I’m on a huge Riordan kick the last few days, but… I don’t particularly care. I really love him, okay? It just happened that all these reviews got posted back-to-back. There will be different authors soon, I promise.
I got an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of 9 From the Nine Worlds. As this means the version I read is just a proof and not the final version, I won’t quote directly and will keep my comments general.
The gang from Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is back in this charming, silly, wholly enjoyable collection of nine short stories by the ever-talented Rick Riordan. Each tale is set in a different world of Norse mythology, and each has a different narrator. We get the points of view of Odin, Amir, Blitzen, Hearthstone, Samirah, TJ, Mallory, Halfborn, and Alex. Notably absent is Magnus himself, but as we have already got three books from his POV, I can understand why he didn’t get a story here. I did still miss him, though. On the other hand, getting a glimpse into these others’ minds was great. Especially considering this is one of my favorite casts of characters in anything ever.
There are plenty of laughs and adventures in this. It seems that everything takes place during just a couple days, with little overlaps and references to other characters’ situations. Some people feature in more than one story, such as Samirah and Alex, and we also get a few appearances from other side characters who were in Magnus Chase. Best of all, there is a hilarious Thor cameo… *ahem* running through the entire book (you’ll see). There are funny moments, harrowing moments, and heartfelt moments. All in all, a well-rounded ride with some bias toward humor. Nothing to complain about there!
My only complaint, really, about this collection is that it’s so short. These stories read a bit like flash fiction, most (maybe all, I didn’t actually check) under twenty pages. But that is not to say these stories lack in action, strong characterization, and full plots. Quite the contrary. I’m just greedy and wanted more, more, more, but that’s mostly because I adore this series, these characters, and this universe.
All in all, 9 From the Nine Worlds is a microcosm of everything we love about Magnus Chase: humor, heart, excellent representation, and rather wacky adventures in the world of Norse mythology. The major difference — aside from Magnus’ absence — is that the stakes are a lot lower. With no Ragnarok to worry about thwarting, Riordan and his characters can have some more fun. And yet despite this being a different sort of book, these are still the people we know and love, and through their eyes we get to see more of the fantastical, strange, entertaining Nine Worlds.
This book isn’t out yet by the date of my posting this review (Sept. 6), so instead of asking about this book, I’ll ask this instead: who’s your favorite character, either from Magnus Chase or from actual Norse myths? 🙂