The Hammer of Thor: Magnus Chase Book 2

the_hammer_of_thorfive starsDescription

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 Review

I read the first book in this series, The Sword of Summer, earlier this year and gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it but something just didn’t quite click for me. This book clicked entirely. I don’t know if that’s because it is actually a better book or if it’s just me getting used to the world, but I loved this book much more than the first.

Plot and World Building

The plot of any Rick Riordan book is always going to be fun and this one did not disappoint. The incorporation of Norse gods and myths was as witty and engaging as ever. Rick Riordan has been doing long enough that he knows perfectly well how to describe a scene and create an engaging world for his characters to inhabit. The plot was entertaining and kept me guessing until the very end.

Characters

The characters in this story are fantastic and I am growing quite attached to them. I could talk about everyone individually, but I really just want to focus on our new character, Alex, who is gender fluid. I have personally never read a book about a gender fluid character, nor have I met someone who identifies that way in real life, so it was very eye opening for me to learn more about people who identify as Alex does. I think Rick Riordan did a fantastic job of explaining Alex’s sexuality in a way that felt natural and avoided a large info-dump of information. Magnus really ends up asking all of the questions that we as readers would have liked to ask Alex ourselves, and that serves to educate people about gender fluid people while also moving the story along in a realistic way. Also, Alex was just an all around fun character so I’m glad he/she was added to our band of heroes.

Overall thoughts: this book was great, the characters were lovable, the world building was on point, and it gets about 5 extra gold stars for it’s awesome inclusion of diversity.

 Also can we talk about that last sentence??? Because that was too perfect.
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DiverseAThon TBR

Diverseathon is an awesome readathon that focuses around reading diverse books. This is the second time that it is being held but it is my first time participating. The readathon is being held from January 22 to 29th and there are no specific reading challenges besides the general goal of trying to read diversely. If you want to know more about the readathon you can check out there twitter page here where you can find any other details as well as links to all of the hosts.

ThPhoto by Vancouverfilmschool source http://www.flickr.com/photos/vancouverfilmschool/4838552777/e first book that I really want to get to this week is March Vol. 3 by John Lewis (and friends). This is the third and final graphic novel about the life of Civil Rights icon John Lewis. I’m super excited to get to this because the first two were amazing and incredibly powerful. I’m hoping this one will be just as informative while also remaining engaging. It’s also going to feel really good to read an account of John Lewis taking action a few days after Donald Trump accused him of being “all talk.” (Want to know my more, how should I say this, strongly worded opinions on this? Check my twitter.) This graphic novel is going to be just the thing I need this week and I really hope I finish it.

Magnus Chase & The Gods Of Asgard Book 2: The Hammer Of Thor Prize ...I must admit that I chose my next book more because it just so happens to be what I’m currently reading, rather than because of it’s diverse cast of characters. Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor is the second book in the Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan. This book is incredibly diverse in it’s side characters. In the first book we are introduced to two characters, Sam and Hearthstone, who are Muslim and deaf respectively. In this second book, which I am currently 100 pages into, we meet Alex, who is gender fluid. I have personally never read a book in any capacity about a character who is gender fluid so I am enjoying learning about Alex as a character and cannot wait to learn more about them.

Don’t miss BLACK PANTHER: A NATION UNDER OUR FEET BOOK 1 , available ...

The last book that I have picked out is one that I doubt I will have time to get to this week, but I’ll put it on here anyway because I want to talk about it. Black Panther Vol. 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coats had to make my list because it has a black main character but also because Ta-Nehisi Coats is amazing. Coats is a writer for the Atlantic and has written many great articles on race relations in the US that I definitely recommend checking out. I haven’t read anything outside of his Atlantic articles so I’m excited to see how he handles a Marvel comic. And that isn’t even getting into the nerdy reasons why I need to read this comic. So even if I don’t get a chance to read this this week, I will most certainly be picking it up soon.

Black Widow Forever Red Review

Description

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments—until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned—and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava’s dreams…

My Review

Let me just start by saying that I really really wanted to like this book. I went in with low expectations because I knew that a lot of people were disappointed that Natasha wasn’t actually the main character in this book, but that seemed to be most of the complaints about it. But unfortunately I found this book lacking in many many ways. First off I just didn’t like the writing style. There were parts of the book where I was picking out sentences that had been phrased awkwardly or scenes that I had trouble picturing because they weren’t laid out well. This was something that I noticed very early on in the book and I think it just turned me off to the rest of it. Also the book is told in 3rd person with each chapter being from a specific person’s point of view but that wasn’t consistently held. For example if the chapter was supposed to be from Ava’s point of view we would get some of Natasha’s inner thoughts thrown in there, even though they weren’t supposed to be there, and that was just really confusing and kind of annoying. Next I didn’t feel too attached to the characters, they were alright but they didn’t stand out and all I wanted was more Natasha and not these two other teenagers. Then there was the instalove that occurred between the two teenage characters which always seems to make characters less likable. The plot of the book was quite good with only a few plot points that seemed too convenient. I didn’t guess where the book was going and it was engaging in that respect. One thing that I really loved about this book was that Ava and Alex were both fencers, and epee no less. I personally fenced epee in high school so it was really cool to see fictional characters that actually do the same thing that I do =D
Overall you can probably tell that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book. The plot was fine but it wasn’t good enough to compensate for the poor writing and flat characters.

A Tyranny of Petticoats Review

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Description

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They’re making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

My Review

I really enjoyed this anthology! I will say it did take me a while to get into because I didn’t really care for the first 3 novellas and that initially turned me off to the book. However as I read on the stories got better and I also got more used to the Novella format. This is the first time I have ever read a collection of novellas that aren’t attached to a series with characters that I already know and love so it was weird getting used to only knowing characters within their little stories. However I really did like this collection(?) a lot. My favorite novella was Gold in the Roots of the Grass by Marissa Meyer. Definitely recommend this if you are looking to get into historical fiction because these stories give you a taste of different time periods and settings, letting you know what you would like to read more of. Also some of the stories have fantastical elements to them so it’s a good bridge from fantasy to historical fiction. Lastly it was just really nice to see the diversity in this book. Not only were the girls racially diverse, but also in their dreams, goals, and world views. I definitely appreciated seeing how the different girls reacted to their situations and  the different roles that American society was expected them to play.