Hotel Valhalla, Guide to the Norse Worlds by Rick Riordan

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RATING: 5/5

SYNOPSIS: A quick guide that introduces you to the who’s-who of Norse Mythology with reference to the events of the upcoming Magnus Chase book.

 

Another entertaining read from the mind of Rick Riordan! This book is perfect for those of you who want a little more background information on Norse Mythology, but don’t really know where to start. I love that instead of just retelling popular myths, Riordan gives out stats on each of the prominent figures and then has either an interview or a character that was actually present for the myth tell the story. This book is a great exercise in voice because each interviewer/interviewee and storyteller had such distinct voices and the dialogue actually felt like spoken dialogue in cadence and filler words! I love that we got to see a little more of each god/goddess’s personality and that we were introduced to gods and goddesses that didn’t appear in The Sword of Summer, but probably will be introduced to them soon. I love that Riordan allowed himself to give his own personalities to the gods because I love how he characterizes Odin. The Marvel Cinematic Universe Odin is so stern and commanding and I love that Riordan’s Odin is the complete opposite of that. It makes it enjoyable to read and I feel like I’m reading the myths anew instead of just someone taking someone else’s character and putting a smaller spin on it. I also like that each myth got a different treatment so the book isn’t full of interviews or retellings. There’s a mixed bag of information being relayed to the reader so it never feels like a standard book of myths. The art work that is featured at the beginning of the sections is also gorgeous and I’m so glad it doesn’t look weird like the art in some of the other companion pieces! There are also hints of events leading up to the next book that comes out in October, The Hammer of Thor and I liked that we get a little tease for it just a few months before it comes out. It really rekindled my excitement and it’ll be interesting to see what parts the gods will play in helping discover its location. Overall this book was a wonderful, slightly more in depth introduction to Norse Mythology that we didn’t quite get in The Sword of Summer. It’s a fun read for people of all ages and I can’t wait for the next book!

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