Raven Romero is a washed up Valkyrie who is unable to return to Valhalla, spending her days in a haze of sex, drugs, and alcohol. When she is wrongfully accused of murder, Raven has two options: run or clear her name. With a laundry list of enemies, she has no idea who could be framing her. One thing is for sure: they know what she is and they’ll stop at nothing until she’s behind bars or dead. With no choice but to delve into the supernatural underground she tried so hard to avoid, Raven seeks aid and learns what it means to be human. The world believes her kind no longer exists, but Raven Romero is The Last Valkyrie.
Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy Author of the Mackenzie Grey novels and The Last Valkyrie series. An avid reader throughout her life, the world of Urban Fantasy easily became an obsession that turned into a passion for writing strong leading characters with authentic story arcs. When she isn’t writing badass heroines, you can find this self-proclaimed nomad in her South Florida home binge watching the latest series on Netflix or traveling far and wide for the latest inspiration for her books. Follow her on social media!
I really love Karina Espinosa's writing, her Mackenzie Grey series is phenomenal but in The Last Valkyrie she brings us something different, some more. I really loved the characters and can't wait to see more from them. First let me just say Raven is a total bad a$$, I love her character. She's hilarious but you can see she has a lot of hurt hiding and she doesnt really know how to handle it. So much happens in The Last Valkyrie that you can't help but to turn each page and wanting to know more, even at the very end. The characters and the world built by Karina is epic. Of course my favorite character is Fen, I so wanted him to be more of who he was but I cant go into to much detail with out spoilers and I wont give anything away. I wanted more attraction with Will too, because you know me, I love the underdogs LOL The drama, adventure and intensity of this book will have you on the edge of your seat craving more. I cant wait to see what lies ahead for Raven and her friends.
Overall, I did enjoy this book but there are some rough spots, stilted characters, and unsatisfying plot points.
There is a lot to work with here, the full pantheon of Norse mythology, banshees, vampires, and werewolves, drug lords and corrupt cops. I'm interested in seeing how the rest of the series progresses and hoping that the characters will become more fleshed out and deeper.
I remember reading the McKenzie grey series and meeting raven briefly and thinking I’d move to find out more about this character and finding out that series about her was going to be written!!
I was beyond excited, this book had me hooked from the first page. I feel in love with the characters even Fen, can’t wait to see how Raven and her friends evolve. I would put my favourite part of the book but there’s to many parts to choose from and it would spoil the book for others.
I was provided an ARC of The Last Valkyrie from Lady Amber's PR for my honest thoughts. This is was my very first read from Karina Espinosa and it has left me wondering, "Where the hell have you been all my life!" She's a reader's dream UF writer. The Last Valkyrie is a fast paced, well plotted read. The female lead, Raven, is fierce, strong and independent. The book is full of twists and turns that made it very hard for me to put it down. Add in some Norse Mythology and the foreshadowing of a love triangle and you've one of the best first books in a series that I have read in ages. I knew after 25% of the book that I would be giving The Last Valkyrie 5 stars, but I enjoyed it so much, I'm throwing in a glass of whiskey too. If you are a fan of the UF genre, you do not want to miss out on reading The Last Valkyrie. I'm already on the lookout for book 2.
One awesome tough butt kicking chick who is also vulnerable and a bit of a hot mess; but buried deep down under all that, and slowly working itself to the surface is a kind heart seeking a second chance to be other than that which she was made to be.
Absolutely entertaining, sexy, funny, fast paced and love love love the mythology. I'm so ready for book two and more Fenrir please. Gotta love the bad boy.
The Last Valkyrie by Karina Espinosa is a great tale where the use of Norse mythology isn't the foundation of the story but the evolution of one lone Valkyrie (Raven) who sought to go against the masses and fight for the underdog—humanity. Unfortunately, humanity's appeal after the centuries never seem to be redeemable, and this Last Valkyrie spends her immortality being bitter and angry and numbing her disappointment. Reader Warning: This story isn't for those looking for the automatic hero, but for those who are seeking an authentic portrayal of a character who is realizing, even in her abundant need to disconnect with reality, she must accept her fate. Especially after Raven's forced into the mayhem by making her the center of a murder investigation, she knows she can longer avoid life. The secondary characters are unique in their own elements and act in surprising ways. Through these unexpected budding friendships, readers are able to see the depth inside our Valkyrie and her redeemable qualities. For the true Urban Fantasy fan, the plot twists and flashbacks give readers a connection to the past with the excitement and suspense in the present. The Last Valkyrie gives the healthy dose of action-packed scenes, and if anyone is looking to start a new series, this is a great story to leap into.
Karina Espinosa’s THE LAST VALKYRIE is a work of creative genius. Raven Romero is the last Valkyrie on Midgard (Earth). Someone who knows what she is, is trying to frame her for a murder. This Urban Fantasy takes place in Portland, Oregon.
THE LAST VALKYRIE is an exciting and original read. The story is full of action and mystery. I enjoy contemporary books that are based on mythology. Karina Espinosa does a great job melding the old and the new.
I like the characters. Raven is far from perfect. She was once a skilled warrior who has now, for the most part, hit rock bottom. She is hardened and tough. She is a complex character that makes an intriguing heroine. Charlotte O’Malley (Charlie) is an engaging ally to Raven. I like how they befriend each other. Fen Wolff is mysterious. You are never entirely sure about him. The characters are dimensional and well developed.
I enjoy Karina Espinosa’s writing style. I was engaged throughout the story. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
She was once a warrior that was destined to be well known. She was her father’s favorite and was hand picked to train with the top Valkyrie to learn all that she needed to learn to be a great warrior. Her loyalty to her father and her position as a top Valkyrie made her decide to stay back when all of her sisters left the humans to fend for themselves, and closed the doors to Valhalla. Now, centuries later she is being framed for murders she did not commit. She’s no longer the powerful warrior she once was, but she still has some power and the will to wield her faithful sword to protect herself and the few people she has become fond of.
Raven Romero is a wanderer who has lived for many centuries. She chose to stay behind when her valkyrie sisters left Midgard. She didn’t want to abandon the humans since her father favored them. Now she was just passing her days by with alcohol and drugs. After many years of living amongst the humans, she discovers that she’s not as invisible as she thought. After she’s framed for murder, she finds that many others recognize that she is a Valkyrie. She has to figure out who is framing her to clear her name and be able to move on, but does she really want to move on? She’s found a couple of friends in Oregon and may want to stick around for awhile. Raven will face a her father as well as someone she thought cared about her, but was only using her to get what he wanted. She’ll have to revert to training as a Valkyrie to stay alive.
Will, one of the arresting officers when Raven was arrested for murder, is a young police officer who believes is justice. He starts to believe that Raven may have been framed and wants to help her. Charlie, a young woman that Raven met in the bar where she was working, is more than she appears. She’ll be an ally to Raven in her search for the real killer as well as her need to stay alive. Raven wants to shelter Charlie and keep her safe because she believes she’s an innocent, but Charlie keeps telling her that she can protect herself.
I really liked this book and give it a 4.5 star review. I really hope there are more books of Raven’s life, and if so I look forward to reading them. I highly suggest this book to anyone who likes the story of Odin, Valkyries, paranormal, or fantasy. It has all of that and more.
Just so you know I am a huge fan of Karina Espinosa.
I am giving you full disclosure here!
I have been lucky to read and review her Mackenzie Grey series and it was all I could have ever dreamed of. If you are not familiar with it, then I strongly suggest you have a read because it is fantastic! I am adding the link here for the 4 book series to have a quick look should you be interested.
Now Karina has a new series and a brand shiny new leading lady. I need to introduce you to my new friend Raven, I have the feeling we are going to spend really fun times together!
(Mackenzie babe, you are still my girl!!!!)
As I am sure you know by now from the title and the blurb, we are knee deep with a Valkyrie. If you read my blog and reviews, then you are aware that I am very much into Mythologies, though I gravitate more toward Greek and Egyptian Myth, there is nothing wrong with the Norse side of things.
My girl Raven is a Valkyrie living here amongst us, and well is a bartender. Someone gets killed and well it gets all pinned on Raven!
How dare they?!
When did we become a society of guilty until proven innocent, I mean really!
As you can see, I am hooked!
I gave too much away already so I am going to try and keep the spoilers at bay. However, all things said and done, Raven is a total badass and I love her!
There is a good pace in there, some action, surprises and you pretty much kept on the edge of your seat, or in my case nearly falling off my bed!
As always the writing the energetic and all the characters are just plain wonderful. I started having a bit of a soft spot from someone, but my lips are sealed until further scrutiny. Can you guess?
I would love to see a certain someone make a visit along the way if possible.
Can I ask for that?
If you love and have read Karina’s books before then I do not have to tell you that The Last Valkyrie is pretty much on the Epic Level of books, if you have not then what an amazing introduction, as a word of warning it is addictive!
Which means, when is book 2 coming out Karina and how many are we to expect in the series? Can I know?!
You know what is coming and I am going to SUPER HIGHLY RECOMMEND The Last Valkyrie to you all! You are going to love it and be like me counting the days till the next one! #waitingsucks
This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
This book wasn't necessarily good, but it was good enough to keep reading. It's short and uncomplicated so you get through it quite easily.
Writing style: It was quite crappy in the beginning but got much better towards the end.
Characters: Fun but flat, they could have had any name, any personality and the story wouldn't change one bit.
Story: The idea of the story is interesting enough, but not that well build up. It's starts as more of a murder mystery and ends as a build up to Ragnarok. I liked the second half better.
Live review I wrote this as I was reading the book. *spoilers*
You do not knock on a strangers door simply because you saved her from her date after you've just been framed for murder and said stranger should not help you in any way when they find out about that... Alas, in this book that does happen.
Let's mention Raven being the only one to wield some kind of special sword when she was still a valkyrie and not go into any details... What a joke.
First it's mentioned that a Norn can't be killed and then they're talking about curses being laid upon the killer of a Norn... I would prefer it if the story remained consistent.
Oooh it's getting a little interesting 👀 Fenrir the first wolf has shown up to the party...
YASSS THEY ARE BANGING IN THE LIBRARY 🥳
The story is getting much more interesting! Odin wanting Raven dead? AWESOME
Charlie is one freaking amazing banshee 😍
Aaah Fen and Raven are fighting together and it turns her on 🤤
Fucking Fenrir, damn you. Bad dog 😔
So this book isn't a masterpiece, but it wasn't a waste of time either. The author could have put more time in edits because the writing is very different in the last half than the first half and much much better which is too bad because I had almost DNFed the book because of the annoying writing style 🤷🏻♀️ This book gets 2,5 stars from me.
This is a new to me author, but I've read a couple of great fantasies based off Norse mythology recently, so when I saw the blurb for this, I jumped on it. My understanding is this new series is related to the author's Mackenzie Grey series, but I never got the feeling I might be missing some background as I sometimes do with a spinoff.
The story started off with a film noir kind of vibe that I enjoyed: a dark, seedy bar and a cynical, world-weary Raven (who has been wasting her immoral life on liquor, drugs and sex) getting framed for murder. I wasn't sure I was going to like Raven at first, but I came to love her intelligence, sass and kicka$$ attitude, especially as her character grew over the course of the story and more of her background is revealed. Loved too that Raven had a Hispanic appearance, it made a nice twist to the usual.
So many great secondary characters, as well, and I loved the spin the author put on Norse mythology. The world-building is excellent--her style reminded me a little of Robin McKinley or Patricia Briggs, two of my all-time favorite fantasy writers, dropping information in when it's needed rather than doing an info dump. While I'm normally not a fan of flashbacks, they worked perfectly here, never interrupting the flow of the story, yet still giving us the information we need. The author makes great use of foreshadowing to build the tension; that plus plenty of action and plot twist after plot twist just kept me turning those pages.
A superbly crafted urban fantasy with romantic undertones, from characters to world building to plot, this is a can't put down read. I can't wait to get more of Raven's story (this one ends on what I'd call a pause in the action rather than a cliffhanger), and in the meantime I'll be reading other books by this author. 5++ stars
This was quite different from the last book I read by Karina but in the best of ways. There's subtle texturing of educational mythos mixed with puns, pills and powerful storytelling.
Raven Romero, not her real name and I loved the reference made in her choice, chose to await her father Odin on Earth when the rest of the Valkyries chose to seal the entry to Valhalla.
I loved that the action starts fast. The bodies start piling and so do the clues. I gotta admit I thought Fen would be the villain, especially once I put together the meaning of his chosen name and who he really is.
A valkyrie, a human cop, the ghost of one of the Fates and a naive banshee make a heck of a team. And we meet so many other supernatural characters; including one of my favorite kinds, a kitsune.
The real culprit and reasoning threw me for a loop. I can't tell you who or much of the juiciest pieces without spoiling some major plot twists. If you like a foul mouthed pill popping pansexual heroine, the fate of the world and as much suspense as laughter....this is your book. If you don't like these things, loosen up dude.
If you love Norse Mythology then Karina Espinosa’s The Last Valkyrie is for you! A new twist to an old story that makes it really hard to put down until the last page! Raven will probably remind you a bit of Jessica Jones, a head strong kick butt and take numbers kind of girl who is hurting, alone and with some trust issues! Raven is a Valkyrie who has no way to go back home but when Raven is accused of murder and taken into custody she has really one choice…escape and find the real killer who is framing her before it’s too late! Can she find the killer before the killer reveals her to the humans? Or will she be found out? Can she trust her new friends or will they let her down? To find out you’ll have to read this book! I had an extremely hard time putting this book down and finished it in one sitting! Karina Espinosa has really created a series that I can’t wait to see what happens to all the characters next! This is one series that I will definitely be following!
What an awesome first book in an urban fantasy series! It had everything you’d expect and want in this kind of novel. This is my first read of Karina Espinosa’s work, and it won’t be my last.
Raven, our main character is a total bad ass. I just want to be her. She’s everything a lead should be – strong, independent, witty, and a little broken too. Well rounded, well developed and well written. I give a lot of credit to Karina Espinosa’s writing- she truly made one hell of a main character.
The story itself is a ton of fun. It’s action packed and grips you from the beginning. The drama, the adventure, really, everything about the plot had me on the edge of my seat, wanting to read more. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series.
Fantastic start to a series, with well developed characters and a plot you won’t want to stop. Highly recommended!
*I received this book as part of a blog tour. All opinions are my own.*
The Last Valkyrie is a dark and gritty Urban Fantasy seeped in Norse Mythology. Now if all you know about Norse Mythology is that Thor wields a hammer and Loki is a major mischief maker, then I’m sorry to disappoint. Neither Thor or Loki are in this book (except by name) - which I’m actually glad for as Thor is one of my least favourite gods from the original myths. However, we do get a plethora of awesome supernatural and mythological creatures, both from Norse and not.
Raven has given up on her past, her future and mankind. She’s a drunk, a druggie and a user, but she’s also a Valkyrie and no matter how much she tries to obliterate the past, the past refuses to stay behind her. I both liked and disliked Raven. I don’t mind a heroine who has their darker side and who pushes people away (I wouldn’t be a fan of UF if I did), but I actually had a bit of trouble liking any part of her. I think that it might be because she’s given up on everything and spends most of the book doing her best to close herself off from the world.
This was my first read by Espinosa and it won’t be my last. Espinosa has certainly done her research in regards to both the Norse Mythology and the other supernatural aspects of the book. I liked that our heroine lives life on the edge, and that she is an equal opportunist when it comes to partners. No cliffhanger with this first book in the series but there’s plenty to keep you keen for the next book.
When I first read the snippet of Raven from the Mackenzie Grey series, I didn't really like her character.... Then when Karina Espinosa announced "The Last Valkyrie", I was skeptical.... I was so incredibly wrong!
I ABSOLUTELY ADORE RAVEN!
She is so flawed and raw that you can't help sympathising with her.... She has lived for a long time, yet in some ways she behaves quite naive and gullible.....
Who is the enemy? The big question in this book..... I'm actually in love with all these characters.... I can't wait to see Charlie's back story, that will be awesome and of course Will, steadfast and wise, more so than Raven who prefers escapism.
This series is DEFINITELY on my re-read list and I can't wait to see what direction Karina Espinosa will go in next.
First off, I want to thank Lady Amber for providing me with an ARC of The Last Valkyrie by Karina Espinosa, for an honest review. The last Valkyrie has become one of my new favorite urban fantasy books. This was an amazing first book to a new series, it is action pack, dark and gritty, and I just can’t get enough. Looking forward to reading more from Karina Espinosa.
Raven us such a strong and clever character fighting with her inner demons and you just can’t help but love her. I am not very knowledgeable about Norse Mythology, the most I know comes from the show Lost Girl and Thor but I really enjoyed the plot of the story, so I will start reading up more about the subject for future references.
The plot was well written and engaging until the final pages. The cast to be amazing, can’t wait to learn more about Charlotte, Will, and especially Fen.
The first book in this series is a good start, it offers a nice foundation to the world building and an interesting introduction to the characters!!
I quite liked Raven because she is unlikable. She's an addict and generally acts like it, which isn't usual in most UF stories. She has her problems and she tries to overcome them, but the road to sobriety/getting your life together when you are accused of murder isn't an easy one. Charlie is an interesting character; she offers a nice foil to Raven's...everything. Will and Fen are both interesting main male leads, but I think Fen might be a little more interesting.
The flashbacks that occur every so often give nice background into Raven's life as a valkyrie. They were little slices into her previous life and helped illustrate how she came to be stuck on Earth.
I love Valkyrie books and this one is rife with well researched lore. Karina takes familiar characters in Norse mythology and gives them her own kind of spin. There’s plenty of action and suspense as Raven is thrust back into a world she thought she had been banned from. Raven is a loner who reluctantly ends up saving a couple of humans from demises and also ends up gaining some new friends. It’s the first in a series so there’s a lot of story that is set up for, hopefully, many more books to come. The relationships in this book are interesting especially when you mix in supernatural allies that also leads to some super sexy moments. The Last Valkyrie is for anyone who enjoys paranormal/urban fantasy with romance elements and a thrilling adventure.
I fell in love with Raven immediately. She is bad ass, with a laugh out loud, often sarcastic sense of humor. Stubborn and presenting her own moral code, in spite of herself. Her life is sex, drugs and alcohol until she is accused of murder. This forces her to deal with being a Valkyrie again, and the supernatural in general.
I really enjoyed the flashback chapters showing Raven as a Valkyrie, their intensity making you wonder even more what had happened to make her the last one of her kind.
Fast-paced and full of constant revelations, this book is very hard to put down. This is a well thought out murder mystery fantasy, with supernatural elements, that just keep getting more engrossing. And let us not forget the wonderful supporting characters, each with their own entertaining personality. I think it is quite hard to pick a favorite. You even like the 'villains'.
Hope to see even more of the supernatural world on Earth in the next installments. This review was such a lovefest because I adored this book.
Raven Romero is not your typical hero. She’s not even your typical antihero. She seeks redemption, while still trying to stave off her humanity, and i can not wait to see where she goes from here. I adore the stragglers she picks up along the way, and the unexpected bonds she forms. She’s self destructive, self loathing, and self involved, with so much potential to redeem herself with. There was also clearly an awesome editing team on this novel!
This was an intriguing story and the characters were interesting. Our heroine, Raven, is seriously flawed though. But that gives her room to grow. I want to smack her head every time she grabs for a bottle or her pez dispenser. She could be super cool, but her Valkyrie training has made her so aloof and cold. I hope her compassion grows in the upcoming books, which I will definitely be reading.
In depth story with so many twists and turns, it kept me on my feet! Love the twists with making some mythology characters bad guys when they're traditionally good! Really enjoyed the depth and breath of the world, feels very Shadowrun meets World of Darkness with The old Gods mixed in.
I probably should've seen that coming, but it was hidden in plain sight. My only "issue" with the book is what I thought was an important detail in these beginning didn't turn out to be as important as I thought because Raven completely ignored/forgot about it. This didn't detract from my overall love of the book, at all, and I'm off to go find the next one in the series 💜
Even though I had some reservations at the start of the book - it was a little slow, I continued reading. The story became more intriguing and the twists more entertaining. I ended up enjoying the premise to the point of going on to the next book in the series.