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.
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Published By: Harper Teen
Review Copy: Purchased,
Hardcover, 352 pages
Valkyries are an interesting concept and honestly the fact that this book put them up front and center instead of as a secondary intrigued me. Inspirational and powerful these beings of myth are never taken lightly and I'm actually surprised that more people haven't worked with this idea or may e they have and I just haven't seen it. Either way this was a first of its kind for me and I was content with it. There were some expectations that were met, some things I didn't expect and other things that just crawled under my skin and picked at me.
The story itself was not as developed as I had hoped it would be, nor quite as original. You have the main character that thinks she is ordinary but is in reality beautiful and eye catching. This character then finds out that she is more than she thought she was and has to come o terms with it. I think this is where things just fell that little short. The world that I expected to be developed in the story also wasn't quite as vivid as I had hoped. This is Norway and in a town that is swimming in superstition and mythology, yet I felt I could be anywhere. There were enough interesting twists and turns to keep my attention though.
Ellie was really easy to read about. Though I had no particular connection with her, there is some sort of attraction. Maybe the fact that she's the younger child and I'm the older kept me disconnected I don't know. What I do know is that she could be both strong and in a moments notice be doubtful. I wish that she had, had more faith in herself than what she did. Yes I enjoy when characters develop their new found abilities or heritage over time but for awhile I just felt like she wouldn't let her strength out. Once she embraced who she was I enjoyed her much more. She was witty and determined once she knew what she had to do but it was a journey getting there.
Did I enjoy the romance? For the most part I really did. It had the tension and development that I love when it comes to romance. Ellie and Tuck have one big thing that seems to stop them from coming together though, Graham. Ellie's over protective brother scares everyone away but seeing his best friend is Tuck (the love interest) it makes everything just a little more awkward and difficult. Despite this they do have a serious connection that is established as they go. I mean how could Ellie not be interested and go for it Tuck?! He is bad ass and has some serious secrets of his own.
This one didn't blow me away but I wouldn't over look it either. There are things to love and things that were just bland for me. I guess the end result would be conflicted. Though the writing flowed well and the pacing for the most part was good, I can't say that anything really flared to life for me. Then again I know with certainty that I will pick up the next book in the series if there is one. Hopefully in the next book things will be a little more developed because this has some serious potential to turn into something amazing.
We were just pulling out of the parking lot when Kjell came jogging over, blocking our exit. For one inexcusably cruel moment, I wished Grandmother would just hit the gas and blow right past him.
"It's Valhalla or bust," Tuck said, a spark of his usual fire flaring beneath his somber surface. "Until we wake up from this acid trip, I guess we play along? Please tell me your new Spidey sense will tell us what we do next."
The words sank in with a weight my chest couldn't support. "oh," I sais, wondering how he could just stand there and turn my universe upside down so casually. Like it was no big deal.
"...From what I've seen of your new and improved reflexes, I think we can get pretty far in a few hours. Then it's happy hunting. I hear Valkyrie is in season."