I am liking the Magnus Chase series so far, as much for the characters as for the humor and adventure of the story. The biggest complaint I have about The Hammer of Thor is that there’s a little too much Loki. Loki’s a good villain, but there’s too much of his presence this time around. Watching Loki manipulate things from the background was more interesting than him begin directly involved in the villainy.
I also would have liked to see a little more of Sam, but she spends a lot of time off-page. Giving her a half sibling was a good move, and Alex is a really interesting character, but Alex gets so much more time than Sam. I like Sam, although I still find the idea of a Muslim Valkyrie is odd. I’m all for more varied characters in literature, and I like the idea of Sam being from a different perspective, but the acknowledgement of the unusual combination in the first book isn’t very well explained. Maybe that’s just the professorial geek in me, although on the other hand maybe things get explained in book 3? I did like Sam working out what she wants here future to be though, and letting Amir have a little more of a role was a good way to get that going.
I’d also like to know what Loki’s connection/attraction is to Sam’s family in general, because that came up again in this book. Those hints had better be leading to something good in the not too distant future.
I also enjoyed seeing a little more of Hearth’s background which is hinted at in the first book, but this time we even get to meet his dad Alderman. The downside is that Blitz doesn’t get as much time (he spends a good bit of time literally petrified), and the two together are probably the best part of the whole series.
This book ended almost the same way the second one did, which seems like the beginning of a pattern, with Magnus and Annabeth meeting up. I would have liked a little more info about how the first meeting went, but this one does end on a nice cliff hanger, with the line “I think it’s time you met Percy.” If this doesn’t happen, I may never be able to forgive Rick Riordan.