Author: Ingrid Paulson
Series: Valkyrie, #1
Published: October 9th 2012
Hardcover, 352 pages
Buy: The Book Depository
I am ashamed to admit how little I know of Norse mythology, but really, what measly knowledge I have comes mostly from Kevin Hearne and his Iron Druid Chronicles. I used to resent Hearne for that teacher mode he tends to slip into in the middle of an action scene, but his never-ending lectures proved to be useful after all. And people say reading urban fantasy is a waste of time. But I digress…
I really didn’t think I’d enjoy Valkyrie Rising as much as I did. It took me completely by surprise. I only realized how much fun I was having when I looked up and saw that five hours had passed since I started reading. The plot is admittedly pretty formulaic, but there were a few things that made Valkyrie Rising stand out. First among them is the quality of Paulson’s writing. While I wouldn’t exactly call it beautiful, it’s pretty clear that Paulson writes with great ease. Her prose flows smoothly and the story itself is relatively fast-paced. Believe me, the Valkyries will barely give you time to breathe.
The romance was incredibly sweet and it certainly kept me on my toes, but I was a bit unhappy with the love interest. Tucker – Graham and Ellie’s best friend and Ellie’s secret crush – was undeniably charming, and yet, sometimes a boy, even a fictional one, can be a bit too perfect. Everything about him was in its place: he was adorable when he needed to be, unflinchingly loyal, sweet, patient, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, smart and extremely brave. But although I enjoy reading about a swoon-worthy boy as much as the next girl, I need him to have at least one defining characteristic, something that sets him apart and makes him unforgettable. I’m pretty sure I’ll forget all about Tucker the second I stop writing this review.
Ellie, on the other hand, won’t be so easy to forget. Her character is built on a cliché or ten, sure, but Paulson did with her what she absolutely failed to do with Tuck – she gave her just enough quirks to make her memorable. Aside from that, we get to witness some serious personal growth, and a few moments of weakness I found very endearing. The most interesting part for me was Ellie’s relationship with her brother Graham. Even though Graham’s overprotectiveness was just a tiny bit exaggerated, it served as a motivator for
Ellie’s growth and her fight for independence. A Valkyrie shouldn’t be bossed around by her older brother, should she?
I glanced down at the image of my grandmother in all her Valkyrie glory. I wished with all my might that she’d appear right then and save the day. But she didn’t. For the first time in my life, there was no one there to fix things but me.
Should you read Valkyrie Rising? Definitely! It’s well-written, fun and very romantic. Plus, there are Norse gods, angry Norwegian people, Valkyrie, Valkyrie hunters and swords. What’s not to like?!