First Lines: My mom used to say that in the United States of Asgard, you can feel the moments when the threads of destiny knot together, to push you or pull you or crush you. But only if you’re paying attention.
This was on my to-read list for a while, but I finally nabbed it. I was a little leery, considering I was never much of a fan of Gratton’s debut novel, but this sounded unique. I never see many books about Norse mythology, so I wanted to learn more.
Soren Bearskin wants nothing more than to escape his past. His father’s battle-frenzy murder of 13 innocent people hangs over Soren, especially since he knows that one day he will give in to the same battle fever. But he fights it. He avoids as many people as he can and tries to stay calm as he makes his way through school. That becomes nearly impossible when the beautiful and famous Astrid Glyn tells him that she’s been dreaming of him. Daughter of a famed prophetess, Astrid is starting to come into her abilities. When Baldur, son of Odin, goes missing, Astrid convinces Soren that they can find Baldur if they work together. This road trip may be more than just about finding a missing god. It may be about learning who they are when they aren’t in the shadow of their parents…
Um…erm…well…this book didn’t work for me. Apparently Norse mythology is just not my thing. And I want to blame The Avengers for this because I am just completely sick of people talking about Loki. I could go the rest of my life never hearing his name and I would still hear it too many times. So every time Loki’s name came up, I wanted to roll my eyes and give up.
But that’s not really the book’s fault, is it? It’s mine, for being the one who wanted to read this.
I think another problem I had was that I just didn’t understand the basics of Norse mythology. And that made the book harder to read. I’ve never heard of Baldur before. I know about Odin and Valhalla and all that, but beyond who/what they are…yeah, I’ve got nothing. It was difficult for me to understand what parts of the story were actually fantasy and which were mythology. And I didn’t understand how last names worked. Soren goes by like, 3 different last names and that threw me for a loop.
I never really bought into the characters much either. I liked Astrid, for sure, but Soren still seemed somewhat of a mystery to me and he’s the narrator! I didn’t feel like I could pin down his characteristics. He was kind of a stick in the mud, as a character.
I will admit that Soren has a really interesting backstory. And there are some nice twists along the way. But it just didn’t keep my attention.