Riordan, Rick The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase #2), 459 pages. Disney, 2016. $ 20. Language: G; Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13.
Magnus Chase may have escaped permanent death once and avoided the beginning of Ragnarok, but Loki is out to make his life as miserable as possible. Using Uncle Raymond as his stooge and his daughters Sam (Magnus’ Valkyrie) and Alex (a gender fluid character who identifies as female for most of the novel) as pawns, Loki seems to have a sure fire plan to bring on Ragnarok this time and free himself from Thor’s prison.
While I like Magnus and his friends and this look at the Norse gods, this felt like a whole bunch of smashing and betraying – heavy on action and very low on plot and zero on character development. There are so many unfamiliar names and new enemies that the story is confusing and hard to follow. I warned with the first of this series that this series is not meant for elementary students. This one just emphasizes that point with its large-scale fighting scenes and long discussions of the new gender fluid character. The only thing I am looking forward to is that the next book may include Percy Jackson, Annabeth, and possibly Apollo in the story. I know that every middle school and high school will buy multiple copies of this because it is Rick Riordan, but if this were the first book by a new author I would have given it a pass.
MS, HS – OPTIONAL.