Valkyrie Rising Blog Tour: Review, Interview, + GIVEAWAY!

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on October 11, 2012 | 6 Comments

Valkyrie Rising Blog Tour: Review, Interview, + GIVEAWAY!Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
Published by HarperTeen (10.9.2012)
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 352 pages
Source: For Tour
Buy on Amazon

4 Stars

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.

My thoughts

I love mythology! To be honest though, I didn’t really know anything about Norse mythology except what I saw in the movie Thor. Sad, I know. But I think that increased my enjoyment of Valkyrie Rising in the long run, because I got to learn a few things about Valkyries!

It started off a bit slow, but I didn’t get bored because the mythology was enough to keep me interested. I had a bit of trouble connecting with the story at first (to be honest, the first half ranked at about 3 stars), but when things picked up in the last half, I was hooked!

So, things I loved:
Loki! I developed quite an attachment for him as my favorite villain in Thor and The Avengers, so I was STOKED when his name came up in Valkyrie Rising. He was a lot different, but I still couldn’t help but picture Tom Hiddleston (love him!) in my head every time Loki was featured in a scene. What can I say, I’m a fan girl. :)
The Valkyries. I’ve never read anything about Valkyries before, so I found it very fascinating. Beautiful and strong warrior women = badass!
The ending! I loved the way Ellie handled things. With the Valkyries, with Odin, and with Tuck and Graham. Also, the horror of the final fight scene. How terrible would that be? I can’t even begin to imagine it.
Catharsis. The characters that you hate in the beginning are redeemed in the end, with Ellie bridging that gap between them. The ones that I wanted to throttle out of loathing in the first half turned out filling me with pride and camaraderie that made me want to hug them in the end.

There was nothing I really disliked, and I don’t have many complaints. The only thing I can really thing of is that I would have liked to know more about the anti-Valkyrie group. They weren’t really organized as a unit and didn’t have a name for themselves. What did they do, exactly? Besides hate Valkyries??
The only other problem I had was that I didn’t connect with the characters like I wanted to until the very end. I didn’t feel anything for Tuck most of the way through (but at the end I did get a little thrill because it reminded me of the end of When in Rome).

I did like Ellie, though. She was a well-balanced lead! She was strong because of her heritage, but she still had weaknesses. She still had self-doubt. Her abilities made her a badass, but she was still human. She wasn’t invincible.

I feel like the book improved vastly the farther along it went. If you pick this one up and feel like you can’t get into it, just wait and stick it through. Trust me, you won’t regret it! 

Favorite character: Loki, of course! Sure, he may be a buttface, but he’s still my favorite villain. :)
assessmentPlot: 4/5
Writing style: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 3.5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall rating: 4/5 starfish
Hello, Ingrid! Thank you so much for being here today! First of all, tell us a little about yourself. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Hi Jessi! Thanks so much for having me. Is there such thing as not writing? Even when I’m not at my computer, I’m eavesdropping for dialogue or noting quirky things about people or the world. But I love spending time with my daughter. And I’m really into running.


Where did you get the idea for Valkyrie Rising?

A few years ago, I went on a trip to Norway with my grandmother, aunt, and cousin. We had so much fun. We visited relatives, but also just enjoyed ourselves since we’re so rarely together. While we were traveling around, the idea just sort of struck me. I wanted to write about Norway (it’s so gorgeous) and as a huge fan of girl power books, what better to write about than Valkyries?

What was your favorite character to develop?

This is a tricky question! My answer might change without the word “develop” because Ellie and Tuck were amazing to write, but also the most fully formed from the beginning. But the character who changed the most over various drafts was Astrid, the leader of the Valkyries. She was so much fun to “develop” simply because she kept surprising me.

Do you have a favorite scene or quote?

If you asked me a year ago, I would never imagine I’d be saying this, but I’m pretty thrilled with how the ending turned out. But that’s because my amazing editor asked me to completely change it. I ended up re-writing it again and again until it was right. During that revision time, I was pretty sure there just wasn’t an ending in me. So thank you, Anne, for not letting me give up.

[Jessi] The hard work paid off! The ending was epic! :)


What was your favorite part about writing Valkyrie Rising?

So, Valkyrie Rising is the second book I’ve written, and from the very beginning, I had a team in place. I joined an amazing critique group–I honestly can’t imagine how I bungled that first novel without their support and insight. And then I had an agent and later an editor who took the book to the next level. I went into writing knowing I had a lot to learn, but I didn’t realize the full extent of my ignorance until I surrounded myself with people who knew what they were doing and were willing to teach me. That was my favorite part about this—I learned a ton but also figured out where to go keep learning. Because with writing, it seems like practice makes better…but never perfect.

Are you in the process of writing any other novels?

Yes. I can’t imagine ever stopping. Right now, I’m writing about a ghost who comes back to avenge his own murder. I’ve also been playing with an ecothriller set in the Galapagos Islands that brings in my science background. That one is shaping up to be really fun.

I can’t wait!! XD


As an author, do you have any tips for aspiring writers out there?

Wow, I feel so new at this myself, that it’s funny dispensing advice. But I guess I’d say keep writing because as I said earlier, you get better with each new project. I’d also say read a ton and find people who are willing to give honest and helpful critiques—which is much harder than it sounds.

Do you have a favorite author, or one that inspires you?

Dr. Seuss got me addicted to reading in the first place, J.R.R. Tolkien hooked me on fantasy and magic, and Jane Austen made me fall in love with romance.

What is your favorite book?

I don’t think I can name just one. I could barely narrow inspring author down to three! How about I match my favorite books to the answers above? One Fish, Two Fish (the first book I ever read by myself), The Hobbit, and Pride and Prejudice.


Dark, white, or milk chocolate? Yes, all three, please.
Cats or dogs? Dogs—I grew up in a house full of them.
Coke or Pepsi? Sparkling water. Oddly enough, soda doesn’t work for me.
Morning person or night owl? Sigh. Both—note the dark circles.

 Where to find Ingrid

Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway
Jessi (Geo)

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6 responses to “Valkyrie Rising Blog Tour: Review, Interview, + GIVEAWAY!

  1. Is Ireland considered a European Country, I think it is so I would like to go there. Thx for the great giveaway.

    blinkysthebest at aol dot com

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