Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review: Loki's Wolves by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Loki's Wolves (The Blackwell Pages, #1)

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters--wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history--because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids--led by Matt--will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

Review: What do you get when you combine Avengers with Norse Gods and add Percy Jackson?

The answer is Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr's Loki's Wolves. A fantastical new middle grade story out of their new Blackwell Pages series that comes out on May 7th, 2013. I was lucky enough to score an ARC from the publisher Little Brown, and get to read it before it released, and I admit I had a small (HUGE) fangirl moment because these are two of my favorite authors! I have literally read every book, novella, short story, compilation, tweet, website, fan forum, Facebook post and any other form of media you can possibly imagine on either one of them....and now you probably think I am a stalker....but I swear I am not! They are just amazing writers who are exceptional at world building, character development and plot pacing. Loki's Wolves is not exception to any of those! First, let me tell you a little about the story.

Ragnarok is coming.

In a nutshell, Ragnarok is the Scandinavian myth of the end of the world. It comes when the long dead gods "champion", or descendant,  stand in their place in a great battle. The result of which decides the fate of the world. In a little town in the Midwest called Blackwell, lies a community of Norse descendants. One group of Thorsens, descended of Thor, and the Breke's from the chaos god Loki. 

Matt Thorsen has always felt like he couldn't live up to his family name. He never liked football, and always seemed to get in more trouble than his brothers, but that would all change when he turned 13 and had to take on a job that no 13 should be able to handle. At least not your average 13 year old....but Blackwell is full of the "not normal" types. As he sets off to collect a group of kids, all of which have ancestors that are gods, he is joined by Laurie and Fenn of the Loki clan, one of which didn't even know what they were, and has to hash it out with some things straight out of mythology books.

The main cast of characters are truly a shining star in this book. You feel for Fenn when he talks about caring for his cousin, Laurie, and the strength that he has when he is faced with a very real threat. Laurie on the other hand seems to hold that same strength within her, but having just discovered what kind of bloodline she comes from, has a hard time keeping pace with Fenn (not that she doesn't have some BRILLIANT moments). Then you have Matt, who I believe to be the most relate-able character here. Who hasn't felt like they were letting someone down?
I know I have, so I could understand where Matt's head was at when he was feeling all these things. However, through it all he shows all the signs of being a true leader and an excellent champion of Thor.

The other characters are equally intriguing for their shear uniqueness. We've got Goth twins descended from Freya and Freyr,  a couple of punked Gods, warrior women, enormous trolls and a lovable but seemingly invincible young champion named Baldir  These are the reason this book was so fun to read. Yes, there was an underlying seriousness of the end of the world and even a death (DUN, DUN, DUN?) but when your reading about a mustache doing pull-ups on the lip of a presidential head on Mount Rushmore, that turns out to be a troll with an affection for shiny objects, you can't help but laugh.

Between the laughing and the captivating action in Loki's Wolves, I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to see what the art work in this book looks like because my ARC didn't have any, but I;m sure it will be gorgeous! There is still so much more story to tell from America's heartland that I can't imagine what we do from I have a few predictions for you.

These are completely speculative but:
  • Loki and chaos will rear it's angst ridden head
  • Laurie is actually the champion of Loki
  • We have not seen the last of Baldir
  • I will ABSOLUTELY be reading this series when it continues!

   Go Get it May 7th!!

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