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(The Wyrd #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  331 ratings  ·  109 reviews
At the intersection of the magical and the mundane, Alis Franklin’s thrilling debut novel reimagines mythology for a modern world—where gods and mortals walk side by side.
Working in low-level IT support for a company that’s the toast of the tech world, Sigmund Sussman finds himself content, if not particularly inspired. As compensation for telling people to restart thei
ebook, 308 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Hydra (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Julio Genao
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
some of this was lots of fun, but most of it wasn't for me.

didn't think the horror elements were all that well-done; lots of stupid-people-doing-things-stupidly (seriously, dad? seriously?) and lots of gross things that aren't really all that genuinely terrifying, just... gross. felt gratuitous.

the beginning is portentous and BEHOLD THE APOCALYPSE COMMENCES but then the focus shifts to an IT dork in his underwear frowning at his slacks.

which is an approximation of this book's tone issues in gene
K.J. Charles
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oooh, I enjoyed this hugely. Delightful non-traditional protagonist in Sigmund, excellent worldbuilding, a really twisty plot (all the points for the reveal of the villain). Great use of the Norse myths and a strong idea underpinning it which pulls together what seems to be niggles and inconsistencies very cleverly. A rather lovely romance too, nicely suited to Loki's mythological character.

Lain/Loki is more of an action hero than a twisty thinker, which is very true to the original stories, wh
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to admit I have a weakness for a certain kind of main character. All the stories with main characters that start off big, bad, and kick ass are fine. They make sense in a certain context, but I've always found it boring, and anti-climatic to read about someone who you're pretty sure is going to triumph over whatever the plot throws at them.


I also understand the books about people who long for adventure, and
This isn’t going to be much of a review, because I can’t say much without ruining the plot. All I can say that even with the twist at the end it wasn’t enough. I thought it was going to be sharper, wittier than what it was. Yeah that is my problem not the books, but its how I feel.
There were some fun parts, the writing was well done, but overall it just wasn’t enough for me.
Karen Wellsbury
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Another review that didn't make it

There were so many things that were great about this book.

First the clever premise, that Loki the shape shifter, has for Reasons been living in Australia doing various things in IT. Norse mythology woven into the mundane worked fantastically well for me.

Sig, a wholly believable character, a man, with doubts about his masculinity in all aspects, black Jewish and slightly overweight, a sense of lies and a man who cannot tell a lie himself. His relationship with hi
Alis Franklin
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
So... yup! This is my book. Obviously I think it's pretty awesome, and I had a blast writing it.

Liesmith contains some of my very most favourite things in the entire world, including Norse mythology and geek/tech culture. I wrote it over the period of... a long time. Too long, probably; the original drafts for certain chapters (the intro, the middle scenes at the Sussmans', and the ending) date back to my university days, circa '04. The main bulk of this version was written for NaNoWriMo in '09
I am DNFing at roughly 40% and it's totally me, not the book.
Gender games & fluidity is not my kink to begin with, but this book messed it up for me even further.
Otherwise, a little nutty, but ok enough to enjoy, if you get past some editorial funnies (another fine mess).
I might, or might not pick it up again.
Ije the Devourer of Books
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this Urban Fantasy novel which has gay and minority ethnic characters who don't meet an untimely end or endure lots of angst and heartache. These characters are involved in action, battles and lots of peculiar creatures, dimensions etc etc

Sigmund is a twenty year old nerd. He is a computer geek, plump, lives with his Dad and lives for his computer games, and dungeons and dragons. He has two close friends who are girls and just as nerdy as him and life although mundane is general
Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed a lot of things in this book but the Norse mythology was too much for me and a few things left baffled in the end.

Full review also posted on my blog -

This is a rather unusual read for me, a queer urban fantasy, which I picked up after a recommendation from a friend.

I liked a lot of things in the story and enjoyed reading most of it but at some point I felt lost in the the complexity of the Norse mythology which was presented in overwhelming detai
Well, that was one hel of a book. Liked it, though usually I don't like horror and there is quite a bit of that in this book. Then again, kudos to the author to make me interested enough to flit through the bits that made me more than a little uneasy. I kept telling myself "You've went through more than one Buffy marathon, so hell dimensions shouldn't bother you. Right?


only they did but I kept on reading anyway.

So, personally I could have done with a little bit less of the questing and th
Jordan Hawk
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Queer romance. Norse mythology. Sympathetic monsters. Beautiful writing. A protagonist of color.

I'd love to go on and on about what I loved about this book, but I honestly can't without giving away things you'd be far better off discovering yourself. The first paragraph above will either turn you off or have you chomping at the bit. If the latter, then you want to read this book. Seriously.

Loved it.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I received a free copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. However, at the time, it was an ARC, so some things may have changed.)

This is an extremely frustrating book to rate, because I cannot decide whether I actually liked it, or only liked parts of it, with the rest being OK, and nothing more. I’ve mulled over this for some time (since the previous evening, in fact, which is when I finished reading the book), and I haven’t come closer to a conclusion.

What I liked:

- The use o
It can be awkward, being a modern day Heathen reading someone else's ideas of your Gods. Most of the time the interpretations of my Goddess, Sigyn, are so offensive that I drop the book in a rage and never touch it again. (Touch of Frost, anyone?)

Initially I overlooked Liesmith because I didn't want to read yet another novel where Loki has a mortal lover and the book completely ignores his actual wife. However, I stumbled across an interview the author did that talked specifically of Sigyn, and
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was ok

Ok, first thing you need to know about Liesmith: Book 1 of The Wyrd is that it's "queer modern version of the saga".
So, what does that exactly mean in this book?
It's a modern take on Loki and Sigyn.
Story is set in present time,in Pandemonium, Australia. Loki, the Trickster god is residing here under the cover of Travis Hale, being a businessman and good at it. At one office party he falls in love with Sigmund, a nerdy and awkward guy. Loki left some angry gods behind him, and when they get info
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Above all else this book was a lot of fun. It's basically Loki exiled in Australia running a tech company, and one of his lowly (male) IT workers has the reincarnated soul of his dead wife, and that's the kind of set up that you're either going to think sounds awesome or.... not so much.

The prose is snappy and fun, and Loki's character was fantastic. But Sigmund (aka dead wife IT man) was kinda bland. I get that the fact that he wasn't anything special was a plot point, but it seemed like Loki/L
Sadie Forsythe
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this was quite clever. That alone would be enough for me. But paired with how darned CUTE Sigmund was, makes it's a real winner for me. I just wanted to grab all his über-geeky, low self-esteem (what he would call realistic self-appraisal), hipster envy, good boyness and hug it and love it and call it George. I adored him. Plus, he's a not a cookie-cutter, Ken-shaped, white main character. He's plump and dark. Maybe with some Maori ancestry, but that's never clarified. I loved it, ...more
Wart Hill
Mar 16, 2015 marked it as gave-up
Shelves: netgalley, arc2014
Not liking the style. Can't get into it.
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer, urban-fantasy
Sigmund Sussman is your stereotypical nerd. At twenty-two, he still lives at home. When not working tech-support, he plays games – handheld, console and MMOs. He has a Dungeons and Dragons group and the walls of his bedroom are papered with Star Wars posters and pictures of dragons. He’s a bit plain, a bit overweight, wears glasses and is still a virgin. So, perhaps no one is more surprised than Sigmund when the new guy in IT, the painfully hip and casually gorgeous Lain Laufeyjarson flirts with ...more
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely loved this book! To be perfectly honest I didn't know much about it before I started reading it. But I was so glad I did! I think initially the cover put me off, to me it doesn't really relate to the story. I guess the man on the cover is supposed to be Sigmund, and there is a spear involved, but it doesn't have the right 'feel'. Maybe it's just me. But I was sure pleasantly surprised when I started reading!

I fou
Dec 07, 2014 marked it as d-n-f
DNF @ 46% - may try again at a later date?

This hovered somewhere between a 3 and a 4 for the majority of the read so far.

This is something really different - I initially loved that this was so different. But then after a while, something about the style just didn't quite work for me and I really wasn't feeling the "romance" aspect at all. Although I did really quite like the characters - the way that everything was quite confusing and the mystery was unfolding as you went along appealed to me.

Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 4-star
This was fun. I loved the concept of an ancient god living in the mortal world and falling for a slightly schlubby, insecure nerd. It dragged a bit when they're dealing with the Helbleed, but then I never like the action bits in action movies. Looking forward to book two.

Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
NOTE: I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I have also subsequently purchased a copy.


Liesmith is Australian author Alis Franklin’s debut novel. It is the first book in the urban fantasy series, The Wyrd. Two more books in the series are forthcoming.

Let’s get one thing up front: I make no secret of the fact that I am really, really burned out on a lot of what passes for urban fantasy these days. I am tired of love triangles and of seeing character
Adrian Fridge
Aug 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay, fantasy
I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I picked this up expecting romance and Norse mythology. I didn't expect the horror elements, but they worked out fine. I also liked the diverse cast and the adorable pairing of Sigmund and Lain. What threw me off were the minor details that added up into clusters of annoyance.

Okay, let's start with the positives. Sigmund is a bundle of geekiness wrapped in layers of dorky awkwardness, and I relate to that so hard. He's brown skinn
Reviewed at The Blogger Girls.

Holy smokes! What in the world did I just read?! First things first, if you don’t like Norse mythology or reading about Gods and Goddesses, reincarnation or just don’t like reading books that have a lot of foreign names that has A LOT of depth to the world, then this is not the book for you.

HOWEVER, if those things intrigue you then this book IS for you! So much happens in this story that it is really hard to describe so I’m just going to leave it up to the blurb to
4.5* Review written for Love Bytes Reviews.

Sigmund Sussman is about as average an individual as you can get. Working in the IT department at the same company as his father, he still lives at home and his greatest aspirations include playing games with his friends and managing to dodge the latest company get together. When Sigmund is chosen to show a new hire by the name of Lain Laufeyjarson the ropes, he’s slightly annoyed but resigned to the invasion of his private corner of the office and Lain
Liv Rancourt
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was so much fun! As soon as I finished I posted about it on one of my Facebook group pages, encouraging others to read it. The story is a mash-up of urban fantasy, geek culture, queer romance, Norse mythology, and Australia. So different, and so much to like!

Sigmund works in IT for a Microsoft-esque tech company. The main virtue to his job it is gives him and his friends the time and the means to play around with developing an RPG. A new guy, Lain, gets assigned to the next desk, and d
Stefanie Waring
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to come right out and admit that I fell in love with this book and the characters, though I will note that it wasn't immediate. It took a little while to get used to Alis Franklin's writing style and there was some mild confusion over who was the narrator, plus the jumps between tenses.

That being said, once I adjusted, it was a fun ride from beginning to end. Lain is hilarious and Sigmund is adorable, and I very much appreciate books about queer characters, especially queer characters
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was first drawn to LIESMITH by the cover. You don't see many black guys on the cover of urban fantasy novels. Then there was the blurb, which promised Norse mythology meets IT. That made me think of the SpellCrash series by Kelly McCullough, which I love.

Alis Franklin's debut novel is about Sigmund Sussman, a low-level IT nerd who just humiliated himself by not recognizing his boss when he meets Lain Laufeyjarson, the new guy in the department. The two hit it off, leading Sigmund to question h
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Urban fantasy fans, folks who liked Loki in the Avengers, LGBTQ fans
I have to admit, when I first read the blurb for LIESMITH I was worried that the book might devolve into some fanfic-worthy slash, but this is a solid urban fantasy where the two main characters just happen to be queer. Folks who loved the Avengers movie and folks who love to game (as in board or D&D games) will easily relate to our non-traditional protagonist Sigmund, who is designing his own video game and is taken aback, but not too much, when he finds out that his huh-I-guess-I-like-guys boy ...more
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Alis Franklin is a thirtysomething Australian author of queer urban fantasy. She likes cooking, video games, Norse mythology, and feathered dinosaurs. She’s never seen a live drop bear, but stays away from tall trees, just in case.

Other books in the series

The Wyrd (2 books)
  • Stormbringer (The Wyrd, #2)

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