12.04.2012

Review: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson (Valkyrie #1)

Title: Valkyrie Rising (Valkyrie #1)
Author: Ingrid Paulson
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Mythology
Publisher: HarperTeen
Synopsis/Summary: Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there. 
What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.
Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.-Taken from GoodReads
From the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

      This book included a very special element, it incorporated Norse Mythology, like the Percy Jackson series, only that I have never heard of Norse Mythology (yeah, not really an expert in mythologies... :P), and that made the book that much more interesting.

     The plot introduced a new kind of paranormal creatures that hardly ever appeared in books, Valkyries. I had a lot of fun reading about them, although I still think that they are not that different from vampires and werewolves, at least in their abilities. They can move super fast, fight extra hard, heals fast and hypnotize people. Well, that fits the description of vampires pretty good, right? Minus the blood-drinking part of course. Anyway, despite their similarities, it was still interesting to know about Valkyries, apparently they collected dead soldiers' souls and give it to the God of Death, Odin. Their purpose was really what set them apart from other paranormal creatures. Still, I appreciate Paulson's effort in putting something new in her story.

     Most of the story took place within two days, and events just kept happening one after the other. To put it simply, this is a fast-paced story. True, there were still moments when after a long chapter (actually most of the chapters are pretty long, like 30 pages or so, which proved inconvenient especially since I insist on finishing the full chapter before dropping a book), things are still in the same place, but things can progress really fast if the author so wants. Truth be told though, the plot didn't quite pull me in, the whole wild-goose-chase thing wasn't really my thing, plus, I found Ellie to be incredibly frustrating. That said, the plot was still enjoyable and wasn't really that bad, just that it wasn't my thing, but I loved the romance! Tuck is a great love interest!

     The ending was kind of great, most of the things were resolved, and there were a few loose ends that was left to the reader's imagination. I am totally fine with this being a stand-alone, but apparently it's going to be a series. There are many series these days, huh? Anyway, I like the idea of reading about Valkyries again, though Ellie wasn't my favorite, I did want to see her grow into a proud Valkyrie.


    As mentioned before, this book featured Norse Mythology, which was refreshing. However, I don't think Paulson had used the concept to its full when writing Valkyrie Rising. The only thing that resembled Norse Mythology was its mythological creatures, however, I would love to see a more Percy-Jackson approach, you know, with the story sort of alluding a story from the mythology, that would definitely attract me, plus it allows readers to know more Norse Mythology.


     As mentioned, I didn't like Ellie. Sure, she was kind of sweet and kind, at least not really that bad. But she kept getting more and more impetuous by the story, and that really annoyed me. I know that was part of her Valkyrie nature, but being a Valkyrie didn't mean you should go around taking risks that were A) Not worth taking and B) Totally stupid. I actually hate these kind of behavior on a heroine, you've got to keep a clear head especially in the heat of battle, and while Ellie was rational at times, her choices were really stupid, she kept doing dangerous things, didn't she understand that if she was killed, she could never save her bother? Think before you act. Although, now that I think about it, she did think, though her head most be wired very differently from mine, because I disagreed with most of her decisions.

     Now, let's talk about the love interest, Tucker! He was portrayed as a player, yet he had been friends with Ellie for years, as he was also Graham, Ellie's brother's friend. That gave the perfect reason for their relationship. I knew many people actually hated insta-love, so this friendship-turned romance should be pretty satisfying. Despite being a player, Tuck was pretty good guy, he was sweet with Ellie, funny even in the direst of situations, and most importantly, he was a really good friend. He kept away from Ellie even though he likes her because of Graham, showing that he is a really loyal friend. This one's a keeper!

    I would give Valkyrie Rising 4 stars. It was enjoyable, though the story was kind of fussy with all that was happening at times, and I hated our protagonist's constant reckless choices, the refreshing mythology incorporation made up for it. Valkyrie Rising was a unique kind of paranormal featuring a fast-paced storyline and a sweet love interest, I would recommend this to YA paranormal fans, especially ones who are tired of reading about vampires, werewolves, fallen angels, etc. all the time. Hope you guys enjoy it!


I was totally clueless about Norse Mythology, actually, I knew very little about mythologies around the world. So, tell me, any particular mythology that was very interesting? I would want to know more ;) Did you enjoy the book? Tuck was charming, right? Tell me in the comments below! :)

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