Book Review: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – 9 from the Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan

I’m not quite sure what I expected when I pucked up 9 from the Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan. While I did enjoy the Magnus Chase series, I did feel a bit offput by how the series had ended. It didn’t quite leave a satisfying resolution to things. But I did like the characters the series had introduced and I did want to know more about them and read more of their stories. That blurb on the back of the book had a light-hearted tone and that was an accurate reflection the way the short stories were written. While it felt like it could have been more, 9 from the Nine Worlds was a quick and fun read.

I don’t think I can necessarily review this book in the same way I would a traditional novel. When it comes to character development, there was no character development to speak of. If there was, it was very subtle and hardly noticeable. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily as the Magnus Chase series came to a close. However it felt a bit disappointing as the characters we got to know on a pretty indepth level throughout the series only have what felt like superficial representations in these stories. In a way, what made each of them unique and interesting was absent in these stories. Rather these felt like a collection of random adventures with no depth which is basically what it was.

Each story still follows the traditional format of how a story is written. There’s a beginning, inciting incident, a climax, and a resolution. While all the stories had a proper structure to them, it’s hard to say any of them were particularly interesting to read. There were some interesting moments that could have explored new and interesting parts of Norse mythology, however it never comes to fruition. Each short story is just that, a short story with no real consequence and not adding anything to the Magnus Chase universe for fans of the series. It felt like a missed opportunity as each short story was a quick, action oriented story when there could have been a chance for characters to talk and reflect.

While I have been very critical of the book so far, it’s not necessarily a bad book. I expected a lot from this collection of short stories because of how great a writer Rick Riordan is. I came in expecting short stories that would delve deeper into the characters’ backstories and build upon what was established. Although that wasn’t the case, the stories were still fun and enjoyable. They were quick, humorous in Riordan’s style, and made for easy and light reading. Sometimes it’s nice to read stories that don’t really make you feel intense emotions or make you really think about what happened. Sometimes a simple short story is a nice way to wind down and relax.

I can’t recommend this book for anyone who wants a deeper exploration of the world of Magnus Chase or want more depth and background to the characters, but it is a fun and quick collection of stories to pass the time.

– Raphael

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