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I Belong


Early Review: Loki’s Wolves by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr

Title: Loki’s Wolves

Author: K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Series: The Blackwell Pages (Book 1)

Publication Date: May 7, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 031620496X (LB Kids)

ISBN-13: 978-0316204965 (LB Kids)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters–wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history–because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids–led by Matt–will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

Quick & Dirty: This is the story of three children who have been chosen to save the world. The book is full of Norse mythology including gods and horrible monsters. This book is a must read.

Opening Sentence: Matt walked through the center of Blackwell, gym bag in hand, jacket thrown over his shoulder.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

This story is mostly about three children named Matt, Fen, and Laurie who are from a small town in South Dakota, called Blackwell. The story is told in all three of the characters’ voices. These children are special because they are descendants and champions of the long-dead gods Thor and Loki. Matt, Laurie and Fen must work together to find the other children who are champions of other gods, find objects with magical properties and save the world from Ragnarok. Ragnarok is what the Norse called the apocalypse. During their travels they meet many creatures, good and bad from the old myths including trolls and valkyries.

Matt Thorsen is the main character of our story. He is a descendant and champion of the god Thor. The Thorsen’s all have the power of Thor’s hammer but Matt’s is much more powerful. Matt has the power to sense when something bad is close by, such as trolls. He is thirteen years old and the youngest child in his family. As such, his parents think that he should be just like his older brothers, but he is nothing like them, so he feels like a disappointment to his parents. While most of the members of the Thorsen family play football, Matt would rather be wrestling or boxing, which comes in very handy when he is chosen as Thor’s champion. I liked Matt, he was not like most kids his age but maybe that was because he was the son of a sheriff. Matt made a good leader for himself and the other descendants. Even in the beginning when they did not all get along they still followed him without too many questions. I also liked how he grew as the story progressed. In the beginning he was scared and unsure about how he was going to lead the other kids, but by the end of the book he was a very strong leader who knew how to get everyone to work together and how to succeed.

Fen and Laurie Brekke are the other main characters in the story. They are cousins and descendants of Loki. Fen is Loki’s champion. Many of the Brekke’s can turn into wolves and Fen is one of them. In the beginning Fen is hard to like because he has an attitude problem and likes to get into trouble. Then you learn that his life has not been easy in the least and you start to feel bad for him. As the story advances, I actually started to really like Fen. He was very protective of Laurie and would do anything to keep her safe. Also, once he became a friend he was super loyal. You learn that a lot of his attitude is because he is scared and just using his attitude to keep people at bay.

I think Laurie was my favorite character. Laurie has her own powers such as being able to find other descendants. She has other amazing powers but you will have to read the story to find out her coolest powers. Laurie was a nice girl who wanted to take care of her cousin and make sure he stayed out of trouble. She is not your typical girl though. Even though she had no idea about the ancestry of the Thorsen’s and Brekke’s, she did not freak out when she found out. Laurie had no trouble jumping in and helping during a fight. At the same time, she was the person who was best at breaking up fights and getting everyone to get along.

There are other children who join their group and play important parts. The first ones we meet are Ray and his twin sister Reyna. They are descendants and champions of the twin gods, Frey and Freya. They have a hard time with the group and don’t want to help at first. The twins have a secret that they are not telling the group. The next important character we meet is Baldwin. He is the descendant and champion of Balder and because of this he cannot be hurt or feel pain. Only one thing can hurt him. Balder is the nicest guy anyone could meet and is always so happy. Everyone, even Fen, who has a hard time trusting and liking people, likes Balder instantly. The last person who is important that we meet is Astrid. She is a witch who is dating the descendant of Odin. She is sent by Odin to help them retrieve Thor’s hammer and shield. Astrid is hiding something from them and they may figure it out too late.

The description of this book may say that is for ages eight and up, but I am an adult and I really enjoyed this story. I am now going to purchase a copy of this book for the library I work for, and I am eagerly anticipating the second book. This book is full of Norse mythology, which is fascinating. The characters are endearing and the action is fast paced. I recommend this book to everyone, child and adult alike. You will not be able to put it down.

Notable Scene:

“Our champion is Matthew Thorsen, son of Paul and Patricia Thorsen.” Matt froze.

There was a moment of stunned silence. Then whispers slid past. Did he really say the Thorsen boy? He’s just a kid. No, that can’t be right. We heard wrong. We must have.

Granddad’s voice came back on the speakers. “I know this may come as a surprise to some of you. Matt is, after all, only thirteen. But in Viking times, he would have been on the brink of manhood. The runes have chosen Matt as our champion, as the closest embodiment of Thor.

The Blackwell Pages:

1. Loki’s Wolves

2. Odin’s Ravens (2014)

3. Thor’s Serpant (2015)

FTC Advisory: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Loki’s Wolves. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Early Review: Loki's Wolves by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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