I must be completely honest in this book review and have to admit that…I am 100% biased towards this book. The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan, released in October which I have only recently gotten around to, is the second book in a series titled Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard which is the…not even worth counting…series in an interconnected universe where all the mythologies of the world are alive and well. Riordan is one of my favorite authors and I, for one, am guilty of being completely sucked into the initial Percy Jackson series mainly due to me being of the generation that grew up with the main character. That being said, Riordan didn’t disappoint.
The Hammer of Thor is (obviously) placed in the Norse mythology aspect of Riordan’s universe with the main character Magnus Chase providing witty insight aplenty as he explains what he learns of the Norse realm – mostly for the benefit of readers like myself who are unfamiliar with Norse mythology. While Riordan’s plots can be predictable (I can’t count how many times I saw an event coming ten chapters ahead), his writing is always entertaining and hilarious enough that such a minor detail can be easily overlooked. This book was no exception. Witty, fun, not really surprising, but thoroughly entertaining. All around a good book.
Now for the good part. One of the reasons I absolutely adore Rick Riordan is because he keeps breaking the seemingly unspoken rules of mainstream books (in middle grade books, no less). It really started with the introduction of homosexual character(s) in The Heroes of Olympus and then he just kept going. This recent book, though, had me more excited about “rule-breaking” than any other. Not only did Riordan introduce a gender-fluid character in a mainstream series, but also made her (or him, depending on the day), the obvious love interest of Magnus Chase.
(Excuse me while I take a moment to do a fangirl squeal.) Alex Fierro is the gender-fluid character which was introduced in this book, but she is not the reason I was excited. What most excited me was how Riordan began to explore Magnus Chase’s orientation; it should prove very interesting to see the main character come to grips with his attraction to Alex which he has, so far, seemed to deny.
Personally, I would have been perfectly fine if Magnus ended up having no love interest at all throughout the whole series, but the fact that the main character is not entirely heterosexual automatically shot The Hammer of Thor up as my favorite Riordan book, mostly because it is his first main character he has done this with. The character is fairly open-minded so he probably won’t struggle with discovering his orientation as much as others might, but even so, I look forward to how Riordan plays it off.
And if it wasn’t obvious from everything I just said, I really loved this book. I’m excited to see the main story progress, of course, but even more so for the budding romance between Magnus and Alex. I’m particularly looking forward to how Magnus deals with his attraction to the male aspect of Alex since Riordan pretty much avoided that in this book. Although I’m going to be really mad if Riordan keeps doing that since you can’t just say Magnus is only attracted to the female Alex and enforce some sort of loophole.
Either way, I can’t wait until the third book that comes out in October.