Approximately 2 minutes after finishing the book: YAASSSSSSSSS
Full review to come.
There are unmarked spoilers in this review. Read at your own risk.
When I started this book, I didn’t think I was going to like it as much as I did. I thought Magnus was going to be a carbon copy of Percy and Leo, there was going to be equivalents not nearly as awesome as Annabeth and Grover, the story was going to be pretty much the same, etc.
Boy, was I wrong (about some things).
I’ll start with the story.
Magnus Chase is a boy who dies fighting a fire demon in Boston. Only, he wakes up, feeling like he’s alive again, in Valhalla.
(There was this one part where someone said, “Welcome to Heaven”, and being ‘upgraded’, and I just had some serious flashbacks to the eighth season finale of Doctor Who. Oh, Missy, I still don’t understand why you’re my favorite…)
Ah, love her…
Anyway, back to Valhalla. So, Magnus wakes up in Valhalla, and meets an interesting cast of characters. They fight together, and bond as friends, and then Magnus is suddenly sent on a quest.
The plot only escalated from there, and it kept getting better. Let me just say that the plot itself was very interesting, fun, and original. There was this one section where I was sitting there in class reading this and trying not to laugh out loud. There was a giant squirrel, a talking sword, a Thor who loved any and all pop culture… Honestly, I thought it was even funnier than The Lightning Thief. Some of the humor was a little ridiculous, sure, but it worked. Not as well as I’d hoped, but it worked.
I also liked every single character, from Magnus himself to Fenris. Everyone was awesome, but that brings me to the big issue with this book: it was basically a copy of Percy Jackson.
For example, Magnus. He had the same type of humor that Percy had, the same type of sass, the same inner voice. Now, I still liked him, but they were both just so similar. They both suddenly find about their godly heritage and get sent on a quest, and are joined by some other important characters.
So basically, The Lightning Thief all over again. The stories were definitely different, but the similarities were undeniable. Through the entire book, I couldn’t help but compare the two.
And as for the other characters- while I really liked them, it didn’t feel like they were really there. Like, it felt like they were only there to help Magnus when he needed help, instead of being actual, fleshed-out characters with stories of their own. I also liked what Riordan tried to do with Sam- put in an important character who’s a poc and a Muslim- but I don’t think it worked quite the way he intended.
I think what happened here was that Riordan’s world is just being stretched too thin. There’s just so much- Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, the Kane Chronicles, this, the crossovers between PJO and the Kane Chronicles (and I hear there’s a new series coming out featuring Apollo?)- in this one universe. It’s too much, and tropes are being repeated over and over. These tropes work, granted, but still. That being said, this was a good book, and I look forward to the future books that Rick Riordan will write. He is one of my insta-buy authors, after all.
One last thing- so a few weeks ago, I was gushing about this book and I showed my friend the cover. She looked at it for a minute and said, “So we’ve got Thor (referring to Magnus), wolf!Bluestar, and a magic sword. This sounds magnificent.” It was hilarious because of how accurate that was XD