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Timothy Brennan is seventeen and miserable; life unravels by the day. Driven to the brink of suicide, a fae creature intervenes and together, they discover there is more to Timothy than anyone knew.

Learning that his mother’s death was murder, he begins a journey of revenge. The teen must now decide what to do about his new world before those who want to destroy the old ways find him… and kill him. If he can stay alive, Timothy may well be the key to restoring the lost realm of Alfheim.

352 pages, Paperback

First published April 26, 2016

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About the author

Gary A. Nilsen

3 books27 followers
Gary A. Nilsen is a writer and a blogger. His former career as a financial professional spanned nearly four decades. He lived in Saudi Arabia for five years, helped on the initial excavation of a 1500-year-old shipwreck off the coast of Africa in the Red Sea, and has lectured on underwater archaeology and novel writing. He earned his MFA in Fiction with Southern New Hampshire University and currently resides with his girlfriend, Nancy, and their two Old English Sheepdogs, Nana and Harry.

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5 stars
19 (70%)
4 stars
7 (25%)
3 stars
1 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
May 21, 2016
Okay, time to be honest; this book was meh for me. I mean Elves and fairies- blargh.
HAHA…okay I can’t keep that going. This book was FANTASTIC! I enjoyed every second of it! I LOVE Elves, I love fantasy novels with Elves – I even enjoy the ones with nice fairies (as opposed to the mean suckers they are supposedly). So to review…I loved this book.
Alfheim really flows smoothly, and all of the good characters are likable. The bad characters, well I dis-liked them merely on principle; I felt that they just weren’t in the story for very long. Well I mean that they didn’t show up very often. Except for Timothy’s Uncle, who I hated (The end of this sentence contains a SPOILER) before I even knew he really was evil; what an A-Hole!
This book does read really smoothly; it is not difficult to find yourself immersed in the world and rooting for Timothy – who, I believe, handled the whole thing rather believably for a sixteen year old boy. I felt though that it didn’t have enough substance. It was merely a tale of Timothy coming to terms with his new world and destiny. I would have like some more world building. For me, world building is quintessential for Fantasy novels, it WILL make or break the story! As this is the first story in this series, I don’t hold it against the author…I just hope that it will be in the second novel; for which I will be gobbling up as soon as it comes out.
The few twists in the story were beautiful and tragic and I absolutely NEED to know what happens next! My thanks to Mr. Nelson for giving me another book to fangirl over!

I received this novel from the author through Booktasters (https://twitter.com/BookTasters) for free in exchange for an honest review.
Happy Reading
Profile Image for emily.
107 reviews
May 18, 2016
Alfheim is about teenage boy, Timothy Brennan, who hasn't exactly gotten a fair shake at life. With a deceased mother and drunken uncle, Timothy isn't expecting to find out that he is someone special. He meets a fae, an ancient species from Ireland. Timothy wants to find whoever is responsible for the death of his mother and make them pay for it. To do that, he must reopen the world of Alfheim.

Alfheim is so awesome! I really enjoyed this particular urban fantasy. I like the story line. It has a whole bunch of tales and folklore thrown in which makes it work! I loved the role of the fae, Aenya, she is such a powerful figure in this book!

Timothy's life was tragic, I could feel his emotions. So, I'm super happy that he gets to go on this adventure to the "lost" world. I mean come on, that's pretty cool! Alfheim had a fast-paced feeling which helped the fact that there was a lot of backstory and information.

I would definitely recommend all YA readers to give this a book a try. Alfheim is a great urban fantasy novel! Mr. Nilsen did a great job! Five stars!
Profile Image for Sage Adderley.
Author 3 books84 followers
May 5, 2016
I am usually not a fan of teenage boy characters in YA books, because they are either too whiny or too macho, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that I really liked Timothy. He has had to deal with more than any person should. Mental health issues, a jerk uncle, and the sudden death of his mother.

I enjoyed the fae world that the author has created. Aenya is awesome. I love her strength and passion. She is a wonderful companion to Timothy, introducing him to the forests of Ireland, the fellow fairies and elves, and most importantly, his role in this not-so-new life. Brace yourselves for the ending. Thank goodness there is a book two coming.
May 11, 2016
An epic fantasy adventure. Timothy Brennan is a bullied loner who lives with his abusive uncle in New Hampshire. He is bullied at school because he has what has been diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) though it sounds more like Tourette’s syndrome. Instead of an inability to sit still the disease causes him to twitch uncontrollably. After a terrible day at school Timothy goes home and begs Uncle Jim for medication. Jim’s cruel refusal sparks another attack which somehow breaks a glass and moves Timothy’s desk. All this plus the previous loss of his mother and the rejection of the girl he idolizes drives Timothy to the edge and he throws himself into the river.
Aenya saves Timothy from the river and nurses him back to health. She is a fairy or Sidhe who has lived alone in the wilderness since the death of her father in the American Civil War. After seeing Timothy heal a bird, she has been watching him, even going so far as to enroll in his school. While Aenya is explaining Timothy’s elven heritage, and trying to talk him into return to school, they are attacked and forced to flee.
The story follows Timothy’s journey to Sidhlin. There he learns that he is the first seventh son of a seventh son born since Arthur, as well as a direct descendant of Aylwen. The Elves believe this lineage makes it his destiny to re-found Alfheim. His main opposition is Cadwaladr who wants to re-forge Alfheim in his own image and then go conquer the humans. As Timothy fights Cadwaladr’s forces, who include his uncle, and learns the extent of his own powers he becomes a leader.
Gary Nilsen’s Alfheim is reminiscent of genre greats like Tamora Peirce’s Circle of Magic series. Nilsen’s novel hooks the reader on the first line and doesn’t let go. He leaves you waiting in breathless suspense for his next book. Timothy reminds this reader of Merlin from the Young Merlin series. Nilsen blends Arthurian myth with his own world building to create a unique view of the fey. This is an author to expect great things from.
Profile Image for Jessica Bronder.
2,015 reviews23 followers
May 1, 2016
Timothy has recently lost his mother and is living with his horrible uncle. He has several issues that make him one of the main targets for bullying at school. One day he has enough and decides to try and kill himself. Thankfully Aenya was there to save him. She is fae and recognized Timothy. Together they learn that he is the seventh son of a seventh son and very powerful. They return to Ireland where Timothy meets his Grandmother and learns that he may be the one to restore Alfheim. But it’s not going to be easy, his uncle and others want to use him to help them rule the world.

I really liked this story. Poor Timothy is just having such a hard time and even when he learns the truth yet he still doubts himself. He does have to fight his hatred for his uncle but he is such wonderful person that the good in him will win. I loved watching him grow thorugh the story. Although he has doubts seeing how others are stepping up with their own fears helps him to keep fighting.

This is a great young adult story that will appeal to everyone. I can’t wait to read more from Gary Nilsen.

I received Alfheim for free from Sage’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.
1 review
April 26, 2016
For anyone 13 to 90 years old who enjoys young adult fantasy fiction (think Hunger Games or Twilight) Alfheim reads like a story you’d hear if Harry Potter met Lord of the Rings; this is a must-read! It draws you into Irish/Celtic folklore and turns it upside down with fantastic twists and turns. It has honor, betrayal, faith, love, and loss; it’s a true page-turner. And, you won't believe the ending.
Profile Image for MrsMamfa.
212 reviews9 followers
May 8, 2016
I really enjoyed this book, it was a well written and well thought out read. The characters were likeable and I particularly liked Aenya and Timothy. It didn't take long for the action to start in this book and there were plenty of times I struggled to set it down. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series, I am dying to read what happens next. Definitely recommend it, it lends itself to fans of fantasy, magic, folklore and an addictive plot.
Profile Image for Another Thyme,.
119 reviews
May 6, 2016
What a story! I was thoroughly charmed and delighted by the adventures of our young hero. In a genre where there have been recent great reads this one fits right in and I think it will soon be a classic. I read this as an eBook but will be looking for a hardcopy to keep and treasure.
1 review
May 20, 2016
This is the best book ever. I completely enjoyed reading the draft and I already love the final copy! Mr. Nilsen's brother was/is my bus driver and told me about this book. I wanted to read it, so I asked about it and he let me read it. Honestly, this book is so good! I love it.
Profile Image for Velmurugan Moorthy.
56 reviews3 followers
May 28, 2016
This is my first book review. I thank Booktasters and the author for giving me an opportunity to review a book. Here I present my first book review.

Book starts with a conversation between 2 people which we take some time to understand, this we feel as quite odd. Then it suddenly moves forward to the life of a desperate small boy(Timothy). Life of Timothy who lost his mother recently is quite difficult, facing lot of problems from his uncle and the society. No wonder the boy is an introvert! The boy being bullied by his class mates and his sorrow is portrayed well that, we can visualize the boy's feelings.

Coming to the romantic part of the story the boy's crush towards the girlfriend of the boy bullying him is beautiful and sways us a lot. Till a certain part where we see the normal drama. Then starts the actual story, the boy felt few mysterious events happening to him. This event is the game changing point of his life. The he meets a new friend Aenya who is another game changer of his life.

Sorrow of the boy and his hard decisions like committing suicide as a result of his desperation are portrayed well. Here's where the actual mystical part starts. The author presents us the mystical characters like fairies and angels in an unconventional way which is really awesome. We should agree that we are bored with stories that angels will have feathers blah, blah. So, the author presents us the mystical characters in an unconventional way and also successful in defending in his point.

We come to know about the legend of "Seventh of the Seventh" and it's relation to the boy. The embarrassment of the desperate and hopeless boy to receive such a honor and respect from a huge crowd is very real and also makes us question how he's gonna handle the burden. The answer comes in a quick and quite impressive manner in the following chapters.

Author presents us the antagonist(Cadalawadar) in a not very villainous character as much as the we expected. Author might have concentrated much better while presenting a villain who is feared by a whole realm. We're extremely saddened by the events occurring at the end, which quite disappoints us. Still, the author provokes us to proceed to the sequel. Hope the sequel would be more interesting as the end of the book hints us so. The author actually presents few unconventional stuffs like a not so heroic protagonist which actually breaks our expectation that a hero should always be a "MAN", who breaks chairs and tables in fight and beats upto 10 villains at a time. One should really have courage to break this theory. Kudos to the author for this, even though we've started to come out of those criteria for a hero.

Totally the book is a mixture of romance, sorrow, mystery and so on. Surely worth a read.

My rating for this book is 3/5.
Profile Image for Jessica Mae.
219 reviews27 followers
May 20, 2016
I’d probably give this 3.5 stars if I could. I liked it but didn’t love it. It’s a combination of almost every well-known fantasy/adventure story. There’s the Harry Potter aspect- an ordinary, misunderstood boy who is bullied at school, has no parents, and lives with his horrible uncle. He's soon whisked off to another world where he’s essentially “the Chosen One” and discovers all these powers he didn’t know he had. There’s a hint of the Legend of Zelda thrown in there, with even a couple direct mentions of the game in the text. The elves in the story are pretty much exactly like the elves from Lord of the Rings, which was probably my favorite part of this book, since I’ve always been fascinated by those elves. They’re so regal and mysterious. Oh, and there’s a bit of the King Arthur legend, with the whole Excalibur/Lady of the Lake motif.

All in all, while it’s not the most original book, it’s great if you have a craving for a good fantasy novel. (And I did, while I was reading this and going through some “Post-Potter Depression.”) The world Nilsen created is stunning, and I loved how he described the scenery. It made me want to pack up my things and fly to Ireland and Wales. The “woodland realm” of the elves was wonderful and I could picture it so vividly. While I’m no expert on Irish or Celtic folklore, I noticed how much Nilsen wove those stories into his own. For example, the sidhe are an important part of the story. He even went to the trouble giving the characters traditional Irish names that you need a pronunciation guide to figure out. (Don’t worry, there is one included in the book.)

I’ll be honest, the romance thrown in wasn’t believable to me, and it was way too cheesy and predictable for my taste. But maybe that’s just me, I’ll leave you to decide for yourself. I will say that the ending DID surprise me a lot, so it’s not ENTIRELY predictable. All in all, it was an enjoyable read, leaving me mildly curious for a sequel.
Profile Image for Mary.
1,016 reviews30 followers
May 1, 2016
I received this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Timothy is a typical teenager on the fringe of the students because he is different, he has ADD and the medicine he takes causes tics. He is also a sensitive kid who feels more at home in nature than he does at school. His mom died recently forcing him to live with his mean Uncle. His dad died when he was younger so he doesn't really have any family that he's aware of. He's also been in love with a girl he played with when they were young but his dating the biggest jerk, and yet most popular guy in school. Through a dramatic point in the story Timothy encounters a girl who tells him he's not a boy at all and neither is he.

This was a good YA Fantasy novel and I look forward to reading more in the series. The reason I gave it 4 rather than 5 stars was because it had just a few too many cliches for me: slimeball uncle, sensitive kid who has very few friends, immigrant best friend also an outcast, and sports jock jerk.
Profile Image for D.H..
Author 12 books42 followers
April 24, 2016
Timothy thinks he is an ordinary teenager until he is saved from his suicide attempt by a fairy. Pretty soon he is forced into the fairy world where he discovers that he is more important than he thinks. Now the lives of many depend on him and he has to decide if he would follow fate or run from it. I enjoyed this book as it shows the trials of timothy and how he evolved into a stronger person as a result. It was very descriptive and demonstrated a great twist on the view we normally held on fairies. A steady read as the story leads you from one adventure to the next. I am looking forward to the next installment in this series.
Profile Image for Marcus Freeth.
11 reviews
November 4, 2016
This book was AMAZING( and sad towards the end ). Timothy is EXTREMELY depressed ( in distress ). He is this way because his girlfriend, Aenya died from 3 poison arrows. "A shriek rose from the ground so long it hurt his own ears. It was a long time before he realized it was the sound of his on screaming" and "You (Timothy) cried out in your sleep". These two quotes show that Timothy loved her and felt great and endless sorrow once she passed away.
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews

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