Thor's hammer is missing again and Loki is up to his scheming plots of doom in Riordan's second entry to the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series.
Magnus and his friends learn that the hammer is not only missing but in enemy hands. They'll have to find it quickly or 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.
Back are Riordan's humor, sense of adventure and great characterization. He remains one of the few authors for children and teens who adequately incorporates characters of diversity as major players within his stories. Sameera inspires as a Muslim Valkyrie, Heart, positively promotes deaf culture and new character Alex is gender fluid.
One drawback for me was the rather disappointing audiobook. Sword of Summer had been narrated by Christopher Guetig and was phenomenal with its pacing, pronunciations and general performance. However, The Hammer of Thor switches narrators to Kieran Culkin and he just misses the mark. As a scholar and fan of Norse mythology, Culkin's pronunciations are incorrect and became distracting.
Overall, this is a solid entry for the series and sets up the great potential for another adventure with the 2017 release of the third book The Ship of the Dead.
Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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