by Ingrid Paulson
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: October 9th 2012 by HarperTeen
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My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
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.
One thing that caught my eye and intrigued my interest about “Valkyrie Rising" was the symbolism of the cover: the posture of the girl, her athletic build, the trademark blond hair, the metallic sequins, the position of the mountains eluding to the shaping of the wings, and the guy in the background just beyond the mist standing at her right. This is a modern play on Norse mythology. I'm not widely familiar with it all, but I definitely recall the muscular blond females with wings sporting metal bikinis wielding a disk shield and sword. They were called Valkyries and they were very “Girl Power”. Sort of reminiscent of Zena, warrior princess, in her hay day before she started kissing Gabby.
Norse mythology art and literature always appeared brute and savage to me. (Granted the only characters that truly strike a cord are Beowulf and Thor.) The truly unique thing about Valkyrie Rising is the author feminizes the women and showcases them in a softer light. In an essence bringing sexy back to Norse mythology.
Valkyrie Rising tells the story of the summer Ellie, her brother Graham, and his best friend Tuck visit her grandmother in Norway. As quiet as the town seems, it harbors many secrets, unsolved mysteries and grudges. Ellie finds herself way over her head in the middle of it all while discovering her heritage.
I enjoyed this story so much. The sibling dynamics was something I could relate to growing up the only female of four brother; and I found that “shadow living” to be very believable. The romance was also hot and cute yet wasn't over the top. I enjoyed the build up. The plot was unexpected and held many twists. *Gushes* I am a sucker for a good heroine book ! Though I would have liked more kick ass and less ass kicking of the lead female. While there was much action, there was a very political ending. In spite of my small and very minute complaints, I thoroughly enjoyed this tale. I look forward to reading about more Valkyries!