Nov. 9th, 2016

kareila: hidden between stacks of books (books)
[personal profile] kareila
So as anyone who has read any of the Percy Jackson books knows, Percy's friend Annabeth Chase is a daughter of the goddess Athena. Turns out Annabeth's mortal father has a brother, Randolph, who is a student of Norse history and mythology, and also a sister who has a child by an actual Norse god. Because if you're going to have a modern day universe that includes Greek and Roman gods, why not throw in the Norse ones as well? And if Olympus can relocate to the Empire State Building, why not have Boston be the actual literal hub of the universe, or at least Midgard?

Of course, at the beginning of the story, Magnus doesn't know he's the son of a Norse god. All he knows is that his mother died mysteriously two years ago and he's been on the run ever since, homeless on the streets of Boston. When Annabeth and her father suddenly show up looking for him, he sneaks into Uncle Randolph's house looking for information, and the next thing he knows, he's in a fight for his life with some sort of demon. And he loses.

This is not a spoiler. The very first page of the book says, "My name is Magnus Chase. I'm sixteen years old. This is the story of how my life went downhill after I got myself killed." But being the son of a Norse god and dying valiantly means you go to Valhalla, and that's when things get interesting.

Magnus' snarky sense of humor about everything, including his own demise, plus the setting in the city of Boston, a city I know very well, endeared me to this particular story pretty quickly. I was also charmed by Magnus' two friends, the svartalf (Blitzen) who wants to be a fashion designer and the deaf-mute light-elf (Hearthstone) who has an unusual talent for runic magic. I think I ultimately enjoyed this book even more than the Percy books.

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