I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but sometimes I find it helpful to read 1- and 2-star reviews on Goodreads for my current reads. I did that after I finished The Hammer of Thor. There weren’t many of them because honestly, who doesn’t like Rick Riordan’s books? I’ll discuss some common threads from this subset of reviews at the end of this post.
If you’ve read any of Rick Riordan’s previous mythology-based series (Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, etc.), you already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from The Hammer of Thor. Riordan has a firmly established author brand; this book is true to form. There aren’t many surprises to be found here. I gave the book 4-stars on Goodreads – I’m still a Rick Riordan fan, but there seems to be a little staleness creeping into the story.
Now let’s discuss those low reviews. Most of them contained at least one of two things. The majority of them did not like Riordan’s inclusion of a gender-fluid character. Other feel Riordan focuses too much on religious elements using the character of Samirah al-Abbas. I don’t agree with either of these criticisms. For me, these elements either serve to advance the plot or add depth the characters.
In reading the 3- and 4-star reviews, however, I did find a criticism I do agree with. In this series, the gods are always portrayed as silly, inept beings. They are powerful, but not very smart. The same thing is true for authority figures and adult characters in general. In Riordan’s other series, the gods are portrayed with more balance – they have some irrational qualities that are offset by the ability to be rational and logical as well.
Hammer of Thor is still a very enjoyable read, and I’m anticipating the release of the next installment