Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen; 352 pages
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 really really enjoyed this book. I didn't love it but it was still oh so good and oh so addicting. (It would be a 4.5 rating if we did half stars) I would like to thank Shane from Itching to Read for allowing me to be part of the blog tour and also, HarperTeen and Ingrid Paulson for sending us an e-arc to read and review.
Absolutely, hands down, the best thing about this book is a guy named Tucker 'Tuck' Holloway. Oh my... *fans self* He is absolutely perfect. To be honest, he reminds me a lot of Puck from the Iron Fey series, personality wise. Which is an amazing thing because Puck happens to be my favorite fictional character so it's a great comparison. He's not as much of a jokster but man, he slings smartass comments every opportunity he gets.
I love the relationship between Ellie and her older, extremely protective brother, Graham. I love when older brothers are protective of their younger sisters, it's such an awe factor. However, sometimes they do go too far and hover worse than a parent may. Graham definitely takes his protectiveness too far a few times but Ellie really loves him and really looks up to him. She wants to protect him the same way he's done for her their entire life. Especially when her world starts changing the moment she steps foot in her grandmothers small town in Norway. The townspeople are not very welcoming and extremely rude to her for what she thinks is absolutely no reason at all. They blame her grandmother for something and decide to take it out on Ellie, as well.
Valkyrie's are real and they're about to invade Ellie's life in more ways than one. What she thought was just a summer away at her grandmother's place turns out to be so much more. Her world is about to be turned inside out and every other way possible.
The story was interesting enough, especially with the mythology mixed in to it. (Actually, it plays a big role) But what really grabbed my attention were the characters and their relationships, especially. In the beginning, I thought there was going to be a love triangle and I am so relieved to see that it's not at all what she was doing. The growth of Ellie's relationship with Tuck was perfect, realistic and just...amazing. The way the insulted each other all the time was highly entertaining, as well. They've always just meshed so well together it's totally like these two personalities were made for each other.
I definitely recommend checking this book out. It entertains, it's got lots of action, amazing character bonding going on and just a real enjoyment to read.