Tag: Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan brings The Sword of Summer to life

Rick Riordan writes middle grade and young adult adventure books in a way that makes me drool (as I’m rapidly turning pages to discover what happens next). His newest series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, delivers nothing less.

When a book begins with the main character’s death, you know something interesting has got to happen next. Otherwise, the story would be over. Epic fail.

Will he be resurrected? I know it isn’t all a dream because Riordan is too skilled to fall into that trap. Is it all going to happen in the afterlife?

All in all, it earns a solid 4.5 stars from me. Yes, I am surprised that it didn’t make five stars -it’s the amazing Rick Riordan-but I’ll explain my reasons during this review.

My Summary

Magnus Chase (if you recognize the surname here from another series, you’re not wrong) has been living on the streets since his mother’s murder. Apparently, this is a relatively safe thing for a boy to do in Boston. Or maybe just because two other homeless guys are watching out for him.

The story opens with his relatives looking for him. What? He had relatives and they just let him live on the streets? You’ll understand the reasoning before too long.

Magnus has an important destiny in the scheme of the Norse doomsday, Ragnarok. This brings a fire giant, slinging meteors, into downtown Boston. There’s a showdown. Magnus goes over the bridge and wakes up in Valhalla.

If you’re not current with your Norse mythology, never fear. Riordan does a great job weaving the information you need to understand what’s happening into the story.

Magnus makes a few friends. Gets his Valkyrie fired. Is the subject of a dire prophecy. Dies a few more times in practice battles. And sneaks away from Valhalla to embark on a quest to regain the Sword of Summer and stop the end of the Nine Worlds from happening.

My Review

Magnus is an engaging character with an interesting background. Meeting him on the streets made me consider the ugly fact that there are plenty of homeless children living in similar situations. For real. Hopefully, none of them are being hunted by fire giants.

Even though Riordan explains the familial situation, I still have a hard time accepting that Magnus would have been abandoned. His family is searching for him now, but why didn’t they do it two years ago? Why are they assuming he’s still alive? And when we find out WHO he’s related to, it seems even more unlikely (although we don’t really know the time relationship between this story and the two series featuring Percy Jackson).

I admired Magnus for holding onto his sense of humor (since that is how many of us cope with difficult situations). His flippancy was a nice change from the constant sarcasm Percy Jackson uses. In other ways, though, they are similar: reluctant heroes who don’t know their fathers.

I wasn’t put off by the contradictory depictions of Odin, Loki and Thor shown here (and I’m a huge Avengers fan). It’s a different universe, folks. Of course they are going to be different. Only a lazy author would make them carbon copies of something he’d seen in the movies.

The biggest issue I had with accepting this story world is a single question: where are the Greek and Roman gods?

Case in point: Magnus must go out and barter with a sea goddess. They only mention her husband the sea god in passing, but it isn’t Poseidon. How many deities are willing to share their realms with other deities? Shouldn’t there be a scuffle about territory?

There’s no attempt to answer this burning question. It’s like those individuals don’t exist. But we know they do. The presence of Annabeth Chase brings their existence front and center. Maybe this is when they’re all amassing in Greece to face down the giants and Gaia. And yet…wouldn’t their absence be cause for even more turmoil in their domains?

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the book. I just wish Riordan would have set it in a different universe. He could have used our contemporary world and made that work fine. But by bringing Annabeth into the story (even in a minor way), he reminded me that there is plenty of turmoil in this world already, but it isn’t even alluded to by the Norse deities or the human world.

My Recommendation

If you love Riordan’s writing (like I do), you won’t be disappointed. He delivers another page-turner with non-stock characters.

If you’ve read all his other books (like I have, with the exception of the Red Pyramid series), parts of this book will bring a sense of deja vu. Haven’t we been here before? And yet, how could that be true when we’re entering the Norse mythology of Nine Worlds?

You will laugh. You might even tear up. If you want a fast-paced book with likable characters and as much humor as action, this is a book you’ll want to read.

If you have read this book, what were your thoughts? Do you think I’m overreacting about questioning where the Greek and Roman (and perhaps Egyptian) deities are hiding?

The Author behind those pages is an Actual flesh-and-blood Human being

Until I started my own author website, I hadn’t considered following the blogs of authors whose books I enjoy. If I’m reading, I want to curl up with a book. What could those writers say that interested me? They’re only human – like me.

In the crunch to build an author platform, I realize that if I had a list of people following my blog (I think I do. I’ll have to check with my computer guy), it could become a mailing list. You know, for when my book is finally released.

If I followed the blogs of those flesh-and-blood people who imagine those stories that enthrall me, I could get news about upcoming releases directly from them. Rather than seeing it on Amazon first (yes, and I pre-ordered book five in the Heroes of Olympus series when I saw it).

What else could I learn about these people who write fabulous stories in the same genre I do? Are they hoping to gain followers to build a mailing list? Am I just another sale to them?

I don’t want my readers to become nothing more than a sale. You mean too much to me. Some of you have been with me for two years or more. You’ve invested in me, and I hope the stories I deliver will feel like a profitable return on your dedication.

If this is the case, what should be the purpose of my blog? I know that my website will be a place to offer all my titles for sale when that day arrives. It will be a place to keep everyone in the loop about upcoming titles and events. What about the blog?

What sort of things do you hope to learn about your favorite author when you read their blogs? Do you really want to hear about their writing struggles? I know I don’t really want that. I want to laugh.

If they have a quirky tale about how they got a story or character idea, I want to read about that. I don’t know if I care about their vacation, their new car or their woes in the real estate market. This is a big uh-oh in my mind because I’ve written about all of these topics on my blog in the past year.

Please chime in. Do you follow blogs written by authors you love to read? What sort of things do you hope to learn about your favorite author when you read their blogs?

I Won The Liebster Award

liebster-awardThis award was a happy Monday morning for me last week. I know it seems like maybe I wasn’t that excited since I waited to post this huge and hearty “THANK YOU” to Zehira-blog until  now. Once you see all the requirements, perhaps you’ll forgive me.

The following portion are the guidelines for accepting the award, as presented in my nominator’s blog:

The Liebster Award is very unique in the fact it brings recognition to the smaller blogs of the ‘verse.  With that in mind, all of the nominated blogs will have less than 200 followers.

The rules:

1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

4. Display the Liebster Award logo.

5.  No tag back thingys.

Here are the eleven facts about me that you never knew (and were probably glad you didn’t):

I dream I live in an isolated cabin on Mt. Hood with a horse and a bobcat. Spiders make me scream. Fruit pie and ice cream is my idea of a decadent breakfast. I’m a closet “cat lady.” I wanted to be an FBI agent when I was 12. I think exercise is the best drug in the world. My favorite place to be is at home. I could totally win Survivor, but I’d rather be on The Amazing Race. I am two inches shorter now than I was at 18. I despise wearing shoes. My hands and feet are perennially icy.

These were the questions that were posed to me and my witty responses:

(1) Which famous people living or dead would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis, Rick Riordan and Kristen Lamb would be present at the phenomenal dinner party and I would happily hang on every word they said.
(2) What is your favorite topic to Blog about? I really enjoy blogging about my family, writing and the struggles I have balancing work, school, family and writing.
(3) Do you have any guilty pleasures? The only one I can mention to all of cyber space is dark chocolate truffles.
(4) What three words would you use to describe yourself? Forthright, industrious, positive
(5) Who would play you in a movie version of your life?
Duh – Jennifer Aniston. Apparently, I have her eyebrows (says an esthetician who shaped them for me).
(6) If you were to write collaboratively with any author, who would it be and why? This is extremely difficult. I adore Rick Riordan’s writing voice and since he writes YA fantasy, he could really help me. Since C.S. Lewis is unavailable, I’m going with Mr. Riordan.
(7) Is the glass half empty or half full? Half-empty when it’s that thick fiber drink, but half-full the rest of the time.
(8) What is your greatest ever achievement?
Maintaining a 4.0 in college
(9) If you had your own theme tune what would it be? “Soak up the Sun”
(10) What is your favorite film?
This one always gets me because it really depends on my mood. One that I could watch over and over is “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”
(11) If you could be an animal for a day, what animal would you be? I would be a black panther. I would sleep in the sun and then climb high in a tree and sleep there. Sleeping in the sun is my favorite pastime.

Now all of you nominees of mine, these are the questions you will answer when you “pay it forward” and award some other little-known blogs.

  1. If you were a book, what genre would you be?
  2. If you were a book, who is your author?
  3. Where in the world would you travel if time and money were unlimited?
  4. Your favorite food in the world is…
  5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream (please don’t say vanilla!)?
  6. What’s your favorite season and why?
  7. Name the teacher that most deeply affected your life.
  8. The most important quality in a friend is…
  9. Describe your comfy clothes.
  10. Do you prefer it warm or cool in the room when you sleep?
  11. What would the title of your autobiography be?

And my nominees for this distinguished Liebster Award:

http://jcsprenger.com/

http://the-point-is-this.com

http://figuringoutfulfillment.wordpress.com/

http://afidgetywriter.wordpress.com/

http://50in50blog.wordpress.com/

http://findinghappinessandhealth.wordpress.com/

http://ithinkincomics.wordpress.com/

http://ravens-writing.blogspot.com/

http://christianbookreviewblog.blogspot.com/

http://www.gooverseas.com/blog/best-international-education-blogs