I finished reading an unexpectedly great book the other day. I was doing so much cooking lately that I had to post the recipes first. Now I am finally getting around to this book review that I have been meaning to write.
Let me start by saying that Kelly Armstrong (or K. L. Armstrong) as she goes by for this book is one of my top 3 favorite female authors of ALL time! She is most known for her Women of the Otherworld series which has sucked me in and is actually being made into a Canadian television show which I am praying will also air in the US. When I saw that there was a book coming out by K. L. Armstrong I immediately knew it had to be her and did the research to make sure it wasn't someone else trying not to be associated. I guess in my total excitement in another world and book series by Kelly that I read what the book was about. It focuses around Norse Mythology, I had just gotten done reading Jacqueline Carey's Agent of Hel which was also amazing, and so I was thinking that it must be a Norse Mythology kick going on in my amazing women authors. Beyond the description of the book I was just so excited to read it that some of the surround details seemed to escape me.
One day in a Amazon browsing sort of day where I make wishlists and add dreams to my cart I went to check on my cart items (where I store all of my pre-order books desperately awaiting their release so that I can finally read them) I discovered that Loki's Wolves was FINALLY released. I immediately got it to read and was so excited for it to come.
FINALLY it arrives in the mail (ok it wasn't really that long, as I have Amazon Prime and next day mail for free). I excitedly rip open the box with some assistance from Liam and I pull the book out of the box. Initially I kind of had my excitement bubble lose a bit of air. I was thinking what the heck IS this book, it is really small for a Kelly Armstrong book and I open it up and the writing is enormous and I thumb through and there are some drawings. My enthusiasm drains away and I think NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I accidentally bought a young adult novel. I was utterly disappointed. Anyone that knows me knows that I do not really get into young adult series, I prefer the vocabulary and visualization (and the romanticism and sex of course) of a more adult novel. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the stories within young adult novels, I have all the Twilight movies (although I just recently got all of the books for $10 so I can finally read them, I wanted the movies to be over first).
Unfortunately I didn't pay as close attention as I could have to the book description which done in conjunction with another normally adult author Melissa Marr (writing as M. A. Marr) goes on to explain that they wanted to work together to create a world for their teen-aged children, as their other novels were a bit too old for them at this point. I spent over a week really angry at myself and just feeling my heart drop as I thought about this being a young adult novel.
Finally I decided, what the heck I will just take it to work and it can be a quick read in my down time. I figured that I was into Holly Black's young adult atmosphere and I had to remind myself that after all this WAS the amazing Kelly Armstrong and she makes you forget that you are merely reading her stories and not living inside of them.
There I was giving it a try, admittedly a little embarrassed that my book that I had at work had some picture drawings in it. Needless to say I got over my pride and dove in. I read about 1/3 of the book in the first sitting. I was thinking wow this has a really great set up, and I was looking forward to more.
By the time I started on the 2/3 I was totally immersed into the story the lead up was a little slow, but I felt it did a great job of filling in the back story of the Norse Mythology and the town Blackwell South Dakota. How the people there actually live like they are descendants of the gods Thor & Loki. Of course the descendants of Loki can be werewolves or shape-shifters, whereas the descendants of Thor get insane strength. The three main characters are Matt Thorsen (yep you guessed it, he's a descendant of Thor). He just turned 13 and is now considered a man, and has just found out that it will be his duty to fight against the serpent at Ragnarok (the end of the world). Then we have Laurie & Fen, cousins and 2 of Loki's descendants. Fen has inherited the ability to take wolf farm, but Laurie has her own unique set of powers. Matt does not get along well with Fen. So we have some conflict here but they end up being thrown in together and have decided that they will not allow the end of the world to come to pass and will instead work with one another instead of against one another to try to prevent the myths from coming to pass the way that is has been historically written (which would ultimately resort in Matt's death).
The rest of the book really picks up speed and the trio of 13 year old soon discover that in order to stop Ragnarok from happening that they will need the help of others. They begin their journey as runaways and go in search of the rest of the descendants of associated god's to help them along the way. There is intrigue and deception, courage, and the hesitant learning of an early teen. I love that there is no sexual tension and that the story carries itself without that being necessary. There is slight flirtation, but this book was truly intended for the younger young adult reader, and any parent could feel comfortable allowing their teen or pre-teen to read this.
I also recommend this to anyone not of the young adult persuasion. Armstrong and Marr do an amazing job of telling this story and I my main complaint was that I wished the book was longer. I cannot wait for the next book to be released (Odin's Ravens). This book started a little slow but quickly picked up pace and stayed there full steam through the end! It is definitely one that I would suggest and pass along as an all around great story! Especially if you are interested in Norse Mythology!
*I feel like I couldn't tell the transition between where Kelly ended and Melissa began, this definitely means that I need to check out Melissa Marr's more adult novels, I can't wait to read them!
You can check out the entire Blackwell Pages series at http://www.blackwellpages.com/index.php
You can check out Kelly Armstrong's website at http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/loki-wolves/