It took me far too long to even start this book, and it’s taking me even longer to finish it. There really are a bunch of small reasons for this, but there’s really only one that’s making me reluctant to even pick it up in my spare time: I hate being preached to, and that’s what this book has been doing.
Look, I’m all for diversity. Characters of all different races? Awesome! Characters with different sexualities/gender identities (even those that I personally don’t agree with)? Even better! But not when their sexuality or gender is their entire personality. Not when they’re just tokens, and not when the book is diverse just for the sake of diversity or the characters are just there to teach a lesson about acceptance.
(Well, I mean, that last one is important, but that shouldn’t be all there is to a character.)
I was wary about starting Hammer of Thor because of that- Riordan, at least in my opinion, does not have a good track record when it comes to dealing with diverse characters. After all, there was the way Nico was handled (and his subsequent characterization in The Hidden Oracle. Wtf?) and the way he deals with female characters in general (the Hunters of Artemis in Blood of Olympus, anyone?). So, I can’t really say I was surprised that I started hating Alex from the moment she came in, but I had hoped I wouldn’t. I’m still severely disappointed, and I’m seriously tempted to just stop reading right here, but I won’t. I do still like Magnus, after all. (I hope that doesn’t change!)
(Things where characters with ambiguous/diverse genders and sexualities are actually written well and have more of their own personalities:
Always Human, by walkingnorth
Snailogy, by Snailords
More people should read these. If you do/have, come talk to me! I’d love to know what you think!)