Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Valkyrie Rising: Review

Another Epic Reads Novel. This time we set on the not-so-familiar country, Norway. It's Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson


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.


You have no idea how fresh the book is to me! I mean, I've read tons of books about all kinds of divine beings. Like angels in Unearthly, or Greek gods in Covenant, or Death in Existence. But this? This is about Norse mythology like Odin, Loki and obviously, Valkyrie. How can it not catch my eye at the first place?

And turns out it doesn't disappoint me at all, like I expected. Okay, the first part is a little bit weird, especially with the Kjell part. I mean, what's with Kjell? I have no idea what he was doing with Ellie in the first place (or I'm too tired to try to figure it out, whatever). But when Astrid captures Graham, things start to get way more interesting and of course, awesome. There are plenty of scene which takes my breath away. There are few series can do that to me (maybe because I'm all too familiar with the typical ways the authors write YA novels).

The story sets in Norway, which is why I call this book fresh. I mean, come on. Almost all my books set in the US. Only one is set in France (which is Die for Me by Amy Plum). And Norway is completely too far to reach by my standards. And I am always so fascinated by Northern Europe because there is this kind of climate and all the mysteries about Norse mythology. A book sets in Norway? Definitely yes.

So here's Ellie, my favorite character. Maybe you will say, "Hey my fav character is Tuck!". But screw all these comments. Not that I don't like Tuck. It's just that Ellie is so much better. Yes, she's tough. Typical in YA novels. What is amazing about her is that she can be tough and girlie at the same time, which makes her way more interesting. Come on, either the girls in YA novels are tough to the core or delicate like a flower. How can she be both at the same time is beyond me. But man, I appreciate her.

And here's Tuck. No offense, but I'm definitely not into him. At least not in the way I do to Jace/Will/Four/whoever else. There's just something off about him. Yeah, yeah, I know that he's the descendent of the ancient enemy to Valkyries, but kicking aside this factor, there's still something off about him. That's what makes him not my favorite character. But don't get me wrong. I kinda like him. He's fun and charming, but he's like a friend more than a boyfriend.

And the biggest mystery of all is Astrid. So this girl is quite annoying at first. Taking those teenage boys away for Odin to build an UNDEAD army? Yeah, so not charming. And she bitches out Ellie quite a few times, which makes me hate her at first. But then her vulnerability is slowly revealing, and you know what? I find myself feeling sympathetic for her. She has no choice but to obey Odin, especially after what happened to Tuck's ancestors. And she's not happy with the orders but she has to continue no matter what. I'm so glad that she changes sides eventually. After all, I sort of like her in that way, tough face and tender heart beneath. Not so violent Valkyrie now, is she?

I have no idea if there will be a sequel of Valkyrie rising or not, because the ending is so perfect that I can't imagine what will happen next as the threat is too far away. But if there's gonna be one, I will definitely read it. Anyone who is interested in Norse mythology should read Valkyrie rising, and the awesome part is just plain awesome.

Rating: 8/10

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