Quick Review: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

ship of the dead Gods this is such a great series.  I’m sorry that it’s only a trilogy but Rick being Rick did leave it open that if he wants to he can always return to Vahalla, Magnus Chase and his friends.  I’ve gushed and praised Rick Riordan in so many other reviews and this is another one. His ability to mix mythology, humor and present day is truly a gift.  Yes, his these books a little formulaic.  His heroes must go on epic journeys, where they must face many dangers and trials before facing a near impossible task but never does it feel tired or old.  It maybe because of his cast of characters are all are real and diverse.  How many young reader novels has a Muslim and gender fluid characters in the same novel? and more important how many of them are both are shown to be brave, resourceful, loyal, smart, funny and happy.  The answer not many.  Both Samirah and Alex are all of those and more. Throughout the entirety of the book Sam is practicing Ramadan, which is probably the first time that many of readers have ever read about Ramadan.  As I have stated before about Rick’s, he’s not afraid to tackle tough subjects in his books and he does it by showing positive scenes and connecting them with the stories of our past.  That no matter what a child is going through, they are not the only ones.  Kids of all race, gender identity and faith can see themselves in one of his many books and that’s amazing.  So keep up the good work Rick!

Spoilers under the Cut.

So Magnus and his friends continue to stop Ragnorak for happening like today, so they hop on their boat in hopes of stopping Loki for sailing out on his own Ship.  The Ship of the dead made out of the toenails of the dead.  Like totally gross.  Ragnorak, is the end of the world fight between the Gods of Asgard and Loki and the Giants so we obviously want to delay that as long as possible.  Before they can face Loki, they first must find the Kvasir’s Mead to give Magnus a silver to aid Magnus when he faces Loki in the Flyting, a sort of Norse Rap Battle.  That’s right, the only thing stopping Ragnorak is Magnus’ ability to out insult Loki.  Funny right? Along the way Magnus and their friends have to face hard truths about themselves and it’s kinda healing for all of them.  One of my favorite scenes is while in England, T.J., a freed slave who fought for the Union in the Civil War, thanking the people of England for not siding with the Confederacy during the Civil War.  Of course, the modern day Englishmen doesn’t know what he’s talking about and really it but it’s small scenes like this that make his books wonderful.  He’s drawing a line from history and connecting it with today.  Magnus continues to be his self-deprecating snarky self and I love it.  When the series began, he was a homeless runaway, who had trouble trusting people and now he has a family that he loves and trusts and can rely on.  He was never the best fighter, in fact I love that the final act was a huge battle but more of a battle of the wits.  What makes Magnus stronger isn’t how well he fights but it’s his friends, his family.  Magnus, Alex, Sam, T.J. Mallory, Halfborn, Hearthstone and Blitzen together defeated Loki and delayed Ragnorak. So, white male teenager, a gender fluid teenager, a Muslim teenage girl, a black soldier, an irish rebel, a viking berserker, a deaf elf and a fashionable dwarf defeated Loki.  They were all needed for this mission to succeed.  Sort of what makes us stronger as a country is when we work together no matter who we are.  That’s a lesson we all should learn, no matter how old we are.  The ending was perfect but like I said in the beginning, Rick left some loose ends that if he wanted to he could come back and who knows, maybe Magnus will show up in one of his other books.  I do hope that happens.

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One thought on “Quick Review: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

  1. Pingback: Crowd Sourcing: Need Suggestions to finish my Diverse Narrators Challenge | 2 Women, So Many Books

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