Author: Susan Krinard
Series: Mist, #1
Release date: July 16th 2013
Publisher: Tor Books
Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard launches her first urban fantasy seriesCenturies ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie Mist one of the only survivors.Or so she thought.When a snowy winter descends upon modern-day San Francisco in June, Mist’s quiet existence starts to feel all too familiar. In quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.Loki has big plans for the modern world, and he’s been hanging around Mist for access to a staff that once belonged to the great god Odin. Mist is certain of one thing: Loki must be stopped if there is to be any hope for Earth. But the fight is even bigger than she knows….Because Loki wasn’t the only god to survive.
If you’re a woman with even the slightest knowledge on Norse mythology, I bet you spent some time fantasizing about being a Valkyrie. (If you’re a man… well, let’s not go there.) After all, they are gorgeous, they are practically invincible, either noble or descendents of gods and the things they can do with a sword would make any person drop their jaw in admiration. And there are always those outfits to consider – I for one would kill to wear them just once.
I am fairly new to Norse mythology and it’s still a source of constant (and pleasant) surprises. What I knew before reading Mist came from another urban fantasy series (thank you, Kevin Hearne!), but even if I knew nothing, I’d be fairly well versed after this reading experience. Despite it being set in modern day San Francisco, all the characters in Mist come straight from Norse mythology.
For decades, Valkyrie Mist has been living in Midgard among the mortals (that would be us, my friends), convinced that her gods have perished during Ragnarok. She is the faithful guardian of Odin’s spear, even though she believes there’s no one left to guard it for, and her sisters guard other immortal Treasures all over the world.
When her live-in boyfriend Eric turns out to be none other than the trickster god Loki in his mortal disguise, Mist is furious with herself for several reasons. First, for allowing him to get close to the spear, which he ended up stealing while she was busy fighting a frost giant. Second, for being too quick to believe that her gods really are gone forever. And third, for not being aware of her true heritage in time to stop it all from happening.
What this book needed to become infinitely better was just a touch of humor. Mist was so serious all the time, and so was her companion Dainn, which means that both POVs ended up being a bit tough to swallow. Even Loki, the trickster, had no trace of humor in his actions and/or dialogue – just brutality and venom. Consequently, the prose was pretty dry, which, combined with the sheer amount of information offered, made for a very demanding read. Humor so often makes or breaks urban fantasy, and in this case, it could have worked to Krinard’s advantage.
I am quite unused to dual POV in urban fantasy, especially when it takes over a hundred pages for the second one to enter the picture. Dainn’s conflicts were interesting to witness through his eyes, but I still felt that the author took the easy way out.
If there is such a thing as high urban fantasy (which apparently there is), Mist is a very fine example of it. It is a weighty read that offers an abundance of action and information without a single thing to lighten it up. Still, true fans of urban fantasy shouldn’t miss it, and since I count myself among them, I’m glad I made the decision to read it.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.