Friday, August 2, 2013
I have a semi-extensive, almost involved story around this book.
So I'll share the amazon summary, slap some disclaimers around, AND THEN SHARE A STORY, ""The runes have spoken. We have our champion...Matthew Thorsen."
Matt hears the words, but he can't believe them. He's Thor's representative? Destined to fight trolls, monstrous wolves and giant serpents...or the world ends? He's only thirteen.
While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he's always lived a normal kid's life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.
But now Ragnarok is coming, and it's up to the champions to fight in the place of the long-dead gods. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team, find Thor's hammer and shield, and prevent the end of the world.
In their middle grade debut, K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr begin the epic Blackwell Pages series with this action-packed adventure, filled with larger-than-life legends, gripping battles, and an engaging cast of characters who bring the myths to life." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
Disclaimer one: The book was released in May of this year, but my excellent book source had the Advanced Reader's copy of it so that's what I read. It didn't have any of the art that is between the pages of the book, so I missed out on that, but I don't think that would affect the content of the book (as far as getting the story etc).
Disclaimer two: I have not read anything by K. L. Armstrong who is Kelley Armstrong and as far as I'm aware writes more adult novels than young adult novels. I have read the first couple books in the Wicked Lovely series by M. A. Marr (Melissa Marr) and Carnival of Souls by her which you can find my review of HERE.
SO MY STORY. I know you've been waiting (maybe....a big maybe, I don't know much of anything about you because comments don't happen, so I just assume you're always over curious about things I want to share. Was that annoying because it's delaying the story? Yes. Haha) and now have been waiting longer, BWAHAHAHA.
Alright, so it's not really that great of a story I just want to share some of my awkward social situations I get myself into.
So where I work, I haven't been to the break room in a while because I prefer to eat where I work so I don't have to make conversation SO I CAN READ MY BOOKS. Today, I made it through the first break with a bit of book and like AUGH I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS, only to get to my lunch break and finish the book within the first five minutes. So then I got to awkwardly sit there, leaf through some bits of the story that I needed to reread for clarification which brought me to ten minutes. Then I texted the crap out of everyone on my recently messaged list (because they need to know my pain) which brought me to fifteen minutes. Which brought everyone else walking by me staring at me curiously because I was kind of hunched over the book (I had it on my lap) and glancing around wondering what other people do during break besides go to the break room. (I just don't want to be in the break room at the moment, don't wonder about that, it's an insignificant reason.) I started texting myself things that I wanted to include in this review (my notes are 'awesome', such as "WHY DID I FINISH THE BOOK SO EARLY. AHHHHH IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIFTY PAGES LONGER SO MY TIMES WOULD WORK OUT CORRECTLY", and yes I text myself in all caps because it stresses my anxiety of the moment) and then other people started texting me back. Then break ended. Then the next break began, so I just walked the workplace, made a quick dive into the break room to buy a soda and quickly exited again because reasons. ....that's my story. IT WAS MORE HORRIFYING TO LIVE THAN TO TELL.
Aren't you glad I made you wait for that and consolidated it into a giant paragraph for easy skipping? YAY!
But wait, there's more!
So if you were like me and read the summary and was like IT'S A RICK RIORDAN RIP OFF AND THEY JUST DID NORSE MYTHOLOGY INSTEAD OF GREEK...you might be a little justified in your feelings.
ANOTHER DISCLAIMER. Disclaimer THREE: I don't know a lot about Norse mythology. I know some stuff from various bits I had to read at university, but I am no way well versed. So a lot of the ideas introduced to me about the characters and the descendants and whatever seemed a little fresh/new to me because I'm just unfamiliar. People who are familiar with Norse mythology may have raged at it or appreciated it. I don't know.
In case you missed what this book is even about: There's a town in the state of South Dakota in the USA where there happens to live some families (Thorsens and Brekkes) who are descendants of Thor and Loki and KNOW IT. The Thorsens are descendants of Thor and have a power which they refer to as 'Thor's Hammer' which essentially is a blast of air they can shoot from their hands and knock people over with. They also need to wear special amulets in the shape of hammers or else they get sick. Brekkes are the descendants of Loki and inherited his ability to shape change into a wolf (they know about it too, although the Thorsens believe they don't).
So characters are introduced, everyone emphasizes how they're descendants and not the actual Gods and then DUN DUN DUN, RAGNAROK IS COMING. THE WORLD IS REALLY MESSED UP AND NEEDS TO BE WIPED CLEAN. GO CHAMPION OF THE THORSENS.
And that's the premise of the book in a really rushed nutshell.
The way it was different than the Rick Riordan series (Percy Jackson, I HAVE ALL THE BOOKS REVIEWED ON THIS BLOG, JUST GO FIND THEM. TO LINK THEM ALL WOULD BE EXHAUSTING) were the kids were very realistic for being thirteen (mood shifts everywhere, suddenly, without real reasons) and were very upfront about their situations. Like, "WE DON'T HAVE SLEEPING BAGS, AHHHH". All heroes can't be calm, tired, rational beings at all times.
They also seemed quite tripped up by each other's abilities and their own and the whole RAGNAROK HAS COME deal. Then the monsters, and well everything.
Something that REALLY freaking annoyed me though was the relationship between two Brekkes. They might as well be siblings, have always looked out for each other, really close and protective of each other, AND THE BOOK WILL TELL YOU ALL THE TIME. ALL THE TIME. Like "Hey, a Brekke sneezed. GET ALL THE TISSUES, STAY AWAY FROM THEM, DID YOU INFECT THEM? REALLY INTENSE DRAMATIC NOISES".
So that was annoying as all get out.
I also felt that the book didn't really bring anything new to the genre. Kids set out an adventure without adults telling them what to do, things go wrong, learn to trust each other, monsters, weird powers, yadda yadda yadda. It's hard to break into a genre that is so loved (I'm lumping Harry Potter into this because I kind of just summarized part of the sixth and seventh book, HA!). But I might just be getting a little angsty because I'm tired and trying to finish this blog post (and starting to over-share most likely).
All in all, I was pretty on the fence about this book because yeah, it did Norse mythology instead of Greek mythology, but that was about it. The monsters weren't really anything unexpected, there weren't any powers that were TOO far out there, and some of the characters (SPOILERS: TWINS) were pretty flat and unremarkable/hard to remember.
I am curious as to who the female Brekke is supposed to be with the whole fish thing, but that's not really important enough to warrant a want to read the next book in the series. If someone can convince me, have at it. ...no really you can leave me a comment. I'm friendlier when I have a fixed person to type to rather than a faceless ...crowd? Are there enough of you to be a crowd?...I don't know...