Reading Level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Genre: Norse Mythology
Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
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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 that something powerful
and ancient will awaken in her and that strange whispers will urge Ellie to
claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet,
suddenly there's 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.
Yaaaaaaay! More Norse Mythology for me! If you've been stalking my blog or have read any of my past reviews, you should know by now that I am a 100% mythology fanatic! Anything that has to do with YA mythology, I'll read it. Funny how it was just a year or two ago when I thought that I would never like mythology, but the Percy Jackson series *happy sighs* totally changed my perspective! After that, I've been scouring the Internet for hours and hours just to find any other mythology related books to get my greedy little hands on! After seeing the cover (love the font by the way!) and the intriguing summary, how could I say no?!
Valkyrie Rising starts off with Ellie, a sixteen year old girl, who has always lived in her older brother, Grahm's, shadow. Ellie couldn't even be her own person because whenever anyone saw her, they immediately thought "Grahm's baby sister" instead of seeing Ellie as who she really was. This caused Ellie's love life to be practically non existent and makes her feel kind of invisible. I mean who wouldn't? But even though Grahm still treats her like she's eight years old and makes all the decisions for her, whether she likes them or not. Ellie knows that deep down all Grahm wants to do is protect her and be a good brother, which is the main reason why Ellie loves him unconditionally and would do anything to save him. Even if it meant risking her own life in the process.
Ellie, is one of those main characters who starts out uncomfortable in her own skin and is still discovering where she's supposed to fit in, in the world. It was amazing to see the transformation from a young girl who always lived in the shadow of her brother to a strong and fierce warrior who could kick ass both physically and orally. She has a sense of humor, which I think all protagonists should have, and even though she turns into this powerful badass mythical Norse ninja, she still has her vulnerabilities and insecurities just like any other teenage girl. When Tucker, Grahm's best friend and shameless flirt starts showing interest in Ellie, her reactions are realistic. She doesn't immediately swoon and fall for him. She questions whether or not he thinks of her as just another one of his conquests, or if he's seriously falling in love with her.
Tucker, was a cute love interest but he wasn't really who I was expecting him to be. When I read the synopsis, I thought that he would be some kind of arrogant guy who had a knack for getting under Ellie's skin. Although there were many parts in the novel when the second part of my statement was proved true, he was more on the attentive and sweet side then the cocky and arrogant side. The only problem I had with Tucker was how fast he accepted the fact that Ellie was a Valkyrie. Yeah, it described that he was uncomfortable about it but if I found out that the person I was falling in love with was some ancient warrior, I would be just a littlllee more then "uncomfortable".
I loved the Norse mythology aspect of this novel. I definitely think that there should be more YA Norse related books out there. Although Valkyrie Rising did include gods like Odin, the well known trickster god Loki, and obviously the Norse warriors called Valkyries, I was hoping for a more thorough description on who each of them were and each role they played in history. For example, Norse legends, folktales, etc. I really didn't get much of that at all, which left me really disappointed.
After reading tons of reviews saying that Valkyrie Rising was slow paced in the beginning, it did make me hesitate a tiny bit on buying it. But in my opinion, I thought that it was perfectly paced! From 10%-30% I couldn't even rip my eyes away from the book long enough to check out what time it was. (Which was really really bad, because I had school the next day, but anywayyss) 30-40% was a little slower, but that was probably because I had to put it down, and when I picked it up again I couldn't get back into my "reading zone" as fast as I would've liked. The rest of the book? Let's just say that my butt was glued to the chair reading, and I ignored everyone around me until it was finished.
Overall, Valkyrie Rising is filled with badass female warriors (girl power!) who can be vicious but also compassionate when they wanted to be, fast paced action that will have your eyes glued to every page, and a slow and building romance (none of that insta-love crap!). I can't find anything that says whether Valkyrie Rising will be a standalone or a series, but I'm hoping for the latter!