Title: Valkyrie Rising
Author: Ingrid Paulson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Valkyrie Rising
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062025724 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062025722 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Kayla
Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s astonishingly epic coming-of-age.
When Ellie visits Norway, she doesn’t expect boys to go missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Nor does she anticipate something powerful to awaken in her, urging her to join a band of mythological female warriors. The Valkyries have returned. And Ellie must decide if she stands with them–or against them.
Quick and Dirty: A girl finds out she is a Valkyrie and goes against her heritage to save the disappearing boys throughout Norway.
Opening Sentence: Half the school came to Graham’s eighteenth birthday party.
It’s summer and that means it’s time for Ellie (Elsa) and her brother Graham to visit their grandma in Norway. It seems like a normal vacation. Until Ellie is asked out by a college boy that her grandmother just happened to babysit when he was younger. They meet friends along the way — friends that seem to hate Ellie’s guts the minute they get in the car. And then the most bizarre thing happens at the bar. Three “bobsled” girls catch the attention of everyone inside the bar. And not just the dopy-they’re-hot kind of attention. This had boys and girls are turning heads with milky-white eyes. After a close call and everyone hating Ellie even more for saving Kjell’s life, Ellie dreads the two weeks her brother and his best friend Tuck visit. Not just because Tuck is infuriatingly messing with her, but also the danger of 18-year-olds in Norway keeps climbing, just as the sightings of the bobseld girls increase. Tossed into the Norse and Celtic mythology, Ellie has only has hours to save the disappearing boys from Odin’s growing army. And sort out Tuck’s feelings for her at the same time.
Good-bye Marvel’s Thor and Asgard. Helllllllooo Loki and the amazing Valkyrie sisterhood (although I will always picture Loki as Tom Hiddleson). This is my first Norse/Celtic novel, and it blew away my expectations. Okay, so my expectations were based on a certain Avenger and his evil step-brother, but hey, it’s always nice to be surprised. In this story, Loki is hovering over the good-bad fence and Odin (god of wisdom and such) is the evil one. Ellie is a Valkyrie — someone who takes fallen soldiers and puts them in Odin’s growing army. But Valkyries are only supposed to take dead boys. But Astrid and her sisterhood are kidnapping alive 18+ all across Norway. At first Ellie shrugs it off as a scared populace. But when her brother is kidnapped and her grandmother is taken, Ellie has no choice but to embrace her Valkyrie heritage and fight — even if she has to make a deal with Loki.
The romance! It is sooooo sweet and heart wrenching and a tad predictable, but hey it still had me flipping pages. I loved Tuck from the very first scene, even if he was drunk and a smarty-pants. His sarcasm and constant (well usually) bickering with Ellie kept the romance light and mysterious. And he has as secret!! (It seems like all YA boys have secrets nowadays.)
The intertwining of Norse and Celtic mythology was flawless. The history of Norse gods and goddesses are so interesting, plus I just love Loki. He isn’t on team good or evil. He’s more of a team for himself. And his actions might just be on both ends of the spectrum. As long has he gets his way in the big picture.
Story = amazing. Writing = faced paced. Characters = strong. Romance = mysterious. Valkyrie Rising is a book of epic proportions and I cannot wait until the next installment.
“What’s your price, Loki?” Astrid forced the words out from between clenched teeth. “Even if Elsa didn’t have such foresight, I’m not agreeing to anything unless you tell me all the terms.”
“But you will, Astrid,” Loki said, stretching. “Because your trust is a condition of my silence. When the time comes, rest assured you’ll have no choice but to give me what I want. Until then, your secret is safe with me.”
Astrid actually looked startled as she eyed Loki. She growled low in her throat. “Cleverness won’t mend a broken neck.”
“Just like violence doesn’t resolve conflict,” Loki said. “it just begets more violence. It’s unfortunate for you that the same isn’t true of cleverness.” Loki was the only one who laughed at his joke. “Odin may still delude himself,” Loki drawled. “But I think you see the nuances of his modern world. You understand that true peace comes through negotiation. Compromise. And don’t you worry, we’ll reach one.”
The Valkyrie Rising Series:
1. Valkyrie Rising (October 9, 2012)
FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of Valkyrie Rising. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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