Title: Valkyrie Rising
* Series: Valkyrie #1
Author: Ingrid Paulson
Pages: Hardcover; 352
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy paranormal fiction but are looking for something outside the box.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
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.
I'll admit that I chose Valkyrie Rising because I was looking for something a little bit different than what I had been reading. I was intrigued by the setting and definitely by the idea of the plot. The rich setting of Norway sounded like a perfect place to weave a tale. Plus I mean, Valkyries? Kick-ass female warriors? Yes please. I was ready to be wowed.
It didn't take me long to totally adore Ellie, the main character. Constantly in the shadow of her older brother, Ellie is overprotected and unsure of herself. All she really wants is for something exciting to happen. Something new. She gets her wish! When the action picks up, and the Valkyries come into play, it's hard to stop reading. I loved watching Ellie discover her true self and couldn't help but root for her to embrace it.
Oh, and the romance of course! I can't forget to share that. I won't spoil, but I will say that this was such a sweet build up. Slow, steady, and downright adorable. This is the type of love that grows and begs to be fulfilled. I found myself wanting to shake Ellie and let her know that the perfect guy was right in front of her if only she looked! I won't delve too far, since I want you to discover it for yourself, but it's so worth it.
The setting was perfection, the plot was evenly paced, and to be honest I read through Valkyrie Rising so quickly that I was left wishing I had another book in my hands to follow it up with. It looks like this is shaping up to be a series, and I sincerely hope so! I found a lot to love in Ingrid Paulson's writing. This was a breathe of fresh Norse air, and I can't wait for more.