Speechless, where to start - how to write anything that doesn't possibly spoil things for other readers???!!! This was such a phenomenal book well worSpeechless, where to start - how to write anything that doesn't possibly spoil things for other readers???!!! This was such a phenomenal book well worth the year long wait. I didn't want to put it down, I felt all the feels with this one and the ending wow I can't wait to find out where things go next as I have no idea!
A proper carefully crafted review will be out shortly - though its going to be a hard one to write! Totally need to vent about this book with other fans now!
I was so excited to find a copy of this book in the mail! I loved the Percy Jackson series and the idea of another Rick Riordan series featuring NorseI was so excited to find a copy of this book in the mail! I loved the Percy Jackson series and the idea of another Rick Riordan series featuring Norse mythology? Yes Please! Though this book was a hefty 550 odd pages it was a fast paced enjoyable page turner and I enjoyed every minute of it.
The story starts on the eve of his 16th birthday with troubled teenager Magnus Chase living on the streets surviving day by day since his mother’s death two years earlier. When another homeless friend warns him that two people are handing out flyers looking for him, Magnus soon finds himself caught up in the middle of part family legend and part drama as his rich and suspicious uncle tells him a story about Boston but not as we know it.
In a few short hours Magnus discovers his father isn’t what he thought he was and he finds himself facing down an evil fire lord who is determined to destroy Earth and the other 8 worlds of Norse lore. In an act of bravery and perhaps stupidity Magnus sacrifices himself in order to save the other people trapped on the bridge during the show down and he finds himself dead.
This is just the beginning of an epic story where Magnus is brought to be a warrior of Valhalla, a hotel for the dead heroes waiting for Ragnarok (the final battle in Norse mythology). Soon he finds himself alongside his recently outcast Valkyrie, Samirah as well as his dwarf and elf protectors on a quest to delay the final battle and find the legendary Sword of Summer.
Like previous Rick Riordan books this novel is a great combination of mythology, adventure and quirky humour. I love his spin on hotel Valhalla and the personalities of each of the gods was sheer comical genius. Thor and his TV show obsession, Freya and her love of shiny things – these were just a couple of examples, it was pure entertainment to read.
The four main characters were all enjoyable and complemented each other well. There is no romance in this story and it was refreshing to be completely honest – it certainly didn’t detract at all from the story and instead let you focus on the journey this odd group was on.
In some ways this story was too similar or perhaps familiar is a better word, to the Percy Jackson series. It’s been a long time since I’ve read them but I felt a strong sense of deja vu with parallels on the short time frame to stop the end of the world, the sudden discovery that they lost days of time and now have even less time to complete their quest as just a couple of examples on how the plotting was remarkably alike.
That being said it was still a unique protagonist and it brought with it new mythology and this definitely was enough to feel it worth a read even if you have read his previous works. The other good thing is that while there are some insider jokes and cameos from his Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series this is a completely new book and it can be read on its own.
If you’re wanting to get into a Rick Riordan book and see what the fuss is about this is a great way to start. ...more
A simple refreshing contemporary novel that takes part at sea and on the coastal shores of Hobart Australia. This story sets itself apart and also addA simple refreshing contemporary novel that takes part at sea and on the coastal shores of Hobart Australia. This story sets itself apart and also adds itself to a great list of diverse YA novels coming out recently by introducing the reader to the concept of life without hearing and the use of sign language in the central plot and romance between our main characters Will and Summer.
The story is a clean and refreshingly simple one told from alternating chapters between our protagonists Will and Summer and the two strike up an unlikely online friendship over a mutual interest in Jessica Watson and her solo sailing voyage at only 16 years of age. Summer lives in Will’s old town – Kettering and feeling homesick after being away sailing with his dad for the past year, Will is excited to chat online with another teen who recently moved to his old home. Summer has never been sailing and is fascinated with the concept hoping someday she will have the opportunity to learn.
When Will’s dad gets a great job opportunity back near Kettering the two move back to Tasmania. Will and Summer’s new blossoming friendship meets its first hurdle when Will soon realises that Summer is deaf and has never mentioned it to him during all their correspondence. Feeling hurt and betrayed it takes awhile before they get past things and Will starts to understand that communication with someone who doesn’t hear is still possible and if anything much easier that he realised.
As their friendship grows he undertakes an AUSLAN course to learn sign language as his interest is piqued and the friendship slowly blurs the lines into romance as they spend more and more time with each other.
The characters are interesting though I found Will to be possibly a bit unrealistic – he was certainly very different and much more mature than any 15 year old boy I met when I was in high school. His best friend was much more in line with my memories of boys in high school in any case, perhaps I just didn’t meet the rights ones :)
The story culminates with the kids sailing around a nearby island without adult supervision and while there is a few bits added in to make things a bit more dramatic overall everything runs quite smoothly. In some ways you want more action but in others I like that this is a bit more realistic to normal life making this a really relatable book for teens.
The one thing that I really found frustrating was that there was no quotation marks when the characters were talking which is found slowed me down as it sometimes made it difficult to realise that someone was talking not just thinking something. Perhaps I’m just picky :)
Aside from this small grammatical/aesthetic issue I enjoyed this fresh simple love story and think this one will be make a great summer read! ...more
I’ve been struggling a little bit with middle grade reads of late and this one was no exception. While it took me quite awhile to get into the story aI’ve been struggling a little bit with middle grade reads of late and this one was no exception. While it took me quite awhile to get into the story after getting through a hefty chunk of the book I was quite intrigued to see how this one went and finished it off quite quickly.
After a quick prologue in Orkney to set the scene of what is to come, you are introduced to our main character Sam;- a typical 12 year old boy battling some anger issues, or so he thinks. The first quarter of the book introduces the reader to Sam’s current life and friends and then very quickly turns things upside down as he soon realises that things aren’t quite what they seem. Sam along with his two best friends are soon embroiled in the battles of another realm – Orkney where Sam holds the key to breaking a age old curse and saving not only Orkney, but Earth and the other Norse realms as well.
If you are a fan of fantasy this book is a bit like a comfy and familiar pair of pyjamas. While the story and world is new many of the ideas and the novel outline is quite comparable to other well known middle grade favourites such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. While I wouldn’t put this book quite in the same league – it definitely felt a bit clunky and it didn’t grab me in quite the same way, I think it will still be a hit with the tween and teen readers looking for a good fantasy/adventure series.
The journey Sam takes is an interesting one and while he doesn’t really change or grow in the novel he does learn some important things about himself and is put into some interesting predicaments. Torn between his two bloodlines – his mother was a witch while is father is a son of Odin, you expect him to make some pretty life changing choices. These sadly seem to be glossed over or not quite so anguish driven as they possibly could be which is this books biggest let down. I also felt that the story was very black and white with the witches being “bad” and the people of Orkney and Odin being “good” however I really feel in these children’s and young adult novels that its the shades of grey and the realisation that life isn’t quite so simple that makes things interesting.
I was incredibly frustrated with how little people trusted Sam in the novels. They had vast expectations of him dropping everything about his life and fixing the curse however I didn’t feel that he was treated well in the slightest. It made it very hard to cheer him on in his journey because part of me simply couldn’t care if everyone on the planet dropped dead the rudeness and lack of understanding was inexcusable. His band of friends were great and I also would have liked to see them developed as individual characters in a bit more detail, you go a couple of chapters from their perspectives but not enough to really bring them to life.
The ending of the novel was incredibly well done and the battle scene was very descriptive but not overstated making it enjoyable. I also liked the way the story played out with how to break the curse and the inclusion of the Norse Gods in assisting at the final battle. A fun read and I think a real winner for the fantasy fans here! ...more