Thursday, 8 October 2015

Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer

Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: BUY. DUH. 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

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 an uncle he's never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle 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. A decision that sends him off on a quest to save the Nine Worlds.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Right, well, I don't know about you lot but I've been so excited about this it's insane! First off I've got to say....ANNABETH! I loved seeing Annabeth again and then the scene between her and Magnus at the end, I can't even. So perfect. So exciting. I should mention that there aren't any Percy Jackson spoilers! Just incase you haven't read them and are worried about it! There are a couple inside jokes though! I'm not gonna lie...I flailed at them all as well as whenever Annabeth made an appearance. 

Exciting is a good word for this book to be honest, it was exciting from the beginning, you eagerly jump in and get swept up in the story and the world and the characters and speed from one event to another and another with plenty of action and humour and little mini quests to help the big quest! Yes, this book has an epic quest, and you feel like you're on the quest right there with the characters. Trying to work things out along with them and feeling the stakes getting higher and higher. Feeling the tension. 

The book was so atmospheric and the worlds where so vividly imagined and created that they spring to life around you and with the atmosphere you're 100% pulled in to the book and the world and you can get completely lost in it and it's just PERFECT. I loved the worlds. I loved reading about the different  worlds, seeing the different worlds, seeing the people of the different worlds, but it was not enough. Oh no. I've always been intrigued by the Norse Gods but Rick Riordan has awakened a burning desire to know everything there is to know, so I need to see more of the worlds that Riordan has so fantastically brought to life. Please.

The book immediately grabs you and I imagine it would even for people who haven't read anything by the author previously. It has you intrigued from the go, and makes you want to keep reading, not only at the beginning but all the way through. This book is one of those "just one more chapter....oh no........okay......just this chapter otherwise I won't be able to sleep......well then.......oh....NOW I need to know what happens......." and then it's like 4am and you don't know what day it is kinda books. You pretty much have to prise your hands off the book finger by finger. Even when you put it down the books staring at you. Like literally, the UK cover has eyes on it. 

Anyways, the book has you entertained from the go and all the way through, like I said. It's funny. Some of the characters have some fantastic lines, and Magnus has such a sassy narrative how could I not love it?! It's gonna be a challenge to not laugh out loud if you're reading on public transport. 

Like I said (again), I've always been intrigued by Norse mythology. I know some from Loki's Wolves, and general knowledge, and of course I watch the Thor movies but they're not entirely accurate. I loved reading about the Norse mythology in this book. Riordan gives you a hell of a lot of it, without flooding you with it all in one go. You learn about it through the dialogue or through Magnus's witty inner monologue, and the way it's delivered by the characters keeps it fresh and entertaining rather than kind of stale textbook style. Riordan also has his own take on it all, from what I can tell. I haven't actually googled and checked whether a giant freaking squirrel resides in the tree or not, or checked whether the Valkyries where as described by him, BUT I got the strong impression his taken the mythology, kept a good chunk of it as it was, and then twisted little bits of it to make it his own. Like the whole Valhalla hotel among other things. Although I can totally get behind the whole "Viking longship in the Boston river" thing. 

I need to talk characters, because Magnus has quite the group of colourfully lively friends that we meet and I really did love all of them! I loved Magnus from the beginning, it was definitely the snark that made me go "You.....I like you...we're gonna get on great". Then there's the whole hero thing, he was brave when he needed to be in the beginning. He did the right thing when he didn't really have to. He dealt with the whole "Your dad's a Norse God" thing pretty well and I don't know. There was just something about Magnus that made me like him from the start, and as the book went on I got more and more attached and now I'm so excited for the next book to get to know him more and watch him become a complete badass. He's kinda goofy right now, and I can't wait to get to know him better as he settles in to life at Valhalla. 

Sam. Oh Sam. I liked Sam. She's a complete badass right from the start, and she made me laugh without actually saying anything. She has a lot going on under the surface, what with who her Dad is and family expectations and the whole Hannah Montana kinda double life thing. Valkyrie by night and regular kid by day. Sam also adds so diversity, she's muslim, she has a completely awesome camo hijab, and she's arranged to marry someone she's completely crushing on and you kinda wanna nudge her during THAT scene and do a wink face. I'm excited to see where Sam is going, she's taken on a really cool new job, shall we say, and I JUST LOVED HER SO MUCH. 

Then we have Blitzen and Hearthstone. Blitz is a fashion savvy dwarf, and Hearth is an elf trying to learn rune magic, both where supposed to be protecting Magnus, and I mean....they did try. They did. They just didn't have the right tools shall we say. I was so happy when they popped up more permanently in the book, I truly loved the dynamic between the four of them it was one of the main things that made me laugh, all of their banter and just. The family scene. I GOT FEELS.  And also hiccups from laughing. 

I was really intrigued by all the other kids on Magnus's floor of the hotel, his shield siblings. Each was lively and brought to life very well considering we didn't see them much. I was so sad we only saw them at the beginning and at the end, although I completely did some weird laugh/cheer thing when they appeared and did the whole handcuff thing. I can't even. Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting to see them all more and get to know them more. I just loved all the characters really. They where all brought to life before my eyes and just helped pull you in to the book.

As well as seeing more of his floor mates, I can't wait to see more of Valhalla either! Not to mention the worlds we didn't see and more of some of the ones we did. Each world was different (kind of a duh thing for me to say) and vivid and exciting to see and learn about. I have to say. I want to go to Nabbi's Tavern, it sounds completely awesome. Someone make a Nabbi's Tavern! I don't want to play favourites with the worlds, I really don't, but I did enjoy Blitz's home to another level. Not to mention their idea of a competition! 

We get to meet some Gods. Whatever you think you know from watching Thor or whatever...just throw away. Completely. Odin was just....I can't even. He cracked me up. Fair play to him..but still! Loki. He made me chuckle, he was kinda cool, but at the same time you know he's a douche and you where waiting for the douchery. Which he obliged us with. Thor. Do not imagine Chris Hemsworth's Thor. Riordan's Thor watches Arrow. He references the League of Assassins. He is every single one of us watching all the shows. The awkward moment when Thor doesn't want to miss Game of Thrones so gives the big showdown a miss. Don't believe me? Feast your eyes....

“This is an important battle – the fire lord Surt, Fenris Wolf. Surely that’s worthy of your attention.”Thor’s right eye twitched. “That’s a fine offer. Really. I’d love to, but I have another pressing appointment – ”Game of Thrones,” Marvin explained.“Shut up!”
I kid you not. I nearly died laughing. 

The plot of the book was just.....fantastic. It was a big quest, with little mini quests, and it was fun and complex. There was lots going on, a lot fit in to this book and it was so perfectly paced, it has to be said. You finish the book feeling like you're the one that went on the epic journey. All these threads eventually come together to a heart stopping climax, and a truly satisfying conclusion. It's kind of a perfect ending. But I want more! Which is just as well because the epilogue in like a couple of pages, easily sets up the next book and creates so much excitement. When you read it you'll see exactly what I mean. Sneaky sneaky. There is a thread, that you kinda forget about it as you get swept up in the action then it's like BOOM....epilogue and you're like......oh damn. It's gonna be awesome. 

I read this book in nearly one sitting. I started reading it at night and got about 100 pages down, then I read the rest of it in one sitting the next day. I took breaks only to pee and you Not even the incredibly cute puppy I was puppy sitting in the morning could distract me. I was that engrossed in the world. 

The Sword of Summer smashed through every single expectation I had. Yes, it has a couple of parallels to Percy Jackson, but at the same time, it's got completely unique characters and plot. It's engrossing and a complete escape as it pulls you in and shuts the real world out. The world of The Sword of Summer is one that you wish you could step in to. It's colourful and rich and so very vivid, helped by how atmospheric it is. The plot is entertaining, and full of surprising twists and turns, I mean....was it a quest or a roller coaster!? 

The book is full of humour, it has so many laugh out loud moments, and chuckle moments, and there was lots of action and serious stuff going on...but at the same time, much of the narrative and dialogue had me in stitches. Snarky...sassy....downright hilarious are the words to best describe it! It wasn't just the dialogue and narrative either....the Chapter titles...."You Had One Job" "Norns. Why Did It Have To Be Norns." (that one gave me Indiana Jones vibes...snakes anyone?) "Well, There's Your Problem. You've Got A Sword Up Your Nose" "Who's Idea Was It To Make This Wolf Unkillable?" "Don't Be A No-Bro, Bro"  I completely loved it. I loved every page and I just want to read it again immediately. The book is saturated with Norse mythology, but it's done just right. Not too much, and not too little, it leaves you wanting more. If you weren't already intrigued by Norse mythology, Riordan will awaken a burning desire to learn all about it in you. I can't get over his skill at storytelling, I really can't. 

I'm so excited for the next book and just before I started to write this.......he announces another book! Set in Percy's world! With Apollo! Who's being punished by Zeus and turned human and sent to camp! I CAN'T EVEN! 

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