Date read: October 8th, 2017
Published by Disney Hyperion, October 3rd, 2017
Verdict: As always.
In the third book in Rick Riordan’s epic Norse mythology series, Magnus and his friends take a boat trip to the farthest borders of Jotunheim and Niflheim in pursuit of Asgard’s greatest threat. Life preservers are mandatory for this wet, wild, and wondrous adventure.
The good thing about Rick Riordan’s books is that you always know what you get. They are light-hearted, funny, fast-paced, and just lovely to read. Having said that – I think he might be running out of steam here.
I will not even try to give a synopsis because, like all the books in the Percy Jackson universe before this, it’s basically: group of demi-gods (or Einherjar) get send on a quest, they go from place A to place B – get attacked/meet a monster/get challenged – escape, go to place C – get attacked/meet a monster/ get challenged – escape, go to place D – get attacked/ meet a monster/ get challenged – and so on and so forth. The recipe works; the books are all insanely readable and fun but, especially the later ones get a little bit stale. Not enough that I stop reading them, mind, but enough to make me hope that Rick Riordan will actually manage to wrap them up sooner rather than later so that they can end on a high.
What I love about these books is how obviously aware of his readers Rick Riordan is – and he tries to write characters that many people can relate to. I find that especially important in Middle Grade books. He seems to have such a lovely, positive world view and his books reflect that. They always emphasize friendship and being there for each other and being a good person. I like that.
I think one of the reasons this book did not quite work for me is the fact how very dark the underlying mythology is: don’t get me wrong, the Greek pantheon is filled with dark and twisted tales but also with goodness and hope, Norse mythology? Not so much. It is filled with the knowledge that the end of the world – Ragnarok – is inevitable. And this grimness does not quite mesh with the light-hearted voice of the series.
But still, I enjoyed reading this book and spending more time in this world that feels familiar, it is comforting to know exactly what to expect and I needed that.
First sentence: “‘Try it again,’ Percy told me. ‘This tme with less dying.'”