***Review copy provided through Netgalley for an honest review.***
Susan Krinard is a new to me author, but once I heard that there would be Valkyries...more***Review copy provided through Netgalley for an honest review.***
Susan Krinard is a new to me author, but once I heard that there would be Valkyries I was all up in this book! Norse mythology! Um, yes please. A classic trickster Loki that can change shape into anything he wants, male or female, making for a pretty steamy and deceptive read! Sexy scandals. Check. Did I mention Valkyrie?? This title had everything that makes me foam at my metaphorical mouth! Then a few pages into the book it hit . . .
Valkyrie titles must be jinxed for me. Especially, the characters. To be honest I think Krinard was trying to make Mist the mythical legend—AKA the Valkyrie in question—more human. She isn't aware of how stunningly gorgeous she is, or when men are openly lusting after her. Mist also suffers from serious self doubt. Now I'm not saying those are bad qualities. But Mist is old. I mean she's a walking fossil old. At a certain point in her centuries old life I'd expect her to realize that "girls got sex appeal." One huge mistake in her past causes her to question every step she takes after that. It's just so unrealistic. Yes, it's good to question yourself. But not to a point where you would blindly trust a stranger, who clearly has evil intentions. Or to ignore your instincts when a "clue" just up and slaps you across the face. Mist has to be rescued numerous times, comes off as really-really stupid, and while her genuine kindness makes her endearing it can't save her character.
That stranger I mentioned above just happens to be a elf named Dainin. Who is a emotionless, cold hearted guy, who just happened to start Ragnarok. Of course he was tricked and is now living with a monster inside him. So for the write price he'd betray Mist. The majority of the book is set up to show what a hotty Dainin is, his suffering, and his eventual arrival to the point that he needs to help Mist out. Of course I can't forget that he would allow someone else to pay for his sins. Or the way he is willing to betray Mist. It's purely evil and it over shadows every move he makes, even when he's finally willing to die for Mist. Clearly he's the love interest in this series. One that I'm not feeling. He's a great character and highly fascinating, but it just doesn't work out for me. He still deceives Mist even after he realizes that he needs to help her. Hot N cold, sing it Perry.
This book was fairly long. But I felt like I just read the first half of a novel, where it's trying to frantically build up the world while making plot progress. For me there's barely anything that truly happens. Boredom is a feeling no reader should ever feel. The mythology was half baked at best and I felt that Krinard stepped back on a few of her "rules" of magic. There's too many questions running about at the end. Is Norse mythology the only true mythology of this world, are there others? How do they tie in? And on, and on! Plus, Loki's name gets mixed up with a few of the other characters. You can't have errors like that! Not when there is a character that can become anyone. I spent a good time wondering if it was an error, or if it was actually Loki.
In the end this title has potential I'm really curious as to what will happen in future books, but I'm only continuing if the next title can transform this series into what it could be. The action is tons of fun, even if Mist really never brings the heat. There's an interesting romance developing, even if I'm not that into it. The main reason for reading Mist is for Loki. Man is he scandalously delicious! Probably one of my favorite literary renditions of him. Come for the Norse mythology, stay for Loki.
Sexual Content: Nothing overly graphic, but there’s some sex and some naughty-naughty by Loki.
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. G...moreValkyrie 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.
For debut titles there is a certain amount of leniency that you will allow a writer. You can overlook things that would normally bug you because this...moreFor debut titles there is a certain amount of leniency that you will allow a writer. You can overlook things that would normally bug you because this is the debut title introducing a whole new world. Well, Estep used that get out of jail card on her debut YA book, Touch of Frost, which I enjoyed despite it's over obvious plot. This time around Estep makes all the same mistakes, but I can't overlook them this time.
The plot “twists” and climaxes were so obvious that I almost wanted to put the book down. I knew everything that was going on before the author even introduced the new characters. After a while I kept thinking, surely an author of Estep's caliber could not write something this predictable? Right? Before even a little hint could be put out there I knew where this story line was going. Yes I'm over emphasizing it, but who wants to read a book that you can predict from the first page.
I'd like to say that this time the great cast of characters saved the book and that I enjoyed them fully. However, I really can't. Gwen is annoying in her “I'm just a gypsy and need to prove myself” mind set and her obvious stupidity. The whole time she was lusting after Logan while he's trying to get over her, was boring. Jealousy as a plot devise for developing a love story has never been something I've been interested in. It only ever seems to make the characters look ridiculous and pull out traits that make them seem unredeemable. Besides that, Logan shacking up with another girl while he's obviously in love with Gwen did not earn him any points—unless you like your men slutty.
Sure I'm greatly disappointed with this second title in Estep's new YA series, but I did enjoy it. After all she is the creator of the Elemental Assassins series, it's clear this author has mad skills. It's just that I was expecting her to tap into into those—many times mentioned—skills and produce something other than comfort food for the paranormal genre. There's progress in Kiss of Frost that is clearly going to lead up to an amazing plot, kick ass battles, and a yummy love story. Just at this point it's nothing that you couldn't have thought up yourself.
Sexual Content: Kissing, talk about sex and hooking up, and some sexual humor. Pretty clean all and all. Nothing that will shock the kiddies.
In the world of Urban Fantasy I’ve come to acquire a sweet tooth for certain things. Vampires and werewolves, Valkyrie, unique takes on witches, fairi...moreIn the world of Urban Fantasy I’ve come to acquire a sweet tooth for certain things. Vampires and werewolves, Valkyrie, unique takes on witches, fairies, well done (and I mean really well done) love triangles, demons, and most of all Greek Mythology are a guaranteed purchase. Jennifer Estep’s debut into the YA world of Urban Fantasy (or paranormal YA) instantly made my list with it’s promise of Greek Mythology and Valkyries!! Her Elemental Assassin series already made my must-purchase-at-all-costs list and I just new this author would dazzle me.
Gwen is an interesting change from the Assassin in Esteps adult series. She’s weak physically and has a clear moral compass that she lives by. While most people might run to safety after finding a dead body with its throat sliced open, Gwen would rather make sure that the victim really couldn’t be saved. While I had been hoping for a strong kick-booty heroine to add to my YA shelves, Gwen clearly has other strengths to admire. Not only does she have nerves of still, but she’s a nerd girl—with comic books, nerd references, and hoodies to go with—and I can’t say no to a fellow nerd.
After the death of her mother Gwen is pulled into Mythos Academy. Where Valkyries, Amazons, Spartans, and other mythological legends go to school to learn how become Patheons, who fight against the Chaos. Basically the the good (Patheons) Vs. evil. Gwen doesn’t know why she’s been pulled into Mythos, she’s not a warrior. She’s a decedent of Gypsies, all of her family members just have a magical quirk. Her grandmother can see the past and future, her mom could tell when someone was telling the truth, and her gift is . . . well a little more awkward. She can touch any object and get it’s whole live story, that includes people.
A lot of the book deals with Gwen's sadness over her mother passing, blaming herself for her mother’s death, and learning to be happy again. It also deals with her self-doubt about her place in the Academy, and her worth. The way she kept knocking herself down over the potential love interest was annoying. Considering that the only guy she kissed was fantasizing about another girl, it’s understandable.
It’s a nice addition to the realm of teen heroes. Gwen is gaining her footing, building up sidekicks—er, I mean friends. Catching the eye of the hot guy, and get this he’s a Spartan. (Yes, 300 is mentioned and joked about.) Big secrets (which are way too obvious to the reader) come out of the closet and Gwen is learning she has what it takes to be a true Champion of the Gods.
The book’s plot and “giant twist” was so obvious that I wanted to strangle, the author for thinking that her readers would be too stupid to see it. Estep’s dazzling writing, fantastic characters, cool world, and the allure of the “magical school” helped to appease me. This series has room to grow, places to explore. In the end this wasn’t what I was expecting from Jennifer Estep, yet it was just what I needed. With ancient gods choosing champions to battle it out and deceit at every corner, it spells wicked fun!
Sexual Content: Teens are getting it on and BJ are the norm. Gwen doesn’t participate in any of this, but the kids are definitely frisky critters.
3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.
Paranormal Romance is pretty new for me, so I was a little shy of a series about finding soul mates. The setup for this tale is between a Lykae king (...moreParanormal Romance is pretty new for me, so I was a little shy of a series about finding soul mates. The setup for this tale is between a Lykae king (werewolf), Lachlain, who has been imprisoned by the Horde (evil vampires) to be burned a live again and again, because he's immortal. Finally escaping when he catches a sniff of his mate, Emma, who turns out to be half vampire/half Valkyrie. Then the plot thickens. Lachlain needs to take his mate to his homeland in Scotland before the next full moon. Because a Lykae without his mate on these nights will stop at nothing to get to her. Emma does not require the mate for life setup and grudgingly (forced) goes along, thinking there's a pot of jewelry at the end of this journey. All the while Valkyrie are being attacked by the Horde, and the Horde is looking for one particular Valkyrie halfbreed . . .
Emma, or Emmaline, ended up being a very refreshing character. She was timid and scared of pretty much everything. Personally, I hate weak characters, but it's really fun tagging along and watching Emma grow up and find her inner strength. Once she faces a memory of getting forcefully burned as a child, so she could learn the dangers of the sun, she's on the path to inner discovery. Her whole relationship with her Valkyrie family changes. She realizes that they've always have loved her and have treated her like one of them. Even though the majority of them have dedicated their lives to killing vampires. Emma finally finds out who her mystery dad is (which was not a surprise) and taps into her inner bad-booty Valkyrie gifts. It's fun watching her leave behind her sheltered life, even if it is because of a insane Lykae who's kidnapped her.
Lachlain was a very interesting character. He had spent 3,000 years looking for his mate, when he is captured by the Horde in a rescue attempt for his younger brother. Revenge is the only thing that keeps him going during his century of burning torture. He only accomplishes his escape when he smells his mate nearby, basically chewing off his leg to get to her. It's interesting watching Lachlain battle his insane hatred for vampires, when instinct is telling him Emma is his mate. For me, his craziness seems more like rudeness and a case of dominance/control issues. It made it really hard at times to sympathize or like him.
Even after they're mated they still need to learn to trust each other and actually progress in their relationship. Which was nice because I was afraid Emma was just going to roll over and play good little mate. Instead she got a back bone and the relationship really bonded between the two and I just fell in love with the couple.
A Hunger Like No Other is told from the points of views of Lachlain and Emma. There are some other characters who step in and give us a little perspective. Annika, Emma's adopted mother, and Bowen, Lachlain's best friend. Annika's narration really adds to the information we get on the Valkyrie clan. And let's be honest just the word Valkyrie sounds great, so any other information we get on any of these ladies are great. Bowen shows an interesting perspective on the relationship between Emma and Lachlain, and what is in store for a Lykae who looses his mate. All of the characters in this book are fantastic and I wan more, more, more! Bottom Line:
This story ended up being more complex then I could have imagined a silly PR being. All of this is accompanied by Cole's great sense of humor, and she had me laughing out loud. I love it when I book can be funny and balance the dark and gritty elements. Even though Lachlain wasn't for me, I feel in love with the couple and look forward to future books. Because honestly, I love the whole love can conquer all mentality. The other also has a great way of making the characters seem a little more real and less like mythical beings, where emotions are concerned anyway. This is a reread for me and it hasn't even been a full year since I've first read it!