Friday, February 14, 2014

Valkyrie Rising

Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.


Beth says 4 Stars...
The only reason I have this book is because I happened to be on Facebook at the right time when HarperTeen was giving this away as a free download.  It's one of the few times my procrastinatorial tendencies have paid off.  I think this book resonated a little more with me because I'm currently spending a bit of time living in the Nordic region.  I could laugh at how everyone seems to be blond (although I have found some brunettes here) and relate to the small village atmosphere.  Revamping Valkyries was a good idea because it offers ample opportunities for awesome mythological women.  Who doesn't like giant blond warrior ladies?  The plot takes a little bit to get going and has a few stops and starts along the way, but I read this novel quite quickly because it was pure fun.  Although twists and turns are few, the plot moves at a brisk pace that will keep you involved.

Ellie was a fantastic heroine.  Although she does suffer a bit from the typical perennial lack of awareness of her own attractiveness, most of her personality is pleasant to read about.  She holds her own when she needs to and grows into a better self awareness throughout the book.  I really appreciated that the main romantic tension is between Ellie and Tuck, who've known each other for years.  None of that madness where people meet and within two hours are professing their love.  I just have to say that Ellie and Graham's grandmother is awesome.  I think it's fantastic that such a character exists.

Overall this is a super fun read.  If you feel the need for a little more Norse mythology in your life, grab this book.  It's a nice reminder of the beautiful Scandinavian summer with some seriously awesome warrior women.
ebook from publisher


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