The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Disney – Hyperion Books
Genre(s): Fantasy, Humor, Young-Adult
Series Status: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1
Page Count: 491
Source & Format: Owned, Hardcover
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.
One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.
The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.
When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.
Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .
Hello bookworms! In an attempt to stay on top of my reviews for this year (not going so good right now, but oh well) I’m here today with a review on the first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, which I completed not too long ago. 🙂
Rick Riordan has been one of my favourite authors since I was very young. I read his whole Percy Jackson series as well as his Heroes of Olympus series AND the Kane Chronicles, and have been eagerly anticipating whichever book he publishes next. For 2015, The Sword of Summer became the book I anticipated, and I finally got around to reading it.
In a sentence, the best way to describe The Sword of Summer is to say it’s filled with humour, action and mythology; a great start to a brand new Riordan series. Truthfully I’m finding it kind of hard to think of a way to describe this book in my usual reviewing fashion, so I’ll make it easier on myself and you guys by giving you guys 4 reasons why you should read this book! (And a few things to keep in mind before/while you do.)
1. It’s funny.
Okay, not like, thigh-slapping funny, but it’s funny. It’s just simply FUN to read. And fun is good. In classic Riordan style, there were sarcastic comments and sassy comebacks; what more could I ask for? I found myself smiling and chuckling at several points throughout the story, and it was great in between the bouts of action and everything. Magnus’ character was definitely one of story’s biggest providers of humor, which was great as he’s our protagonist. 😉 His snark and commentary, although not exactly refreshing, was familiar and fun to read!
OH, AND. I can’t forget to mention the chapter titles—definitely one of my favorite parts!! From things like Let’s play frisbee with bladed weapons to A Lovely Homicidal Sunset Cruise, the chapter titles always brought a smile. They are fabulous. Read the book and you will understand..!
2. Adventure and lots of near-death galore…
YOU MUST DIE. Just kidding, I love you. But that’s kind of how things went in The Sword of Summer (the ‘you must die part, that is)…only half joking, haha. Because again, in classic Riordan style, there was lots of adventure (OF COURSE.) and many, many, MANY near-death experiences. (And some may or may not have been a near-death, without the ‘near’, if you know what I mean.) So, basically it was almost non-stop action, and was terribly addicting. I finished this within a day of starting it! #sorrynotsorry
3. Yay for fun characters and diversity!
Magnus was fabulous. Of course, with a name like Magnus, how could he not be? 😛 Though I have to say Magnus’s voice DID remind me of Percy’s. A lot. I probably wouldn’t be able to discern the two if they both were to talk. BUT when it comes down to it, they’re both pretty different—and it was a small factor because it didn’t really bother me AS much overall.
Samirah (the female MC) was great too, though she reminded me of Annabeth. AGH, I KNOW, it sucks, but I can’t help but compare, especially when their characters are so similar. Hot-headed? Check. Generally more smarter than
Percy Magnus? Check. But despite these similarities, I enjoyed her character anyway.
A few things I appreciated about her : 1) she’s Muslim (though not sure yet how she could be Muslim and still serve Norse gods..) 2) she’s in love with the guy she’s arranged to marry: There’s this idea that all arranged marriages are terrible and everything, so three cheers for Rick in taking a step to change that—’cause it’s not always the case and 3) Snark! Samirah wasn’t a fan of Magnus from the start, and it was lots of fun seeing her be snarky towards him (and most other people too). *ALSO: NO ROMANCE between her and Magnus. Quite rare to see a platonic boy-girl relationship these days, so yay!
Apart from Magnus and Samirah, I had the pleasure of the company of Blitz and Hearth! They’re both absolutely hilarious, and I loved them! Hearth also happens to be deaf–another cheer for diversity! Although I have to admit the fact that he is able to read lips perfectly is kind of doubtful, he still was a great addition to the cast of the novel.
4. Yum, mythology..!
As with the Percy Jackson series, The Sword of Summer put a fun spin on ancient mythology, this time going with Norse instead of Greek. Quirky, modernized Norse gods meant more humor while still giving us a Norse Ed. course.. so yay! I do realize that there’s no way for me to be sure whether the information in the book is 100% accurate, but at least I know more than just the names of Thor, Odin and Loki. (Is it just me who never knew a god named Frey even existed?!)
Things to keep in mind:
- The plot isn’t anything especially new. If you’ve read a lot of Rick Riordan’s books, you know that they generally follow similar plot lines; characters go on a quest, they kill monsters, almost die, and fulfill quests. Generally. This is how it goes. And basically it’s how it went for this one..? Truthfully this didn’t bother me much at all, but it’s something to keep in mind, is all.
- There ARE similarities between it and Percy Jackson (but that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Although it can bother me when another series by the same author copies things from their other series (like Reawakened by Colleen Houck), in this situation it wasn’t that bad since there was so many other things that I enjoyed. It depends on the person, though. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😛
- This book is marketed as YA, but I’m warning you: this book will probably seem more juvenile. This didn’t particularly bother me personally, but I did notice it and I know several readers complained about this, so I’m going to mention it here. Do try to remember that a lot of, or at least some of Magnus Chase’s readers will be readers who are coming from the Percy Jackson series, which means this book should be suitable for younger readers as well as more older readers. No matter what is the case, this book will probably be enjoyable either way! 😉
- It’s REALLY LONG. This is the one thing that actually did kind of bother me, or, crossed my mind more than just 10 seconds. Some parts of the book just seemed unnecessary? That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy those parts; I did, but it just could’ve been shortened, that’s all.
Have you devoured this book yet?? If you have, tell me!! 🙂 I’m always looking to fangirl with someone, LOL. (If you want, you can even check out this book trailer of it too!) If you haven’t read this book yet, do you plan to? Let me know your expectations, your hopes! What are you looking forward to the most? Or on a bigger scale; how do you feel about books similar to other books? Does it taint your enjoyment of a novel? Let me know whatever thoughts you may have below!
Happy Monday, everyone! ❤