What an unexpectedly amazing book! The title caught my eye, because I had just read some Norse mythology, so I picked it up hoping it would be a sillyWhat an unexpectedly amazing book! The title caught my eye, because I had just read some Norse mythology, so I picked it up hoping it would be a silly but fun read (and fearing it would be garbage). To my surprise, however, the story was epic, deep, moving, fascinating--and, yes, fun. The title, cover, and blurb on the back do not do any justice to the quality of the book, or accurately represent what it's about.
Ragnarok is approaching; the chain of events leading up to it were set in motion long ago. But Hermod, son of Odin, is worried that he's accidentally sped things up, and he doesn't really want that kind of responsibility. After all, he hasn't been to Asgard in thousands of years, and he hasn't kept in touch. Mist, meanwhile, has only been a Valkyrie for three months--since she and her sister were killed in a drive-by shooting--but she's already ready to take matters into her own hands and rescue her sister from Helheim and from Hel, the terrifying queen of the dead. Only one person has ever been to Helheim and back, and that's Hermod. Together, they just might be able to accomplish both goals...but destiny can be pretty hard to escape from.
They imagine the chain of events like a line of dominoes, and they want to figure out how to stop them all from being knocked over. So along with Mist's partner Grimnir and Hermod's dog Winston, and a few other people they meet along the way, they journey through Helheim and among the nine worlds that make up Yggdrasil, the world tree, looking for the piece to remove. But everything they do seems to topple yet another domino and bring them closer to Ragnarok.
The NorseCODE genome project is actually a great idea, and it might be fun to read a book or short story just about that, but it's only a very tiny part of this story. And that is not a complaint. The scope of this novel is so much greater than just a clever idea. Here we deal with destiny, with betrayal, with responsibility, with staying true to oneself, with love...Hel, there's a freaking apocalypse! There's also plenty of buttkicking and swords and even zombies, in the form of draugr, the shambling dead. There are also a lot of details and imagery from Norse mythology, which were done excellently. There are also some different and fascinating interpretations of aspects of some myths, which didn't detract from the originals in anyway, but made them more meaningful.
The characters in this story are mythic and legendary, but even though some of them are g-ds, they're so very human. There are many heroes, but there are also many characters that the heroes are fighting against, many of whom I would hesitate to call villians. After all, everyone already knows that Ragnarok will happen and what the result will be, and most know their own parts to play in it. If some are tired of waiting around for it, or have plans to make the best of it, does that really make them bad guys? This is one of the many interesting questions that this book raised in my mind.
I was really not expecting to like this much, but holy crap was it good. Great, actually. You have to get past the title--it's cute and clever, but it trivializes the book and it's almost completely unrelated to the plot--the cover, which is not a good representation of the epic-ness and the many heroes and POVs of the story, and the summary on the back, which is kind of misleading, and you'll find a real gem.
First line of the Prologue: "On the last true day of spring the nine world will ever know, my brother and I fly recon through the land of the g-ds. From this high up, Asgard shimmers. The shields that roof the timber halls glimmer like golden fish scales. It's all green grass and fluffy white sheep and fresh red blood. A very pretty scene." First line of Chapter One: "Only two hours into Mist's first job, things were already going badly. For one, the duct tape had come loose over the recruit's mouth, and he was screaming so loudly that Mist was sure he'd be heard through the walls of the van, even above the roar of Route 21 traffic."...more
I am absolutely LOVING this series, and this volume is no exception.
In the main mystery storyline, a lot of questions get answered--but it's ok, becauI am absolutely LOVING this series, and this volume is no exception.
In the main mystery storyline, a lot of questions get answered--but it's ok, because new themes and directions, with questions of their own, are introduced. "Fig's Adventure in Stuffytown" (is that what it was called?) opened up and hinted at interesting possibilities. And once again, the smaller stories were interesting and varied....more
This is an amazing book. I have no reservations about saying that I love it.
I was skimming the graphic novels shelf in the bookstore and this book, miThis is an amazing book. I have no reservations about saying that I love it.
I was skimming the graphic novels shelf in the bookstore and this book, mis-shelved and separated from its fellow House of Mystery volumes caught my eye because of its excellent title. Honestly, the title is worth a star all on its own. Thinking it was a standalone book, I read a bit before I realized it must be part of a series, and I wasn't lost or confused at all. I was really enjoying every aspect of it, the overarching adventure/mystery, the shorter stories within, the writing, the various styles of art...as I said, I was enjoying pretty much everything.
After reading the first volume, House of Mystery Room and Boredom, I went back to this one and I appreciated what I'd already read even more and loved the rest. The story "The War" was especially good, and I made a note that I really loved page 30. The result of the exploration of the basement was wonderfully creepy and surprising, and the little revelations either made me more anxious to get the full story or sometimes created more mystery to solve....more
Like the first two books in this series, I blew through this book at a ridiculously rapid pace. I read during every single spare second I could find,Like the first two books in this series, I blew through this book at a ridiculously rapid pace. I read during every single spare second I could find, but it would have gone fast even if I hadn't because it was such a quick read.
The setting was the deliciously creepy and literarily familiar moor, the characters, both new and old, were interesting, and the mysteries numerous and fascinating, even if I did figure some of them out before Lady Julia did.
In the end, we got some closure of long-left-open threads as well as a happy promise of new beginnings. I can't wait for the next installment....more
Although this volume is longer than the previous ones, I read it in under an hour. Probably I didn't take enough time looking at the (even more than uAlthough this volume is longer than the previous ones, I read it in under an hour. Probably I didn't take enough time looking at the (even more than usually) gorgeous art because I wanted to see the resolution of Emma and William's story, and because I was in the library. There were some times in this volume that the story skipped over what must have been days or sometimes even weeks, but then again it was rather long as it was, so maybe that was necessary. It definitely didn't confuse or very much harm the story, the way the jumps in the narrative did in Volume 5. It may seem odd--and frustrating to some readers--that their story ends at the very beginning of their life together, but I think that's a nice way of letting us picture our own happily ever after.
After reading this volume, and mostly after seeing the art, I definitely intend to buy it. I want to admire it at much greater length.
I LOVED the geek talk that Andrew submits Buffy to to an unheard of (and unheard--I think my squeals of delight were in too high a register for humanI LOVED the geek talk that Andrew submits Buffy to to an unheard of (and unheard--I think my squeals of delight were in too high a register for human auditory reception) degree. And I got all of the references, to my simultaneous embarrassment and pride. The Harmony stories weren't as interesting, but the geek page more than made up for any lows this collection may have had....more
The story gets dark(er) and eventful in this volume, as William tries to sort out his affairs to make room for Emma, who has to deal with being a objeThe story gets dark(er) and eventful in this volume, as William tries to sort out his affairs to make room for Emma, who has to deal with being a object of curiosity at home and of anger from the powerful Campbell family in London. The opening chapter, separate from the main storyline, begins an interesting discussion about The Prisoner of Zenda.
I loved this book. It's a well written and interesting story of great quests, of forbidden love, of magic, of medieval Iceland, and of people who don'I loved this book. It's a well written and interesting story of great quests, of forbidden love, of magic, of medieval Iceland, and of people who don't even know how lonely they are until they find each other. I found this enjoyable and easy to read, and the story was entertaining, moving, and satisfying.
Ice Land tells a few intertwining stories from different points of view, all of which eventually end up as one story, taking place in Iceland in AD 1000, when the people and the culture of the land were in the middle of a great change. The heroine and narrator is the Norse g-ddess Freya, who goes on a quest for a magical necklace that she hopes will allow her to save her people and her land from the danger she feels is coming. Fulla is a beautiful young girl whose grandfather is desperate to arrange an advantageous marriage for her, although she longs to marry for love. Dvalin is trying to help his sister--even though doing what she asks of him means a perilous journey to face what he dreads--and trying to find peace and enjoyment in the life he has half chosen and half been forced into. Meanwhile, Mount Hekla in southern Iceland is rumbling...
The alternative points of view did jar me at first, especially because one of them, Freya's, is a first person narration, while the others are the odd combination of third person and present tense. But I quickly got used to it, and it was no problem. The writing is very good and clear and the dialogue is modern and understandable without being so undeniably current that it takes you out of the story. There are interesting and sympathetic characters with depth, good characterization, and realistic and understandable motivations. The setting of the scene is done well; the story truly felt like it took place in the past and I could easily picture the Iceland in which these people lived.
Ice Land is a great and different take on a Norse myth, with much more depth, detail, passion, interest, and humanity than the surviving story (reading it made me get out a book of Norse mythology to compare). It's also a great look at life in medieval Iceland at a time when the old religion and Christianity were facing off, an exciting fantasy adventure story, and a very satisfying love story. ...more
Really, really funny. For me, it was laugh out loud funny at some points (and I was reading it in the bookstore, so I was hyper-aware of that). I enjoReally, really funny. For me, it was laugh out loud funny at some points (and I was reading it in the bookstore, so I was hyper-aware of that). I enjoyed the first two volumes, but this one I really loved. This volume finally felt like part the TV show....more