The road between cynical repetition and stylish variation is really as fine in adventure tales because it is in — well, because it is for the reason that line the people of Spine Tap sapiently discovered between clever and stupid. Ron Riordan, following the well-earned triumph of his two Percy Jackson series, tales of the all-American boy who finds out that he’s the boy of the Greek god, now embarks, with “Magnus Chase and also the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer time,” with an entirely new series, that one in regards to a not-quite-all-American boy who finds out he’s the boy of . . . a Norse god. The boys are extremely different — Magnus, our new hero, a Kurt Cobain look-alike, begins destitute along with a petty crook in Boston, where Percy what food was in boarding school.
The “Percy Jackson and also the Olympians” and “Heroes of Olympus” series, to provide their official names, certainly earned all of their successes. Riordan, an instructor before he would be a author, trained an era of yankee children not only what they are called but additionally a lot of the substance, the emotional architecture, of Greek mythology. The classical panoply of gods and demigods — satyrs and centaurs as well as one girl who, quite correctly and unpuritanically, was sired by Zeus and born to some television starlet — counseled me made new. If a person cost compensated to help keep kids involved was to own figures excessively neat, X-Men-style forces, so cheating the initial myths of the strange violence — violence and combat not quite exactly the same factor — this appeared a little cost compensated for clarifying, as nimbly as Riordan did, the variations, say, between your Greek and Roman mythological pantheons.
Within the new book, Norse myths receive exactly the same carefully detailed exposition. The special moment craft of dwarves, the mission from the Valkyries, the surprisingly variable sizes of giants, the division between your godlike orders of Aesir and Vanir — each one is made superbly obvious. Magnus, our hero, may be the boy of Frey, the god of plenty, where Percy was the boy of Poseidon, and thus his sword may be the summer time sword. His quest is much more episodically comic in tone compared to Percy series frequently was (we discover Magnus has viewed William Goldman’s “The Princess Bride” 26 occasions, and a few of this tale’s facetious humor has tucked into that one). It pits him against giant eagles and ocean serpents, having a diverse coalition which includes a youthful Muslim Valkyrie, inside a desperate struggle to postpone your day of Ragnarok, the apocalyptic fight the forces of excellent are condemned to get rid of.
A few of the comedy is extremely charming. Valhalla is really a convention hotel, filled with alarming announcement boards (“Buffet Lunch towards the Dying! — Dining Hall, 12 p.m.”), and Aegir the mead maker is definitely “talking about microbrews.” But a lot of it feels a little dutifully antic: The evil prankster god, Loki, is introduced putting on a Red Sox jersey and eating a Pop-Tart. (Among the book’s more winning conceits is the fact that Boston is actually, actually the hub around the globe the doorway around the world tree Ygdrasil is incorporated in the Boston Commons statue focused on “Make Method for Ducklings.”) The experience, at moments made confusing through the device of figures dying and being born again, unfolds predictably but convincingly through various betrayals and plots towards the inevitable triumphant alliance of eccentrics. If at occasions a dark tone is regrettably like what “Transformers” movie, all wiseguy plucky kid versus Orson Welles-basso-voiced enemy demiurges, at other moments the secondary figures appear convincingly imagined both as old myth types so that as comic sidekicks.
One wonders, though, if Riordan has caught an adequate amount of the special quiddity that separates Norse mythology using their company kinds, or perhaps winged it adequately. Greek myths possess the distinctive quality of recording human passions as personal types the fundamental gift from the Greek myths would be to personify forces as figures. Riordan very skillfully modernized that within the Percy books. Annabeth, daughter of Athena, would be a greater than plausible entertainment from the Greek ideal of stern yet supple feminine knowledge. Also, within the Percy Jackson books, the Greek truth the best teachers would be the wildest men spoke to all of us freshly — and individuals books trained something, too, concerning the classical perception of the antic nature of desire.
Magnus Chase– The Sword of Summer Review (SPOILERS)
Kaiju_ Rex_11: Don't forget about "Maniac McGee"… the main character was homeless multiple times in that book.