Publisher: Harper Teen
Page Count: 352
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.
Valkyire Rising held so much potential for me and I was really wanting this to be the book of Januaray for me. I wanted it to blow all of the other books away, but it really didn’t. The overall concept is fantastic because while using the gods of old as a basis is quite used, the Norse gods are not…and I love the Norse. They are strong, wily, and dangerous in a way that sets them a part from all the other mythos out there. The pantheon is filled with strong personalities of all kinds and the creatures involved are just as strong. I guess it’s a bit unfair of me to expect something that pulls all of that in and still delivers a YA story, but it certainly tried.
The first huge plus for me is that it is actually set in Norway, there are so many books out there that focus on the Greek and they are based in the US…and that bothers me in a way that can’t even be described. It’s nice to have a different setting and one that’s familiar to the supernatural players. The second plus is having a Valkyrie as a main character because not only are Valkyries strong they are fierce and unbending. I wouldn’t say Ellie is all of that really but I enjoyed her transition and journey to become who she truly is, and I liked that she didn’t immediately go from being a nice girl to the ultimate kick ass woman. She takes thing slowly and she fights her nature a bit because it is so different from who she has been. However she is a bit flat and I didn’t really like her or dislike her, she just was…Tuck is an interesting character but he fell a tad flat as well and he has a huge information drop near the end that was just too much all at once. I did really like Loki and he’s the only one who seemed to know just what he was doing the whole time, but he doesn’t show up very often.
I think the major issue with this book is how fast it moves, it reads like a book that only takes 200 pages to tell but there is enough information that it could have been longer than it is…and it would have been better for it. I wanted more from it. I wanted more from the characters, I wanted more resistance and more in the terms of consequences as somethings just happened to easily, I wanted depth and to feel the true gritty nature of what they were dealing with…but I didn’t.
It is a decent story and while I wasn’t pulled in like I wanted to be I know I will continue the series because there is still that potential for this to be a fantastic story.