Rick Riordan has become a young adult/children’s author powerhouse. Churning out nearly 30 books or graphic novel adaptations in just over the last 10 years. He is best known for his Percy Jackson series, which is set in the same world as this series. (Magnus Chase is the cousin of Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series.)
This series I think is geared to a slightly older audience than the original Percy Jackson series. But returns to what made the Percy Jackson series good. It is clearly young adult, with the same types of tropes that most young adult novels contain. But it is also fun.
Riordan has done well moving the mythology into the modern world. Gods have power, but are not anywhere near perfect. The demigods that are the focus (modern children of ancient Gods) often end up winning the contests against Gods and monsters because their human weaknesses allow them to love and depend on one another. That is the real theme of this book as well.
There is not anything new in Ship of the Dead, but a good model carried through can often be right as a palate cleanser between heavy books of history and theology. This was a book that I needed to just sit back and enjoy.