Series: The United States of Asgard (bk. 1)
Genera(s): Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Alternate History
Subjects: adventure, mythology, Norse mythology, gods, magic
Setting: Alternate version of the USA
POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Soren Bearskin
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 350 pgs.
HC/PB: Hardcover and now in Paperback
List Price: $17.99/$9.99
Publisher: Random House
Summary/ product description: “Fans of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and Holly Black's "The Curse Workers" will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard. Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities.
When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be.”
My Review: This book is pretty unique. I have not read many books with Norse Mythology in them. I can name only a few. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped. There’s were a lot of things that confused me, and the language used didn’t sound very modern, eve though it’s Alternate History fantasy supposed to be set in contemporary times.
The romance was a bit of insta-love/love at first sight. Soren has the hots for Astrid and Astrid notices him and knows about his past and the fact he’s a Berserker. Astid’s a Seether and can read the future and is a daughter of Fray, goddess of magic. Soren’s narration seems like too much brooding and feeling sorry for himself. The characters were not super interesting, but I loved the world building and mythology stuff.
In the United States of Asgard, also know as New Asgard on Middle Earth, everyone worships one of the Norse gods. The gods are real and make appearances. There’s Odin, Thor, Loki, Baulder, Freya, Freyr, and Tyr. Almost all the states have different names. Some make sense, some are ridiculous. I tried making a map, but we didn’t learn all 50. There’s a lot of interesting cultural differences. There’s caravans, Seethers, Berserkers and holmgangs. There’s a lot of terms I didn’t understand. I’m not sure how much Tessa made up, and how much was researched.
I mostly enjoyed the book, but I found myself skimming a lot. I didn’t enjoy the adventure and travel. Especially the part when they go to the Badland, which I’ve been to 3 times. South Dakota is South Lakota in this book. If you’ve read Loki’s Wolves by Kelly Armstrong, that was about Norse mythology and set in South Dakota too. This book goes from Kansas (Kansa), through Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, and Colorado.
If you like book with mythology, such as Loki’s Wolves, Valkyrie Rising, the Need series, books by Lesley Livingston, or Rick Riordan, then you may enjoy this book.
Cover Art Review: Love the metallicness of the cover, and the title type. The guy’s face doesn’t look so good with the trees on top of it.