Sunday, June 2, 2013

Review: Loki's Wolves by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr

Hi all!

Something for younger readers :)




Title: Loki’s Wolves
Series: The Blackwell Pages #1
Release date: 7th of May 2013
Published by: Hachette Book Group Inc
Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: FICTION – CHILDREN: Contemporary, Paranormal
Pages: 358 in e-book format
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository

Summary:

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters--wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history--because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids--led by Matt--will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

Review:

I'm so glad that Norse mythology has started to appear more frequently in YA books (yes, one-two books is a lot in this case!) next to the already overused Greek and others. There are again endless possibilities to explore, plus, it’s more exciting and definitely fresher since we are not all as familiar with the myths and legends of the Norse gods. Fully authentic or not, they were nicely introduced and depicted in various forms in this book – definitely enjoyable and informative.

While it does share some similarities with other adventure YA books, the background and topic at hand made me more oblivious to the familiar traits I noticed occurring again and again in such series nowadays. We have the reluctant hero, the anti-hero typeish sidekick and the strong and smart girl, who are unwillingly thrust into an adventure, where they must find someone/something to prevent the end of the world with many mythical creatures and situations in their path, a couple of twists are also a must. In a nutshell, that's the plot, but I didn't mind that I had probably read such books already too many times to count – the characters, unique plot factors and the overall writing made sure I had fun with this book. And that I most definitely did.

I liked that this wasn't a one man show, Matt was the main hero, but Fen and Laurie had just as much as center stage, mostly, due to the POV shifting between the three main characters. That enabled me to get to know and sympathize with all of them, plus, have access to their inner workings. The three of them all had and will have their role to play in the endgame and the journey there, even though, all was by far not revealed in this first book. Everyone had their moments to shine, even the new additions to their small band of world savers.

Quibbles: The ending cliffhanger annoyed me and the climax of the book felt slightly weak compared to the previous constant action. I was also a bit bothered by Matt and Fen trying to protect and exclude Laurie from anything dangerous all the time, claiming that she's a girl. Protectiveness is good, over protectiveness – not really.

Characters:

Matt was a decent hero with enough issues and conflicting feelings to keep things interesting. He lacked a bit of unique personality though, and was too cookie cutter at times, but, overall, I was fond of him and am sure he will grow into the big shoes he is expected to fill.

Fen was misunderstood, disillusioned, mad at the world, and in a big mess. He was also considerate, caring and self-sacrificing to people he considered important to him, which was something he, unfortunately, preferred to keep to himself. There was a lot on his shoulders even before the mission and he tried to deal with it as best as he could, but everything doesn’t go the way he expects or hopes. 

Laurie was by far my favorite character. She was smart, determined, brave and kind. She managed to bring balance to the team between Matt and Fen, while fighting with them to prove her worth and not be seen as a damsel in distress. A very likable character!

Also, I think I’ve watched Thor too many times, but I can’t help but draw parallels between the two stories (even if there might not be many present) and imagine the characters as each other visually, despite the age differences.

Overall:

Another great new adventure YA series with enough originality to keep me interested to stick around for the next book of the series. I fully recommend for younger readers.



4 stars!

LIIS


3 comments:

  1. I have been thinking of picking this one up. I love Norse mythology. I'm also a fan of Kelley and Melissa's writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Like you, I'm excited to see Norse mythology cropping up more often.

    Andrea @ Reading Lark

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  2. I really liked this too. And I agree that Matt, Fenn, and Laurie are great and different characters. Thanks for the great review.

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  3. Glad I could help! And let's hope to see more variety in the heavily Greek mythology flooded YA/Children's lit scene.

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