to a bunch of wolves when he was younger and Magnus died and got taken to Valhalla to be a warrior to fight against Ragnarok. Before all of this happened Magnus was a homeless kid living in a national park. Magnus and his friends Sam, Hearthstone, and Blitzen postponed Ragnarok.
After six weeks have passed from the 1st book, The Sword of Summer, Magnus’s friend Sam (a Valkyrie that brought Magnus to Valhalla) talked to him about the hammer of Thor and that it is missing. Thor’s hammer is needed to prevent Ragnarok from happening sooner than expected. The main enemy of the gods, the giants, are scared of Thor’s hammer and our waiting for an attack of opportunity. Sam and Magnus are told that they will need help including Magnus’s friends that have disappeared for six weeks and the help of a new friend named Alex that has recently died and was brought to Valhalla. Throughout the story Alex turns from a female to a male but is mostly female during this story. Alex is Sam’s relative because they are both children of Loki, the god of tricks and one of the main antagonists of the story. Loki seems to have something to do with the disappearance of Thor’s hammer. Will Magnus and his friends be able to find out where the hammer has gone and if Loki is involved?
This book is interesting and entertaining. It left you with questions and used hooks before every chapter that made you not want to put the book down. The story was well paced with fighting scenes when needed and story-driven scenes when needed. It also has a good balance of comedy and seriousness.
The characters are fun because they all have individual characteristics. The way characters interact with each other change over the course of the book, whether they are new characters or old. Character development is shown extremely well, you can tell when something has changed in their personalities like one of the new characters, Alex. At first, Alex is self-conscious about her past and has shied away from multiple questions about herself but she begins to open up more as the story goes on. Alex also helps motivate the characters. She says, “you have to be comfortable changing if you want to change.” This motivates some of the characters by making them think over consequences for change and if they think they are able to deal with them. Also, you learn more about the past of the other characters.
The book also teaches you about things in Norse mythology like about what certain runes means and you learn about different gods that aren’t as well known as Thor or Loki. There is a goddess named Sif who is Thor’s wife as well as the goddess of earth, grain, and fertility. It also introduces mythical creatures that you might not have heard about before like a wight, which is an undead creature that collects magical weapons. They are reanimated corpses that guard the treasures they were buried with. A Wight is created when a mean or unpleasant person was not buried the proper way. Another example is Nøkks. Nøkks are water spirits made completely out of water and they use violins to make their victims cry until they die of broken hearts.
The Hammer of Thor is a great read. But if you aren’t into fantasy and action books then I would not recommend this book for you. I’d recommend this series to people that would like to learn about Norse mythology which is about Norse gods like Thor, but there are other gods that are not as well-known within the book as well.
I give The Hammer of Thor a 4.5/5 because it has a mix of seriousness and comedic actions and it has great character development. The book also progresses at a good pace and the characters also have an interesting mix of personalities. It hooks you in and makes you want to keep reading it. The Hammer of Thor is a great addition to the Magnus Chase series and I cannot wait for the next installment!