Book Review: Magnus Chase & The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

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Want to know if Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan is worth the read? Here’s my full review to help you decide

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Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor Info

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Published: 4 October 2016

Rating: 3/5

Where to buy Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor

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“Magnus Chase, you nearly started Ragnarok. What are you going to do next?”

It’s been six weeks since Magnus and his friends returned from defeating Fenris Wolf and the fire giants. Magnus has adjusted to life at the Hotel Valhalla—as much as a once-homeless and previously alive kid can. As a son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus doesn’t exactly fit in with the rest of Odin’s chosen warriors, but he has a few good peeps among his hallmates on floor nineteen, and he’s been dutifully training for Ragnarok along with everyone else. His days have settled into a new kind of normal.

But Magnus should have known there’s no such thing as normal in the Nine Worlds. His friends Hearthstone and Blitzen have disappeared. A new hallmate is creating chaos. According to a very nervous goat, a certain object belonging to Thor is still missing, and the thunder god’s enemies will stop at nothing to gain control of it.

Time to summon Jack, the Sword of Summer, and take action. Too bad the only action Jack seems to be interested in is dates with other magical weapons. . . .


I have decided to change my rating style to be that of CAWPILE from Book Roast because it’s just so much easier to break down the review that way instead of me agonizing over the rating of the book. 

Character: 7/10

Honestly, I am not sure if I changed by mellowing out after I turned 31 but I am more tolerant of the characters now. In the first book, The Sword of Summer, most of the characters annoyed me to an extent, especially Jack. 

But in The Hammer of Thor, I have come to accept that Jack is the annoying sibling so I just zone out when he does his thing. 

The thing that made the characters in this book better for me would probably be the backstory we get of Hearthstone and how tragic it is. Reading about how his parents neglected him due to his disability which turned to mistreatment and mental and emotional abuse (more like torture) after a family tragedy broke my heart. 

Especially since he was so young when it happened and it honestly wasn’t his fault but Hearthstone felt like it was his fault because he is the eldest child and he was supposed to take care of his younger brother Andiron. What killed me reading this part of the story was the fact that in his family, it was only Andiron who adored and loved him as he is, disability and all. 

So, imagining a young Hearthstone witnessing his brother being killed by a brunnmigi, and then being left alone with nobody in his family who truly cared for him made me cry. 

This was made worse when his father made Hearthstone skin the beast himself and made him put the pelt in his room to remind Hearthstone to pay his brother’s wergild which is a debt that must be paid to the deceased. Restitution basically. It was horrible and made me feel so much for Hearthstone.

Another character that I liked in this book is Alex Fierro, Sam’s half-sibling. Since Alex is gender fluid I’ll be using they/them pronouns, I know they prefer she/he but that depends on their gender for the day and today I am not sure what gender they are so they/them it is. I liked how Alex is feisty but after you peel back the layers of mistrust due to their family trauma you realize they are so sweet and very loving in their own way.

It was also fun how the author made Alex gender fluid because Loki in the original legend is also gender fluid so reading how it’s incorporated in this book was interesting. Especially, when Sam needed a male family member to meet up with her fiance’, Alex stepped up and said hey I can do it and since they are gender fluid like Loki it was all chill.

Also, Thor’s goats, Marvin and Otis, deserve special mention because they too are one of my fav characters in this series. I found them hilarious.

Atmosphere: 6/10

Atmosphere wise, The Hammer of Thor was aight’ for me. It wasn’t bad and neither was it spectacular. It was okay. I have read better unfortunately but because this is a middle grade book I am willing to let this one slide. 

The only part in the book where I felt fully immersed in the story would be Hearthstone’s backstory other than that the other parts of the story was not as immersive as I would like it to be and again I am saying this as an adult reading this.

Writing: 6/10

The writing was also aight’. It was easy to follow, although if it was I would be really worried about my own reading comprehension. Has my two brain cells diminished to just one during my reading slump?

I don’t hate Rick’s writing style, I mean I have read most of his works. The only books I didn’t read are his latest ones because it’s so hard to find the complete set at my local bookstore and I am not willing to pay an exorbitant amount on shipping.

The dialogue was okay for me. I don’t expect much because again this is a middle grade book, I am not expecting Game of Thrones level dialogue here. It is what it is.

Plot: 6/10

Unfortunately, I didn’t care about the plot for The Hammer of Thor. I felt like Rick has Disney syndrome lately where you know none of his main characters will die or anything. I can’t remember the word now but basically there are no consequences, there’s no stake in the plot. 

Yeah, the world might be destroyed and what not but I don’t know the people in this world. I only know the characters that I am currently reading so if I know they are going to be okay do I really care about the world? 

This isn’t just the books for Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard by the way this trend in his plots have been going on since The Heroes of Olympus series. At least this is when I started to realize it, The Chronicles of Kane. I let it slide because it’s only a trilogy when I last read it. 

Pacing wise I would say it was alright. It was pretty consistent, the ending was a bit rushed but it’s not too bad where it disrupted the flow of the plot.

The overall plot I would say was a tad bit underwhelming for me because yet again Loki got away with it and the whole journey was for naught because now Loki is free from his prison. 

And honestly, I wanted him to be free because then things might be more interesting from now on. Did the ending make me want to continue reading the series? Yes and no.

Yes, because I already read the first two books I might as well commit to read the last one and see if they managed to save the world and no because I know the characters will be fine nobody will get hurt or die and it will be a relatively Disney-esque happy ending and I will be reading it begrudgingly because I just want to finish the series.

Intrigue: 4/10

It took me forever to finish this book, not that it was boring or that I hated reading it. It was just that I kept getting distracted by EVERYTHING. Reading Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor just didn’t hold much allure for me.

Once I really hunkered down I enjoyed reading it. It’s just getting me to hunker down and actually read was the problem. There was no innate reason for me to want to continue to read. Suffice to say the story didn’t do a good job of holding my attention.

Logic: 8/10

The logic in this book in terms of the magic system and the motives of all the characters made sense. None of the characters went out of their characterisation at least not that I can remember. 

The world building was pretty good for me. I liked reading how different gods houses/rooms suited their personalities. Thor had his man (god?) cave that was in complete contrast to his wife’s aesthetic for their house. 

All the God’s had their own distinctive personalities which was also fun to read. Nothing in this book made the world building overwhelming or confusing and yet again if it was confusing for me I would worry how a younger reader would comprehend the book.

Also the reason why this part is not as descriptive is because I tend to forget world building stuff in books and I finished this book awhile ago so some aspects of it I do tend to forget.

Enjoyment: 9/10

Reading Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor was far more enjoyable for me as opposed to The Sword of Summer. I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked the representation not only for Muslim hijabi girls in the form of Samirah Al-Abbas but also getting to see a gender fluid character was interesting especially since it’s Sam’s half-sibling, Alex Fierro.

I liked how the author incorporated that Sam as a practicing Muslim does her prayers because it’s important to show that being a Muslim is not just wearing a hijab and it’s done. It’s nice to see that Rick does care enough to show that being a Muslim is more than that.

Another representation I appreciated even though I myself never had this in my own life was Hearthstone being mute and the suffering he went through due to his parents refusing to accommodate him. 

His backstory made me realize that sometimes a person can be ableist without meaning to and it must be frustrating for people like Hearthstone to be made to feel like just because you have a disability suddenly you’re less than a fully functioning person when you are, you just have a different way on going about your life. 

I am glad that Rick is incorporating diversity in his books in an organic way because it is important to show the younger generations that the world is a big place with a variety of people.

More books by Rick Riordan

If you enjoyed my review of Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan then you might enjoy my other reviews

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