Hey! What’s up, you guys! It’s promotekdbook.com, and today I’m gonna be doing a book review for The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan.
This is the third book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, and actually it’s the last book in the trilogy. I did a book review for the first book in the series, so I will leave that linked if you want to check it out.
But I’m gonna keep this spoiler free, so you don’t have to worry about me spoiling anything that happens in the series. If you guys don’t know, this trilogy follows a boy named Magnus Chase who at the beginning of the first book is living homeless, and he has two caretakers that kind of watch out for him because his mother had recently passed away.
And now he’s just living on the streets and avoiding his uncle.
Magnus is Annabeth Chase’s cousin, so there is some overlap between Rick Riordan’s Greek mythology series and this one which is Norse mythology.
Toward the very beginning of the book Magnus Chase actually ends up passing away, and he gets taken to Valhalla where he finds out that he is the son of a Norse God and he is gonna have to train in Valhalla until Ragnarok happens and the end of the Norse gods world occurs.
At which time he will then go, and fight in Ragnarok, and potentially die… for real. I did a book review for the first book in the series, so if you want to check that out, I’ll leave that linked, and you can go check out my thoughts of the first book.
But let’s jump into this one. As usual with my book reviews I’m gonna go through my pros, go through my cons, give you my rating, and be done.
He was really able to grab all of these threads and bring it all together so that it all made sense, and he was able to pack in a ton of Norse mythology stories into this last final book.
I recently read Neil Gaiman’s “Norse Mythology” to get a better feel for the Norse mythology stories, and Rick Riordan included pretty much every single one that has made it to the current day.
Another pro for this book is that we finally got to find out a little bit more about a lot of the side characters that had been popping in and out throughout the series. A lot of his side characters, you don’t really know anything about them besides their attitudes and their names.
And in this book we finally understand what happened to them. How they ended up in Valhalla in the first place, and I really enjoyed learning more about all of these people that are surrounding Magnus. Another thing is that Magnus and his main love interest take their love a very mature route, and it’s not insta-lovey at all.
It definitely is a slower burn and takes a while to come to fruition. And I enjoy that Rick Riordan creates these long-lasting, uncomfortable situations between characters where they’re like, “I like this person, but I don’t know if they like me!”
And it’s a very slow, realistic process. It’s not, like, love at first sight kind of thing. The very beginning of this novel is very engaging, and I really enjoyed the beginning of this novel because of that overlap with the Percy Jackson books.
I’m glad to see Riordan kind of narrow this world just a teeny bit where it is possible for the different characters from the different series to meet up because they are all in our world. So it was interesting to see that overlap.
Alex is gender-fluid, so she switches from one gender to another. The characters are pretty good about keeping up with that and calling Alex she when she’s a she and he when he’s a he, but Alex in general is just so funny.
I really enjoy Alex’s quick one-liners. Basically, Alex is insulting Magnus all the time, and I loved it.
With that being said, I really enjoyed the diversity that was included in this book. I enjoyed that Rick Riordan has included a lot of really open characters that are not awful people. There [is a] deaf character.
There are Muslim characters, so I really enjoyed all of the diversity that he was able to include and in this book. Specifically, it seemed very natural. I thought in the second book it didn’t seem like it flowed as well or was as natural if that makes sense.
It seemed like he was going down and just grabbing everything and being like, “Look at me. Give me kudos. I’ve included diversity,” and in this book it seemed better if that makes sense.
One thing with this book specifically with the diversity, he did get something wrong with Ramadan, and he apologized for it on Twitter. I think in future editions it won’t be in the book at all. Know that going in that if you’re reading the first edition of this book, he does get one thing wrong.
He said that Muslim people can’t shower during Ramadan or can’t bathe themselves, and that’s not true. He recognized it, and addressed it, and apologized for it. So know that, and that’s the exact proper way that I would expect authors to address mistakes that they’ve made when it comes to cultures and diversity that they’ve included into their books.
That whole situation and all the diversity that [was] included in this book just shows that Rick Riordan has grown as a writer and grown as a person. And I have really enjoyed reading all of his books and seeing that change in his writing, and in his stories, and in him as a person.
Just some of the things that I really like about this series [are] that it’s all about loyalty to your friends and loved ones, following through with promises that you’ve made, and one thing in this book in particular was thinking things through and then accepting the consequences for the routes and the decisions that you decide to make.
Sometimes there are no decisions that you can make that don’t have bad consequences, and I like that this book didn’t shy away from that and kind of tackled that head-on. So I really enjoyed this book for all of those things.
It was very anticlimactic, and it was not satisfying at all. After a certain point, I thought that the plot really suffered, and the plot started becoming more and more meandering where they were just kind of floating around and doing whatever.
And I think that was him trying to include more of the Norse mythology stories, but it detracted from the novel for me because it seemed like they were just bopping around for no reason. They were just doing things to do them instead of tackling their goal which was to stop Ragnarok and to stop Loki.
It seemed like he didn’t know exactly how he wanted to end the story. And so he took the characters through all of these different paths, and then was like, “Okay, I guess we’ll go with this one!” And then at the end of the book, he was like, “Well what if I want to come back to this character?”
So he threw in a couple of loose threads so that he could bring Magnus back if he wanted to. But with how the series ended, I don’t want him to go back to it. I had a feeling where the series was gonna end up at the… at the very, very end, but how the ending came about was just not satisfying.
I’ve said that a couple of times, but it really just… It was so much build-up, and then it just did not deliver. And one last thing that didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the novel but it is something that I was just confused by is that he never addresses Blitzen and Hearthstone’s relationship.
Is it a relationship? I don’t know! They never say. They act like they’re a couple, but then no one actually knows if they are or not. They don’t ever say it. I think so, but it’s not in there.
So I can’t say for sure, and it would have been nice if we had gotten a solid “Yes, they are together,” or “No, they’re just weirdly attached to each other.” In the end because of this anti-climatic not satisfying ending, it really brought down the novel for me even though I had all of these pros that I did like about it.
It’s not gonna stop me from reading more Riordan in the future, but I wished it had been better. It just didn’t do what I wanted it to do for me, and that honestly makes me sad. So that’s gonna be my review of “The Ship of the Dead” by Rick Riordan.
If you liked it, please give it a big thumbs up and comment down below if you’ve read this book. Have you read this trilogy? Did you have similar feelings for the last book that I did?
If you absolutely loved this last book, let me know that as well and why you loved it so much! Anything else you want me to know about Magnus Chase or any of Rick Riordan’s books, leave that down in the comments, and I will talk to you guys next time. Bye!