Valkyrie Rising (Valkyrie, Book 1) by Ingrid Paulson
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.
Valkyrie Rising made it on to my reading radar with just it's title alone. Valkyries are creatures that I love reading about in paranormal settings. Going into this book I was already a happy and excited reader. It was painful to slowly realize that I didn't enjoy this book at all, mythology was great but the rest just went up in flames before my eyes. The fact that VR killed my reading mojo in what I like to refer to as Shera's-mad-book-craze-hunger.
Ellie wasn't annoying, in fact I like her a lot. Which is a point in favor for this book. What I didn't like was that her brother, that she loves so much, is entering danger land and she didn't try harder to find out what was going on. Plus, her grandmother new the storm was coming, but opted to leave out Ellie even though this was the summer that she was going to tell her about her true heritage. The idea that someone as smart and old as Ellie's grandmother could be that stupid was just . . . sloppy. Something that the author used to force the plot along so that it was Ellie against the Gods!
The romance infuriated me. Tuck is a playboy and it's clear he has one epic crush on Ellie. However, Ellie knows it can't be real because Tuck is a player. Through out the book there was nothing that actually convinced me that Ellie should like him. He's the bad boy with a big secret and it all feels so contrived. The fact that he's liked Ellie and still has been a player just leaves a bad after taste. Then the nice doctor kid gets rolled as annoying third wheel. It's so sad that I actually like Loki more, who is clearly out to use and abuse Ellie. In addition, Ellie is supermodel beautiful but she lacks so much confidence that she just feels like prey to any guy who compliments her. I feel that she’s a strong and smart enough girl to realize certain things about herself.
The one thing that was a good base for VR is Ellie's love for her brother Graham. Ellie dad isn't in her life and Graham has stepped up into the father roll. Protecting her and basically making decisions for her. At times it's annoying. Ellie has to grow up and confess her feeling to Graham, at other times it's the only real emotions (and storyline) that this book offered.
In the end, I can't give this book the 1 star that I want to. The writing is pretty good, and the basic idea behind the book is worth a twirl. However, everything else feels like it just happened because that's what a paranormal YA read like. It's trying too hard. Looks like I'll be waiting for "that Valkyrie" book for a long while. Here's hoping someone else can write a great series about them.
Sexual Content: Some sexual humor, there’s some kissing! Clean.
2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out
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