Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Mist (Mist, #1)


Mist (Mist, #1)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 series
Centuries 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.

26 comments:

  1. BAHAHA You cracked me up on the first few lines, Maja! I am a huge fan of Mythology ever since Rick Riordan wrote Percy Jackson and he's writing a norse series soon so I can't wait for that. Though I am not an awfully serious person so very serious books don't work too well for me.

    Fab review, hun! <33

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  2. I'm not sure how I feel about a dual narration or even a humor-less UF novel. It sounds fascinating and I love Norse mythology, but I think I'll wait to see how this series plays out before picking it up. After all, I still have dozens of series to get to first! ;)

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  3. LOL girl I know little about Norse mythology but you nailed that one. I really like the sound of this story and Mist sounds interesting, too bad she lacked humor. Well I'm not quite sure about dual POV in UF stories I guess I should try it out. Great review Maja :)

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  4. I would have kicked ass as a Valkyrie. And Loki's a trickster but he also is a prankster, which means he should have a sense of humor (depending on how you read the myths, I guess.). I need a little humor in my UFs -- even a little quip here and there makes it all better.

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  5. I am new to Norse mythology as well, or at least, it is one of the few I am not hugely familiar with.
    This sounds like it was a good read even if it was lacking some much needed humor.

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  6. Norse mythology is one that always fascinated me, though I haven't had much luck when it comes to books featuring it :( I haven't read that many of them to begin with, but those I read were pretty.. bad :) I do like the sound of this one, tho I can't really imagine a completely humorless Loki. If the prose is dry, I get bored easily, distracted and eventually discouraged from reading on. I am going to give it a go, tho, mainly cause I love books featuring themes from mythology, especially if they're something else than Greek mythology :)

    This comment was written right after waking up, so forgive my incoherent rambling^^ Thank you for a lovely review!

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  7. Yeah, I definitely live for the humor in my UF series. It makes the read go faster and it makes the character a tad more human. I think I might give this one a shot after I become a little more well versed in Norse mythology that doesn't just come from the Thor movies and Hearne's series. ;)

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  8. I don't know anything about morse mythology but interested in learning

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  9. I'm pretty new to Norse mythology as well Maja, so I really enjoyed that aspect of this book. Though some of those names were nearly impossible to pronounce in my head:) I agree with you on the humor, I definitely felt like something was missing but really couldn't figure out what would have made this book a little better, and I think you're exactly right about the humor. Everything was very serious on every page, and a little levity would have gone a long way. Still, I'm curious to see where things go! Fantastic review my friend!

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  10. I am with you that a little bit of comedy can go a long way in a serious book like this. I'm happy that you were able to like it overall though. It sounds like it was pretty intense with the liar, evil boyfriend, the fighting of the giant and all that.

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  11. LOL. I love your comment on Valkyries-I agree. I'm really enjoying this Norse Mythology trend and find it so fascinating. The book sounds really interesting, and the dual POV too. I suppose you have to be in the right reading mood for the high urban fantasy setting and feeling though. Thanks for sharing Maja.

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  12. This one did not work at ALL for me :/

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  13. I've been on the fence about this one, but I think I'm going to give it a try after reading your review. It's a shame there wasn't more humor, but I love that there's a SF setting and it sounds like there's more than enough to justify a read. And yes I have often fantasized about being a valkyrie, and I do love reading about them. Wonderful review!

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  14. Oh I have this one for review and I do think I'm going to pick it up. Still, saddened by the lack of humor. Usually makes a book for me. However, love mythologies so WIN there. :D *plays Ride of the Valkyries*

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  15. Humor-less? Hmmm... I'm not sure if I could tread through an urban fantasy that's without a touch of humor. But maybe it's a suitable tone because Mist was blaming herself for her ignorance? I guess I'll have to read the book to find out more for myself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  16. Somehow I hadn't heard of this one yet. I'm with you that UF needs some humor. Also dual POV in a UF is kind of strange. I do like Norse Mythology (the little I've read from Kevin Hearne's books) so that part has me interested. I may pick this up, but I might wait for reviews of books later in the series to see how it gets on. I'm certainly not lacking UF material to read at the moment, but I'll keep this in mind anyway.

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  17. I liked the mix in this one, it's nice to have something a little different. I'm curious about book 2.

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  18. Hmm not sure if this is the book for me. I've read a book or two about Norse mythology but it's not something I usually pick up. Great review!

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  19. Thanks for a great review!
    I love Norse mythology so despite the lack of humour I'd probably add it to my TBR list!

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  20. YES! I would never say no to being a Valkyrie! If only I could >.< I haven't heard of this series but it sounds promising. Even though you weren't impressed with the first book, I like that atleast it had some redeemable qualities. I'll wait and see how the sequel turns out before picking this one up. Great review, Maja!

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  21. I don't know much about Norse mythology (unlike Greek mythology) so I'll keep this one in mind as it sounds like this one does a good job of not being overwhelming in that regard. It's a shame though that Loki isn't more humourous since it would be in line with his personality as a trickster god.

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  22. Um...yes! I so spent time imagining I was a valkyrie haha. It is a very intriguing concept, and I love any and all myths featuring warrior women. :)
    If the lack of humor is your main complaint, then I may be good. I don't really like my books filled with much humor personally. I've been meaning to read more urban fantasy, and this might provide me with the right mix of high fantasy/mythological elements and urban fantasy elements.

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  23. Mythology is great, but I haven't read Norse mythology before. I love the concept of Valkyrie and Loki :D It's a shame that it's a bit dry, but I think I'll give it a shot.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  24. I've only read one Norse Mythology retelling - Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson. It too has a kick-ass heroine who has a Valkyrie lineage. So of course, she's beautiful and strong.

    Humour goes a long way, especially in Urban Fantasy. I don't think I've ever read one where it didn't make me chuckle. I'm all for the dual narration as long as I'm vested enough with the characters.

    Great review, Maja.

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  25. I have never seen this book b4. Tnx for the review maja

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  26. I want to give this one a try. I like the sounds of it. :) Thank you!

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