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Norse Code

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3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,030 Ratings  ·  183 Reviews
Is this Ragnarok, or just California?

The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army. Given a sword and a new name, Mist’s job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world—and to kill th
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Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 306 pages
Published May 9th 2009 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,831)
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Stephen
Hold up....everyone who sees this book’s cover and thinks it’s just another PNR crowding the already bloated market...you’ve been maliciously led astray.

This novel is 100% Ragnarokian...
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...but with words and punctuation.

This story contains absolutely:

**No sultry, “come and hither me” eyes;
**No tumultuous, steam-filled romances full of moist, frothy otherworld humping; and
**No star crossed lovers fighting the odds to win other-side-of-the-track booty.

What this book does feature is a boat lo
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Felicia
This book has an awesome cover that is completely deceptive to what the book is about. This is not a vaginal-urban-fantasy book where a girl you connect with kicks mythological ass, it's from the POV of several ppl, more along the vein of American Gods by Neil Gaiman (although I didn't enjoy it as much as that book).

I know from personal experience that it's fun to write "inside" stuff, but sometimes that can leave ppl left out on the joke, and this book did that a bit for me. I know SOME about N
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Sandi
Dec 24, 2009 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really deserves 4.5 stars. From the cover and the blurb, I expected Norse Code to be a lot fluffier than it was, especially with the tagline "Is this Ragnarok, or just California?". What I found was an ambitious re-telling of Norse mythology that encompassed our 21st century world. Greg van Eekhout manages to not only convey the complexity of Norse mythology, but he does it in a way that is completely comprehensible and entertaining. He accomplishes this feat in less than 300 pages.

Nor
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Amanda
Jul 23, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
More of a 3 1/2 stars. I have to give Greg van Eekhout props for a very clever and interesting take on how Ragnarok might come about during modern times (I mean, the fire giant Surtr is wielding his sword from on high over a final battlefield that includes a Home Depot and a Costco, which made me smile). I can't say that I've read a lot of Norse mythology because it always seemed so fragmented and difficult to follow when I went through my mythology phase in junior high (the year Edith Hamilton ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Aug 28, 2009 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy involving norse mythology
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) by: The author for a book with valkyries
Update: It appears that there is an issue with some readers being mislead into thinking that this book is fantasy in the way of the strong-heroine-led urban fantasy variety. There are strong heroines in this book, but mainly it's about a male Norse god and his female companion who is a valkyrie. The valkyrie element could have been stronger, but I believe the real fault lies with the very misleading cover. I changed my review to reflect the fact that this is not really urban fantasy so much as f ...more
Mike Vasich
Jul 28, 2012 Mike Vasich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As others have already noted, this book has been mis-marketed, which I feel has done a disservice to the author. I purposely avoided it for a while because while I dearly love the Norse myths (see my own novel if you don't believe me), I thought this was a wish-fulfillment fantasy for teen girls. You know, sort of a Buffy but with Viking stuff.

It's not that at all. This book should never have been portrayed as a YA book--there's nothing YA about it or teen about it aside from the cheesy cover.

I
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Ben Babcock
The cover of Norse Code is misleading. It has a classic "urban fantasy" pose, the woman holding a phallic weapon and looking over her shoulder at the reader. Really, Norse Code is nothing like the cover or the description on the back of the book. Although it begins like other urban fantasy books, it quickly becomes something different. It is an epic tale focused through the lens of postmodern apocalypse, where metaphor becomes literal, and gods are as mortal as men.

When I went through my mytholo
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Kribu
May 05, 2014 Kribu rated it liked it
Rating: somewhere between three and four stars. I can't really decide yet, but I think that if I let it settle, it'll drop more towards the three, so three it is.

This said, there were things about Norse Code I really liked. It's a rather different take to most urban fantasy out there, what with being strictly Norse mythology based and having no fae or vampires or werewolves. It's also quite exciting (after a slightly sluggish beginning, and I have to admit the ravens' POV chapters did bore me so
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Cathy
I just finished another book that wove Norse mythology into a modern tale, so I was eager to try this one as well. This book is a Ragnarok/end of the world story. I'm not listing it as a paranormal story because it's not about people having special powers; all of the magic in the story stems from the mythological aspects.

I have mixed emotions about the value of the book. I quite liked the use of the Norse mythology. There were characters used in new ways, characters that were less familiar to m
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Jacki
Jan 31, 2011 Jacki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I ran into this book about 18 months ago, but had some reservations about how good it could possibly be. I recevied it through PaperbackSwap about 6 months ago, and there it sat until I picked it up last week. Boy were my reservations WRONG.

As the earth falls into endless winter, Mist is resurrected through NorseCODE to perform the duties of a Valkyrie. That is, she is expected to track down the genetic descendents of Odhinn and kill them in the hopes that they will take up the warrior mantle an
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Kyle Aisteach
Jul 31, 2013 Kyle Aisteach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: urban fantasy readers, Norse mythology geeks
This is one of the better urban fantasies I've read, and that's a genre I generally enjoy. Greg Van Eekhout writes Norse mythology with the same facility that C.S. Lewis wrote Christian mythology, and as a Norse mythology geek I really appreciated the organic way Van Eekhout wove that mythology into a thoroughly satisfying story about Ragnarök occurring in our own time.

The novel follows the story of a young woman who died young and was selected to become a Valkyrie as the events of the end times
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Rebecca
Jan 30, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This books is a brilliant portrayal of the world of the old Norse Gods clashing and interacting with our modern secular one and it cleverly brings you into this mix of realms with the character who only became deceased and turned Valkyrie 3 months ago. It also focuses not on the greater known gods like Odin, Thor and Loki although they are involved in the overall adventure but on the more minor and genuinely more interesting characters of this pantheon of Hermod, a small wandering God and of cou ...more
Serena
Sep 12, 2012 Serena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit to some frustration to this book.
"Sibyl" is not Norse, nor meant to be a catch all phrase for a prophetess. The number of sibyls in Greek myth was numbered, their names known.
What the "sibyl" is, is a volva, a Norse wise woman who perhaps practices seidr.

However, the "sibyl" played a small part, and I still enjoyed what I read, which was a modern take on Ragnarok. Hermod is a god rarely focused on, and in the wake of Hel's refusal to to give back bis brother Baldr (and in this account
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Roxane
Somehow, I forgot to review this novel though I read it back in August!

Greg Van Eekhout is one of those short story writers I've been keeping an eye on because I really like their works and would like to see how well they'd fare in the longer form (others are Gord Sellar, Eugie Foster, Rachel Swirsky, Shweta Narayan).

This is Greg Van Eekhout's debut novel and as such, it is not perfect but it's a damn good entertaining read that you'll most likely read cover to cover in one sitting. It's fast-p
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Wanda
This book actually rates 3.5 stars IMO. I enjoyed the characters, the use of Norse mythology and the pacing. Also appreciated the cover art: she's not in some unrealistic pose that would take a contortionist to actually do, she's wearing clothes that look as appropriate as anything else for fighting to save the world. I do wonder about the sword in the left hand? I know, I know, it worked for the cover design. I was interested in the premise/title: NorseCode is a company using genetics to search ...more
Melissa McShane
This book was enjoyable, but had enough major flaws that I hesitate to recommend it. I'm interested in Norse mythology and I liked seeing Ragnarok mapped on to the modern world. I also thought it was clever to use Hermod as a main character; he doesn't get much love when it comes to retellings, and he ends up being the only one of the gods who's both sympathetic and personally involved in the survival of the mortal realm. All of that is well done. Where the book fails is in making the modern hum ...more
Reed
Jun 14, 2009 Reed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I had been warned, it was hard for me to begin reading Norse Code, look at the tough female heroine on the cover, and not think urban fantasy. Virtually impossible.

Despite appearances, there is not one main character, but shifting points of view. Mist, a Valkyrie, is indeed a tough chick. But she is merely one of many characters in this modern revisiting of Ragnarok--the Scandanavian end of the world. With characters such as Odin's ravens, Baldr, Loki, and many others, it's a fun rom
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Kim
I read this book 'cause my boyfriend told me to. If you don't know much about Norse Myths, you will still be able to follow this book. Van Eekhout does a fantastic job of melding modern times with Norse myth and Rangnarok (the end of the world). Mist, who was known as Cathy in life, is a Valkyrie working for NorseCODE, a company who uses the human genome project to find decendents of Odin for the final battle. It just goes down hill from there. Full of action, free eyeballs, and Jim Butcher wort ...more
Jason Lundberg
Jun 15, 2009 Jason Lundberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0wnz0red, reviewed, novels
Greg's a great writer, and I'm constantly amazed by the ideas that come out of his head.

However, the story seemed to be a bit too big for just 300 pages; it's massive in scope, detailing the last days before Ragnarok, with a huge cast of characters, and it might have been better had he expanded it to twice the length, or tightened the story to just one or two POV characters.

That said, it was a helluva lot of fun, and the book is worth picking up for sure.
Tara Day
Jan 20, 2015 Tara Day rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bloody and full of great story-telling! For someone who only knows the basic of Norse mythology from other books and superhero movies, it seemed pretty legit to me. I loved how it sticks with the premise of the myths but at the same time has its own flair. It kinda lagged in a few places but I got through it.

It's probably because I have a thing for male perspectives but I did enjoy Hermod's a lot better. He has a sarcastic, pessimistic tone and yet a need to do the right thing. He's the trouble
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Alexia561
Jun 12, 2009 Alexia561 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a Valkyrie in the Norse god's army. Given a sword and a new name, Mist's job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world - and to kill those who refuse to fight. But as the twilight of the gods descends, Mist makes other plans.

This book was amazing! I gave it 5 stars for sheer originality as well
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Daniel
Aug 12, 2010 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Woodge
Nov 11, 2011 Woodge rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
I bought this one a couple years ago when it first came out and figured it would be a good one to read since I'm currently in Sweden and Norse mythology takes a big role in this story. I have a passing familiarity with Norse mythology (which I enjoy more than Greek) since I've read D'Aulaire's Book of Norse Gods and Giants several times to my kids and I've also started a grown-up book about Norse mythology. So I actually recognized some of the lesser known Norse gods' names. (Beyond Thor, Odin, ...more
Joshua
Aug 07, 2009 Joshua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Norse mythology looking for something really light to read
Norse Code is the first book written by Greg Van Eekhout- a tale of the epic collapse of the world known as Ragnarok and humanity along with gods trying to stop it's embrace.

I've always been a big fan of Norse mythology- tales of adventure, giants and gods, that while being muli-layered and confusing at times never stops from bringing a smile to my face. So yeah, I was really excited to read this book, a mix of old-school tales with a fresh and new take. If anything, Norse Code is a very amb
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Jeremy
Nov 24, 2009 Jeremy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy, 2009
All in all, a fun read. While I don't really know more than the basics of Norse mythology, the story provides an explanation for what you need to know, though it does mean I can't comment on any extra goodies that may have been included for people that know it well. The fading of the world as Ragnarok approached was very well handled, and it was an interesting take on gods -- quite powerful in some respects, yet at the same time, in many ways surpassed by the technology of modern man (as Hermod ...more
Chris Schwarzkopf
Believe some of the other reviews of this book when they say that the title, or the cover art, is misleading. These present it as yet another addition to the urban fantasy sub set that's been all the rage for the past couple years. But the character of Mist is not just another pseudo-hip cute-chick-with-supernatural powers who battles monsters.
The events of the story follow the order of things that are, according to legend, supposed to occur as Ragnarok draws to it close, but the ending truly
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Emmilie Berkner
Oct 05, 2011 Emmilie Berkner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Norse Code is about the Nordian culture. Ever Since Baldr (son of Odin) died, Ragnorak has begun. Everone has chosen sides and are recruting troops. When Mist and her sister Lilly die, Mist is saved by Radgrid and recruited as a Valkyrie. Mist's job is to recruit other possible long-lost relatives of Odin to be sent to Valhalla to fight against Ragnorak. When one man dies Mist will change sides and do what she thinks is right in order to save all of the worlds.

This bokois really good bu
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Mick
Nov 29, 2011 Mick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Urban Fantasy Fans
With perpetual Winter slowly destroying civilization and end-of-the-world portents everywhere, modern-day tech-savvy Valkyries use DNA testing to select warriors for Ragnarok.

The main characters of this very entertaining ramble through Norse mythology are an increasingly reluctant Valkyrie, her long-suffering trainer, a ghost and a woebegon Aesir (Hermod) who's been avoiding his family and is currently wandering through California. Their fates collide just in time for them to become major player
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Jennifer
Sep 07, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I really hesitated in grading this one. It is by no means a bad book. I wonder if I came at it with too many expectations/hopes as to how great it could be. My grade should perhaps be read more as indicative of my reaction rather than the work itself.

Van Eekhout has written several short stories that have struck me with their insight and sharpness, and with his quick way with words. This book, his first novel, did not quite live up to the promise of those stories, not for me. I enjoyed some of h
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Read (Think) Books
Mary K's review in a tweet (now that's what I call efficiency :)! ) - "Read Norse Code by @gregvaneekhout Like a light version of American Gods by @neilhimself and or pleasanter Dante's Inferno. Fun! - mk"
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Greg van Eekhout writes books for kids and adults. He enjoys eating little tacos, walking along the beach, and practicing kung fu. About the kung fu: He's let himself get a bit slovenly, quite frankly, so please do not challenge him to a fight. He cries easily. He's a weeper. He lives in San Diego.
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“Magic is like pulling the pin on a grenade and then stuffing it down your pants to see what happens.” 2 likes
“Magic is like pulling the pin on a grenade and then sutffing it down your pants to see what happens.” 1 likes
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