The Hammer of Thor
Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.
My Thoughts (Mild Spoilers)
I know that I’m probably about twice the age of his target audience, but I love Rick Riordan! When I read each of his previous books, I was put into a good mood within the first 10 or so pages, and The Hammer of Thor was no exception.
On the surface, Riordan’s books appear to be just light and fun, but in actuality, they’re filled with some incredibly powerful messages that touch on important issues like gender, sexuality, and religion. In The Hammer of Thor, one of the characters is gender-fluid. When Magnus asks that character about how it works, they respond by saying that they’re just trying to be themselves as best as they can. When Magnus says he doesn’t understand, the character replies that, “You don’t have to get it. Just, you know, a little respect.” Messages like that one are so important to relay to kids, and even to many adults. In addition, one of the main characters, Sam, is Muslim – she wears a hijab and even stops to pray whenever she can. Through Sam, Riordan somewhat demystifies a religion that is, unfortunately, the subject of a lot of negative sentiments.
And Riordan’s books aren’t written entirely for kids. There are a number of references in The Hammer of Thor which I highly doubt very young kids would understand. For instance, like The Who’s Tommy, Magnus’s deaf and dumb friend Hearth happens to be great at pinball. There is also a chapter entitled, “You Keep Using the Word Help. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means,” which is a pretty obvious reference to The Princess Bride.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Hammer of Thor – I pretty much flew through it – and can’t wait to see how things wrap up in the trilogy’s final book, The Ship of the Dead.