Sunday, May 5, 2013

Loki’s Wolves by Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr

Release Date: May 7th 2013

Series: The Blackwell Pages (bk. 1)

Genera: Paranormal/Fantasy

Subjects: Norse mythology, mythology, gods, adventure, magic, South Dakota

Age/Grade Level: Middle Grade/Teen 11+

Length: Arc: 359 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $16.99

Publisher: Little, Brown

Summary/ product description: “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.”

My Rating: êêêê

My Review: I have not read many middle grade books beside Rick Riordan’s series, so I don’t have much else to compare this to. It’s a lot like his book called The Lost Hero, in the Heroes of Olympus series (and somewhat like the Percy Jackson series too). Except, this is Norse Mythology and not written by Riordan. Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr manage to write it in a style that is very similar. So if you like Riordan’s books, you’ll enjoy this book.

I received this book as an ARC. I requested it because I love Norse Mythology and all of Kelley Armstrong’s YA books (Can’t say the same for Melissa Marr. The Wicked Lovely series was not very good). I almost did not read this because it’s middle grade and I’m general only into YA. But as a fan of Percy Jackson and other mythology related books, I gave it a chance. I’m glad I did. The other great thing about this book was the setting. I love South Dakota. I’ve been there twice. I’ve been to many of the places mentioned in this book. Blackwell isn’t a real town, but it’s probably in the same general area as Custer, the place I camped. I’ve been to Mt. Rushmore, and I’ve panned for gold in Lead. I visited Deadwood and saw the Wild Bill reenactments. I’ve been to Reptile Gardens and remember the dome with all the plant that was in the illustration. I really loved the illustrations. The ARC didn’t have them, but I saw them in the hardcover and they look like graphic novel worthy art. The pictures do the story justice.

As for characters. Sadly Thor and Loki are not in this book. But their descendants are. Basically, the characters are demi-gods, but that term isn’t used. Matt is descended from Thor, and Fen and Laurie are from Loki. Matt uses him hammer amulet to pack a punch, Fen can shape-shift into a wolf, and Laurie has good luck and can fool people through trickery and gets some other powers later on. Laurie is probably the most interesting of the three. They go on an adventure looking for other descendants that can help them stop Ragnarok a.k.a. the end of the world as we know it. Something about the Midgarde Serpent (Have you watched the show Vikings on History? I have. They talked about Norse Mythology on it).

The issue I had with this book was the way it was written. Lots of unnecessary detail in parts. The whole telling us stuff instead of showing it. I’m pretty sure that any bad parts were written by Marr, because I love Kelley Armstrong’s writing. This was written for a younger age group, so it’s not as rich in complicated descriptions or romance the way YA paranormal is. It was different, and that’s okay.

I recommend this to fans of Rick Riordan’s books, the Need series by Carrie Jones, Valkyrie Rising, the Stork series or any other mythology related series. It’s a fun read. Especially for middle-schoolers who can relate to the characters better.


Cover Art Review: I like the illustration on the cover, but I don’t like the title with that symbol behind it. I’m hoping that the hard cover both will be embossed and metallic so it looks better.


~Haley G

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