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Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson


Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
Expected Publication Date: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 352 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher for Review
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.
Oh. My. God. As well all know, after Starling by Lesley Livingston and now Valkyrie Rising, Norse mythology is on the rise in YA fiction. Say goodbye to the Greeks and say hello to those tall, blond Norse hotties! Alexander Skarsgard anyone? Valkyrie Rising definitely kept me on my toes and the characters were all incredibly real. I loved the lush setting of Norway and Paulson's amazing descriptions that had me feeling like I was right there. If you haven't already picked up a copy of Valkyrie Rising you need to get on that RIGHT NOW. Valkyrie Rising will have you on the edge of your seat and the ending will leave you begging for more!

Ellie is an amazing character. She's kind of weak and helpless at the beginning of the novel, but she really grows into her own by the end. I loved seeing her become such a strong and independent female. Ellie really developed as a character which was amazing to see. And Tucker, oh my God Tucker. He was so delicious and such an amazing love interest. There are so many scenes in which Ellie describes Tuck and how appetizing he is and I loved every minute! Even Graham, Ellie's brother, grows throughout the story. I loved all of the different characters for different reasons, but they were all so life-like that it was easy for me to fall in love with each of them.

The story itself is fantastic. I have a huge love for Norse mythology now that it's become so popular in YA fiction. I've even begun doing my own research on the topic just to understand the origins of some of the characters, and I can't wait to see what else is coming out. Paulson's take on the Valkyries was wonderful. I loved reading about these strong women who could easily take on anything and were so connected to each other that it physically hurt to be away from the rest of their kind. And there were so many plot twists and turns! I found myself gasping out loud on more than one occasion! As I said before, Paulson's writing is just fantastic and beautiful. She's incredibly descriptive to the point where you actually feel like you're in Norway, or even Valhalla, and I was completely immersed in the story.

Overall, I absolutely loved Valkyrie Rising. It's an amazing story about learning who you are and where you come from while staying strong and protecting those you love. The characters are fantastic and the writing style is gorgeous. I loved every minute of the story and it's hard to believe that this is Paulson's debut novel. The ending is definitely a bit of a cliff-hanger; some things weren't wrapped up so I'm really hoping there will be a second one! I just can't wait to see what she's coming out with next! If you're a fan of mythology and need something different and refreshing, Valkyrie Rising is one you won't want to miss out on!

19 comments:

  1. The only reason I haven't read this is because the book I'm trying to get published has Norse mythology and I don't want anything to influence my writing it :P But it does sound awesome and I'll have to read it once I'm done writing my trilogy...

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  2. Ack, this sounds like a definite must-read! :)

    - Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

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  3. I honestly never read anything about Norse, and first time i actually hear about them! *shame* lol! But I like how Ellie was actually a bit weak but then starts growing through the book. That really makes her sound much more realistic! Great review Anna!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  4. I love Norse mythology, which was what drew me to Valkyrie Rising (plus the gorgeous cover)! I have a feeling that I'll need to do some more research on the topic myself. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one as well :)

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  5. SO glad that you enjoyed this one! I thought that it was a great book too. I hadn't read anything based totally on Norse Mythology before. (The closest thing really was the Need series, which is kinda pixies, shifters, and Norse Myth combined) Fantastic review chick!!

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  6. Oh, Anna, this sounds AMAZING! And, I mean, you mentioned Alexander Skarsgard O__O

    Seriously, though, I'm a big fan of Norse mythology! I love how deliciouslyNdemwntee the gods are, the punishments met out (seriously, snake venom dripping onto your face for always? *shivers*) and the idea of someone giving their eye for wisdom. Sgdhakdhf. Amazing.

    Ahahaha, seriously, it's myth in general. I fell in love with Hercules and Xena as a kid (the shame, I know) and I never stopped loving myth. All of it :D

    Anyway! The chemistry sounds HAWT, and how YOU'VE described The author describing Norway? Amazing ♥

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  7. I might need to pick up this book soon! I'm a huge fan of anything mythology and I haven't gotten my hands on any Norse-based ones, so I'm extremely curious. I've heard nothing but good things about this book!
    Awesome review!
    Cheers!
    Millie @ Millie D's Words

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  8. I loved this one too! Sigh, I could just swoon over Tucker.

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  9. I am so, so excited for this one! I haven't read Starling yet, either, but I'm dying to read that one too. Norse mythology has always intrigued me, so I can't wait to see it in action in this book!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

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  10. The word "mythology" immediately piques my interest. And then, you rave about this book, and now...now I really want to read it! Ellie sounds like a female character I won't dislike, and Tucker...I have a thing for the name Tucker in books. It is a good thing. I can't wait to see all the deliciousness that you tell us there is! Goodness, thanks, Anna! I seriously have to get my hands on this now. Before, I was kind of meh about how urgent the need to read this book was. But now...YEAH.

    ♥Jessica(:

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  11. I can't wait to read this book, mostly because of the mythology which I'm really interested in. Anyway great review!

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  12. OOh this sounds like it has everything going for it. I love Greek mythology in my books but I haven't read any with Norse. I had read the first few chapters of it and I'll admit Ellie was totally grating on my nerves, she was so annoying that I put it down. I will be going back to it eventually, especially after this review.

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  13. I'm a huge fan of mythology, Norse in particular, and the second I heard of this book I knew I needed to read it. I finally have a copy, but haven't been able to read it yet. :) SO glad to know it's just as amazing as I had hoped!

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  14. Eeeeek GREAT review! I'm so pleased you enjoyed this one :D I was excited to read it before, but I'm even more so now. I love mythology but I can't say I've very familiar with Norse Mythology so this should be quite the treat!

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  15. This sounds amazing...I love mythology as long as it doesn't completely take over the book and make it confusing!

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  16. I'm so excited to read this! It sounds amazing, especially the mythology :) Amazing review!

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  17. I love that the author chose to feature NORSE mythology - it's definitely a change from the Greek/Roman/Egyptian mythology that's more common in YA fiction. As a big fan of mythology in general, I'm very sure that I want to check this book out! It sounds like something that I'm really going to enjoy reading.

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  18. If you like Norse mythology you should definitely check out Icefall by Matthew Kirby AND Foxmask by Juliet Marillier.

    AHHH I am legit too excited to read this AND Starling. I love Norse mythology, especially in YA.

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  19. Norse mythology is fantastic! I've always been a bit sad that it never gets the attention the others do, so the fact that there are more books coming out is great! It sounds like it's a great book and I kind of regret putting it down when I went to the store...so I'm going to have to go grab it again, lol.

    Michelle

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According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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