Release Date: Oct. 9, 2012
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Valkyrie Rising #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.
I was very excited for Valkyrie Rising when I first heard of it earlier this year. I haven't read a lot of books about valkyries, it is set in Norway and the love interest is the heroine's brother's best friend. It sounded like a fantastic read.
And it was good. There are many things I liked about it but I also had a couple of issues with it. One of things I did like a lot was the dynamics between the main character Ellie and Tuck, her brother Graham's best friend. I really liked the back and forth banter between them and they had that chemistry. I looked forward to the moment when they finally get together. My favorite character was actually Tuck. He was charming, quick and he didn't mind letting Ellie take the lead. I really appreciated that he was steady throughout the novel and didn't vacillate between hot and cold towards Ellie as a lot of YA paranormal love interest tend to do.
Another thing I liked about the novel was the change in Ellie's character goes through. She started off as a girl that hid in her room during her brother's party but as the story went on and she learned more about herself, she gained self-confidence and got stronger. She was a great heroine--she didn't give up when the odds were stacked up against her and Tuck and she fought back but she also knew when to ask for help.
Like I mentioned above, one of the things that initially made me excited about Valkyrie Rising was that it took place outside the United States. But I did wish it made a bigger impression or it was elaborated on more because while I knew in my head that the characters were in a village in Norway, it read like Anyplace, USA. My other issue was that the story dragged in the middle. There was a lot of running around on Ellie and Tuck's part as they tried to rescue Graham but nothing happened to push the story forward.
Valkyrie Rising was a good debut novel and an enjoyable read. I do think that Valkyrie Rising will be a series but the ending did leave me satisfied. Despite some loose ends, it was not a cliffhanger ending that left me cheated (thank you Ms. Paulson!). So, check out Valkyrie Rising for its has a strong heroine, interesting secondary characters and Norse mythology. Although the middle did drag somewhat there's also enough of action to keep you reading.