Series: Valkyrie #1
Published by HarperTeen on October 9th, 2012
Genres: Mythology, YA
Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.
What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.
Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.
I went into “Valkyrie Rising” with absolutely NO knowledge of what a Valkyrie even was. In fact the most I know about Norway is that it’s cold most of the time (strike one in my eyes). However I’m a sucker for a pretty cover and a nice blurb and “Valkyrie Rising” had both. Now don’t you go judging me. I know better than to base the greatness of a book on a pretty cover and a few nice words on the back. So believe me when I say I knew better than to expect greatness or to fall madly in love with it after one page. So I picked up my copy of “Valkyrie Rising” from my local library with mild excitement to see what would happen.
“Valkyrie Rising” was your typical YA read, with mythology thrown in there. You have this drop dead gorgeous, oblivious to everything “heroine” Ellie. Her absolutely “perfect”, more heroic than Superman, brother Graham. The amazingly hot, make all girls swoon best friend to Graham, who is also Ellie’s “unattainable” crush, Tuck. The mysteriously beautiful, and eerily inhuman, “human” Hilda “Grandmother” Overholt. Add these average YA staple characters to a plot about boys disappearing across Norway and bam, you get a fairly predictable plot. Take that predictable plot and try to spice it up with Valkyries. Mythological beings who take only the bravest of the dead to belong to the army of the God of War and ta da! You get a mediocre, solid 3 star book. My emotions were all over the place with this book. I was aggravated that Ellie couldn’t tell that something was weird about “Astrid” the first night they ran into each other. I was excited when Ellie embraced what she was. I was relieved when Ellie lost all those fights (it’s ok not to be perfect at EVERYTHING you try the first time around). I was pissed off at the woman in the bakery with the cane. But above all else I felt, “meh” towards everything.
I didn’t feel that need, that drive to stay up all night until I finished it. I didn’t die a little inside when I realized it was over. I just sort of shrugged me shoulders and pondered what I would read next. I enjoyed the lesson on Valkyries, I liked the fact that Ellie suffered an epic fail with her introduction to fighting, and I obsessed with how kick ass her “Grandmother” and all the other Valkyries were. But at the end of the day, it was a fairly forgettable read for me.