Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by HarperTeen (10.9.2012)
eARC, 352 pages
Source: For Tour
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.
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!
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?
What was your favorite character to develop?
Do you have a favorite scene or quote?
[Jessi] The hard work paid off! The ending was epic! :)
What was your favorite part about writing Valkyrie Rising?
Are you in the process of writing any other novels?
I can’t wait!! XD
As an author, do you have any tips for aspiring writers out there?
Do you have a favorite author, or one that inspires you?
What is your favorite book?