I don't think I've been so excited by a new book release since at least last year! I love both the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus, also by Rick Riordan, and when I heard he had a new series coming out in 2015, I knew I would be buying it the moment in hit the stores. And I did XD
So, did I like it? Yes! I totally loved it! I can't wait to read it's sequel. The waiting is going to be hard, especially with that cool ending we were left with at the end of the book.
The things I liked
The quest and mythology
I found the quest, and the 'prophecy' leading to it, rather interesting. It was also cool to discover new myths and Gods, especially since I'm not very familiar with Norse mythology. If you're going into this book picturing Thor and Loki as they appear in the Marvel movies though, you're in for quite a surprise, haha!
Magnus is an awesome character
His voice is different enough from Percy's that you won't feel like you're reading from the POV of a Percy rip-off. Riordan did a great job with Magnus's character. He's older than Percy was in the first books of the first series and has faced hardships that have given his personality a sharper edge. He's sarcastic and almost unapologetic sometimes, but he also remains a very reliable character and you quickly get attached to him.
It did take me a few chapters to really get into the book but once I reached the first 100 pages, the story really hooked me in. I did feel that it was less action-packed and slower paced than the Percy books, but that's only because it was better fleshed out, giving the readers a more grounded and descriptive story.
As always, you can't have a Rick Riordan book without humor. The jokes were simply on point. Magnus is an awesome character to read from. His sarcasm could put Percy's to shame. I found myself laughing to myself throughout the book and these funny bits reminded me why I loved Riordan's writing so much.
The side characters
As with all of Riordan's books, our main hero is accompanied by some sidekicks on his quest. To tell you more about these characters would be mildly spoilery but I can assure you that these characters are very unique and cool. They were often very funny and made the whole book so much more enjoyable. The best part? The side cast is very diverse and includes a Muslim female character, a mute and deaf sidekick and a black secondary character among other equally well portrayed and awesome characters.
The things I liked less
I said above that I enjoyed learning more about the Norse mythology and I meant it. However, I did feel a little lost sometimes, with certain things explained at a later point than where they were first mentioned. I was already quite well-versed with Greek and Roman mythology prior to reading the first two series, and so, I was quite familiar with the myths and Gods mentioned. With this book though, I would sometimes find myself wishing I had read a little about Norse myths before. The mythology was still pretty interesting though and we're eventually explained everything we need to know, so no worries there.
My Rating - 4/5 stars
Overall, it was an excellent book. Magnus Chase is a really cool character and I can't wait to read more of his adventures. I would recommend this book both to old fans and new readers. You don't need to read the first two series to enjoy this one. If you've read those books though, you will probably better enjoy the inclusion of a cameo of a certain Greek demigod in the book, hehe.