352 pages | Published October 9th 2012 by HarperTeen
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.
Book Review: 3.5 stars
I remember seeing an episode of Charmed awhile ago that featured Valkyries and I always loved that episode because a) the Valkyries were kick ass woman and b) I’d never heard of the Valkyrie legend before. Well this book has finally expanded upon an idea that has interested me for ages (yay)! Not to mention I honestly haven’t seen this subject explored in any YA books before, and in a book world that’s becoming overrun by vampires and angel stories, I think that’s a pretty big bonus. So naturally I had high expectations and I don’t feel like I was disappointed.
The whole Valkyrie legend drew me straight in, I really enjoyed reading about a topic that I had never read about before! Serious brownie points to Ingrid Paulson for that 🙂 I found the whole idea of bad ass warrior women who collect the souls of dead warriors and take them to Valhalla to be trained for the end of world very interesting. I think that the story and the ancient myth were brought together quite well. I was totally pulled in and wishing that I could discover some cool ancient history in my family that meant I was a secret warrior. But of course cool stuff like that never happens to me.
The characters were likeable, I thought Ellie was quite cute and innocent if not a bit naive at times. But I really enjoyed how she learnt about herself over the course of the book and grew a backbone! I do think that there could have been more of a transition stage with her character rather than just sudden knowledge about everything. Now just a quick tangent – Ellie’s name is really Elsa which I like SOO much better than Ellie! Seriously? Why would you nickname Elsa, Ellie? No. I’m not a fan of that.
I just love love love her love interest Tucker. The banter between Tuck and Ellie in the beginning is too great! It annoys me that it tapered off when they started to act on their mutual attraction so I hope that the author can bring it back a bit more in the next book. I’m really not that into reading about sappy and awkward high school love as much, it’s just too awkward and cringe worthy. Also his supposed “betrayal”? Yeah I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal so the end for me wasn’t as dramatic as I would have liked.
I really did enjoy that this book was something new, there better be another book coming soon!!