Freya Holm is smart, quick-witted, and an Alva—a paranormal species with the ability to fly. In a bid for a normal life outside of family expectations, she moved across the country. But within a few days of arriving in a small California town, she finds herself fighting over the last bag of lentils with an attractive but ill-tempered werewolf named David.
David Waterstone is desperate for normal, too. Recently banished from his pack, he finds himself struggling to stay sane. The presence of another supernatural power in his new town, especially one as inquisitive and lively as Freya, makes his struggle even harder.
When their new city gets besieged by an insane supernatural with a passion for Dante’s Inferno, Freya’s family sends in one of her old schoolmates. Alrik Isaksson has long been in love with Freya, but she can’t see beyond their hurtful history. Despite the tension, David, Alrik, and Freya must work together and use their intellect, supernatural powers, and sense of humor to survive the layers of Hell being created in their town by a maniac with a passion for literature.
Sonja Bair never expected to be an author. As long as she can remember she has created stories in her head, but as far as writing a book- that was something only to be done by Professional Authors. Yet one day she found herself writing, then writing some more. And about a year later, much to her surprise, she had written a book.
When not writing books, Sonja is a mother to two beautiful daughters, wife to a wonderful man, and a high school science teacher. She lives in gorgeous San Luis Obispo and drives a 1984 AMC Eagle. The Eagle, she would like to note, was purchased for her by her husband after it made its appearance in the book. He jokingly put a ridiculously low bid on the car on Ebay, but a day later found himself the proud new owner of an Eagle. History will vindicate Sonja's love of her classic car.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
Freya's Inferno was a fun and enjoyable read. The reasons why I decided I had to read it? The lentil encounter mentioned in the blurb. Lucky for me the book actually started with that scene and it was a great starting scene. Freya's Inferno is filled with dry humor and fun plot and quirky characters. And while I enjoyed it, I just never felt fully connected to it. Like there was something missing, but there isn't any flaw in the story I can really point out as the cause. When I was reading I enjoyed the book,but I had no trouble putting it down and once I put the book down i didn't think of it or was in a hurry to get back. It just kinda left me indifferent when I wasn't reading, which is weird as like I said I can't really point out any flaws in the story.
The pace was a bit slow, but it never got boring. Beside the supernatural storyline we also get a feel of Freya her daily life and teacher job. I liked to see the supernatural and daily life side next to each other and it's one of the reasons I love urban fantasy as it has both. The author certainly managed to combine these two nicely. Then there is the writing style, while the story flowed well, there were some points where I felt like the writing was just a tiny bit off or like the author still has to mature her writing style a bit.
The story focusses on a supernatural who turns crazy and is throwing the layers of hell from Dante's Inferno at the town. I won't say anymore as not to spoil anything, but it all makes sense why that town and how it happens in the book. I haven't read Dante's Infenro, but again I didn't feel like I missed anything as everything you need to know about it is explained in the story. Then there is a side plot about David his old werewolf pack, but that's more of a subplot. There's enough going on and problems to focus on. The ending felt a bit anti climactic to me, everything got solved and the werewolf issue was solved a bit too easily and there was a weird thing with the mental powers which was just weird. Then the lose plot ends are tied up and then in the middle of the scene the book ends.
The characters are well done, although again here was my issue that I never really connected with them. Freya the main character is a down to earth character, who has a dry sense of humor and can crack at a joke in any situation. I liked her and she was a great main character. I just wanted to connect more emotionally with her, she goes through a lot and while we are told she does feel things, I never really felt it. I like how Freya goes out to help other people and while this means she lands in dangerous situations she does try to be careful. Then there are the other characters who knowing this thinks she needs a body guard and ofcourse she tries to prove them wrong and then lands herself in trouble, while proving them right instead. That was a bit frustrating, although I did feel like she wasn't intentionally seeking out the danger, like is mentioned at the end of the book she wants to help people and that often leads her into dangerous situations.
Beside Freya we have a nice casts of side characters, we get to know all of them a little bit, but I still felt like most characters stayed pretty flat. they were likeable, but I never really felt like I knew them or connected with them.
Then there is the romance, in the blurb it is hinted towards romance and a love triangle, but this is very mild. the focus is more on the story and the mystery and not on the romance. Freya meets David in this book and he shows his interest in her. Then Alrik comes to visit to help with the supernatural mess and he also expresses his interest in her. Freya doesn't really seem to care about the two hot man throwing themselves after her and focusses on the problem at hand. On one hand I liked how Freya stayed focussed on the task at hand, but on the other hand I wanted to know how she felt and who she liked or not. And how she felt about both guys. David and Alrik basically have a pissing contest over a girl who doesn't show she's interested in either of them. There are a few kisses, but beside that, there isn't much in the sense of the romance developing. It feels more like the pieces are set up in this book and it will develop more in the next books.
The world building is pretty original with the orginal types of supernaturals. Like the Alva, which Freya is, who can fly and have bat like wings. Then there are the Sun and Moon people, who are a really original type of supernatural where a couple is basically a real life Ying and Yang who balance each other, but can also literally give the other their strength and such. It was fascinating and I actually would love to read a book about a sun and moon people couple. I really liked these original types and there are hints of many different supernaturals out there. So that is one things I liked. On the other hand I felt like there wasn't really much time to explain and explore how they all worked. half way though the book the mental powers of Alva are suddenly thrown at the reader and it seems very random which mental powers who has and it was just weird and didn't make much sense to me. Then there is the werewolf "magic", which was original and a little bit weird at the same time. And I would've liked a bit more focus or explanation about that all. Then there is a paranormal council, but again I would've liked a bit more information. I did really like the concept though, it's a bit different from other books and I am curious to learn more about the supernaturals and the council in the next book.
To conclude: Freya's Inferno was an enjoyable read. The story was filled with original supernatural types, quirky characters and dry humor. My main issue was that I didn't really felt connected to the story, I never had that keep reading feel and once I put it down it was out of my mind. The pace was a bit slow in some places and the writing style was a bit off at times, but beside that there isn't really anything I can point to as cause of that feeling. I also didn't really care about the characters, even though I did like them. There is some set up for romance and a love triangle, but it only plays a small part in this book. And Freya rather focusses on the problem at hand as on the two males who want her attention. The World building was original, although I would've liked a bit more building at times, there is hinted at a lot and some mental powers that suddenly come from thin air halfway in the book and some parts just didn't fully connect or made sense. All in all is Freya's Inferno a fun start of the series and while I didn't fully cared or connected with the story, I am interested enough to continue the series.
Freya’s Inferno was a fun read with a unique premise. The book was well-written, the prose professional, and each scene flowed logically into the next. The characters were interesting and fleshed out, and I enjoyed Freya’s heart and dry wit. I loved that she was a science teacher, and being a science/math geek myself, I appreciated the bad science/math jokes. :)
I really liked the way Dante’s Inferno was used as a plot device. The world building was imaginative and worked well in the modern setting. The scenes were described with just the right amount of detail to make the story easy to visualize without bogging down the flow of the narrative.
I’m not a fan of love triangles. It’s a plot device that I feel makes a character seem indecisive and weak. However, I didn’t get that vibe here. Freya seems almost indifferent to the two men who are interested in her. I couldn’t decide if this was an aspect of Freya’s personality, or if the story needed to take us a little deeper into Freya’s thoughts. At times, it felt like the story would roll into the next scene without giving Freya a moment to reflect on what just happened. But this is just my take and other readers may not feel that way.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. It flowed well, the premise was unique, and the characters intriguing. The story did what every first book in a series should do: it left me wanting more. I will certainly be reading the next book.
I received a copy of this book directly from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I have mixed feelings about Freya's Inferno by Sonja Bair. The book started strong. I loved the humor of the main character fighting over a bag of lentils with a werewolf. The writing was clear, fairly easy to follow, and didn't contain a lot of errors. I wasn't drawn to the story or the world-building in particular and didn't have the feeling of "I can't put this down!", but it was going all right. I got to nearly the very end of the book over a matter of two days… but then I set it aside for an evening and never picked it back up. A week later, I'd forgotten I'd even read it. I picked it up again and was confused when I read about the bag of lentils at the beginning, and thought... "wait… have I read this?"
There wasn't anything overtly wrong with the book - and if you look at other reviews, you'll see a lot of glowing ones… I just wasn't engaged. It was all right, but not great. So, I'm chalking this one up to "maybe it just wasn't for me." Because I can't point out anything specific that bothered me about it other than it just didn't capture my attention. If you like urban fantasy stories, I'd recommend you give it a try. You might enjoy it more than I did.
Freya’ s Inferno, the first book in Sonja Bair’s Winging It series (can I just say how awesome a name that is for a series? I do love a good play on words), is a book that pleased me for so many reasons.
First and foremost, Freya is the narrator and that is truly a blessing. The narration is in first person and this really allows a reader to become acquainted with Freya on a more intimate level. We hear each and every one of her thoughts and her sarcastic, mischievous and witty personality are conveyed in a way that I’ve never seen so successfully executed before in a novel. It’s almost as though Freya is talking directly to us, the readers, and it evokes a feeling of kinship. I didn’t see Freya as simply a fictional character; I saw her more as a friend, telling me about her day (and man, what a day). Sonja has successfully crafted a believable, three-dimensional character who a reader can both relate to and care about.
Furthermore, Freya is a character who values her sense of self-worth. There’s an incredibly uninhibited section of narration where Freya is simultaneously talking about herself and addressing the reader. She speaks about the incredible odds that were defied in the creation of her, Freya Holm – “Now, out of my mother’s millions of eggs and father’s quadrillions of sperm, the two sex cells that happened to be me combined. Damn, those are ridiculous odds. I, like every other human being on the planet, won the lottery of all lotteries just to be born. I’m going to celebrate – I’m going to be proud to be alive and to be me. And most of all, I’m going to not try to be someone I’m not. That would be a slap in the face of the ridiculously high odds that created me.” Being someone she’s not would entail accepting the roles being forced upon her at this point in the book: a co-Alpha (werewolf politics are confusing as hell), a denizen of hell, an employee at the USN, a mate and a girlfriend. Freya is strong enough and respects herself enough to understand that it’s okay to not live up to the expectations of those around her. Freya states that she “would not be forced into a position that didn’t fit” and states that it’s “too bad” if she inadvertently creates chaos and ambiguity for those who want her to embrace these roles with open arms. In a world that is constantly telling us who and what we should be, Freya assures us it’s okay to go our own way *starts singing Fleetwood Mac*
I really enjoyed the dual elements of the plot too. Freya faces multiple threats and challenges throughout the novel; there’s the whole situation with Jia and her highly dangerous fixation with both Dante’s Inferno and Freya and then there’s the threat of David’s former pack Alphas, Maria and Robert, breathing down their necks. In no way is the plot simple. Instead, it’s excitingly chaotic and is layered with all the key components that generate the perfect story, from heart-stopping moments of poignant insight into the human psyche to moments of comedic relief that had me laughing out loud.
Eagerly awaiting the next installment in the Winging It series! I’m curious to see how Freya and Alrik’s relationship will change following Alrik’s revelation and I’m excited to catch up with David and his new-found pack.
3.5 stars. I loved the characters and Freya's lighthearted voice at the beginning. But the tone of the story stayed far too light for the subject matter, and too much was told to the reader instead of being actively shown to us. Also, a number of the supernaturals' powers felt like they'd been added to the mix without deep thought about how those powers linked to each race's innate characteristics.
I've read enough fantasy that I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of new entrants into the supernatural realm. I was also pleased with the author's sly sense of humor. I suppose this might be YA or NA, given that it's about a young woman, but I wouldn't have thought to class it as such until I saw a question about that.
Freya’s Inferno by Sonja Bair was an exceptionally fun read. Much like a TV series waiting to be renewed, this book ends with manageable cliffhangers to entice you into the second installment without berating you to continue reading. The spice of the characters and unique supernatural species makes this book a winner for me.
First and foremost, Freya is the bee’s knees. Written in first person perspective, we receive the bulk of her attitude. She is a fiery little bird whose kindness is infinite, but has to have the last, quirky word in the discussion. Example: Someone states that werewolves are dangerous, blah blah blah. And concludes by saying that they’re not “oversized lap dogs.” She replies, “But he curls up so nicely on my lap when we’re watching television together!” She is someone I instantly connected with, laughed at, and rooted for. I truly enjoyed Freya and would stay for her even if this book was rubbish (which it’s not).
I thoroughly adore supernatural books, but there is a limit to how many slight variations I can take on werewolves and vampires. This book instead focuses on the supernatural community as a whole through the prospective of a character whom can grow wings (not of the feathered bird variety, mind you). It’s certainly different as we brush through key points of this world. This can irk some, but leaves others, like myself, wanting. I see novellas in the future recounting some of the stories mentioned in the book that have previously been concluded. The political aspect and uniqueness of the species talked about, fought against, and worked with, especially caught my attention.
Freya’s Inferno is also layered, like really layered. Let me break down this sandwich of subplots for you: our bread slices are developing romantic relationships – one old, one new, whereas our meat is understanding the supernatural world we’ve been submerged in. We have a parallel literature reference that acts as our hot little onion (unnecessary, but grateful to have), our lettuce is battling the new romance’s past, our tomato is battling a homicidal person, and finally, douse the sandwich in condiments of Freya’s history in supernatural politics. It is a mouthful of a book. It wasn’t perfectly executed for reason I can’t fully articulate, but I did at one point think with bulging eyes, “Wait. There is another layer to this story!” However, I was never confused and was given the information at a pace that was neither condescendingly slow nor too fast to keep up with.
I read this book with minimal analyzing; I did not regard the title, cover art, or synopsis. I picked this up with general interest and paced myself through the gloriously dry humor. It was an easy read, but I wasn't dying to finish it, until the end. Then I devoured it. I didn’t even have time to make prediction (something I enjoy doing). I am now waiting on the second course. I look forward to the next sandwich… book.
*I received this free in exchange for an honest review*
Fun, funny, more than a little strange but good plot, good characters and without graphic sex as well. The missing words in more than a few places are annoying but meaning can be inferred so not too much interruption in the narrative.
You know what I love..?? A strong female character named Freya who has wings and a dry sense of humor. Throw in two hot guys (one is a werewolf I love werewolves) and you got yourself a great New Adult (NA) novel! I thought the premise of this story about a small town with a few supernaturals (supe) getting taken over by a crazy supe trying to turn it into hell was good. This kept the pace of the book flowing for me, so the pace wasn't fast nor boring. The mystery is the main focus of the story which I enjoyed. The two hot guys express their interest for Freya, but she is more intrigued by the issue the town is caught up in. I liked this aspect of Freya she isn't some silly female captivated by the men in her life so she is able to puts the important things first. However, my issue with Freya was the fact that she wanted to prove herself strong and would end up in situations where she needed help. You can still be strong woman and get help from a man, if you are on a mission to prove yourself strong you are going to make yourself look like a fool and get stuck in bad situations. Other than that aspect the read was enjoyable. I liked the world built, characters, and supernatural aspects of this story. Was this an addictive read that will keep me anxiously waiting for the next book... no, but it was a good read with a nice ending. Due to these factors I loved the read it wasn't addicting but it was still a well written book! I will probably pick up the second book if it comes out to see how the characters progress and to get lost in another mystery that will turn their world upside down if they do not solve it. I recommend to anyone who wants a quick enjoyable read, especially if you love NA, paranormal, and mystery books! If you want to read more book reviews and to enter great giveaways click this!
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
I loved this book! It was fun plus it had enough mystery and action to keep me turning the pages. Freya is such a strong female lead character and I kind of want to be her best friend. I can't wait to see what happens with these characters and really hope the author is planning a second book... I want to know who Freya is going to end up with. I personally wouldn't be able to decide, either - at times I felt like she would be better with David as I didn't like how Alrik was bossy, but then Alrik was so sweet that I would then change my mind. I am so grateful to have been introduced into this author's writing and will definitely be looking out for more of her books.
In case you couldn't tell, I would highly recommend this book to everyone.
This is a good supernatural read. I enjoyed learning about the different species and creatures and found that very refreshing. Bair has talent with creating interesting beings.
What I really loved about this novel was the protagonist, Freya. Her humour was very fun! At first, I will admit, she seemed unlike someone I could relate to, but as the plot progressed I came to like her more and more.
The book really starts to pick up about a third of the way into the plot, so I found the pacing a little challenging.
My main constructive criticism lies in some of the plot devices. Sometimes one character will ask a question and conveniently the other replies with all the answers. I found that a bit jarring but otherwise the book is well written.
This is an amazing novel by the wonderful Sonja Bair. A character you'll never get tired of - Freya is witty, clever, fun-loving, and a beast of a woman at her core. No matter your style, this is an entertaining read you won't want to put down! When's the second one coming out!? -Chelsea