Series:You know what's hard about writing reviews? Trying to write a review for a book that didn't elicit in either direction. Valkyrie Rising wasn't a bad book; I found the story to be a bit interesting at times. But I also can't say that it is a great book, either. I just found myself simply not caring about the story or the characters. So basically, I feel as if I'm grasping for something to say.
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: Oct. 9, 2012
Source: Received from publisher for review.
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'm certain part of the problem is that I'm discovering that I'm just not into Valkyries. And to this you're probably thinking "Well, Andrea, why did you pick up a book titled 'Valkyrie Rising'?" I decided to read Valkyrie Rising because it was sent to me by a publicist (Thanks to Harper Teen!) and I gave it a shot to see if maybe I do like Valkyries, but hadn't found the right book yet.
Another reason I didn't connect to the book was that I felt the author used a lot of telling instead of showing. For example, at one point Ellie gains the ability to hear voices. But instead of "showing" the effect it had on her brain by making me feel as if I were experiencing it with her, the ability is simply told:
"Just when I thought things couldn't get any weirder, a strange voice sounded in my head, one that was me and wasn't me. Like it came from a new part of my consciousness I hadn't had the chance to meet yet."
Those lines didn't make me feel anything. I just know that "Oh, I new ability popped up at an awfully handy time." Which leads me to my next gripe. I am not a fan of stories in which the characters just magically develop abilities whenever it's convenient. Ellie randomly develops the ability to understand the language, she suddenly can hear thoughts, can fight when she's never been trained. I get that this helps keep the pace moving quickly, but I like for my characters to work for a payoff.
So what did I like about Valkyrie Rising? I liked the setting. The author painted a lovely picture of Norway, a location I've not experienced in books. Also, Tuck. If not for Tuck, I don't know that I would have enjoyed the story at all. He was funny, charming, adventurous, and charismatic. I loved the effect he had on Ellie. He made every scene he was in better, and I missed him when he was off scene.
Valkyrie Rising was an "okay" book for me. I didn't love it; I didn't hate it. I'm sure that there are a lot of readers who will love the characters, the mythology, the story and will have a fantastic time reading it.
" 'We should call the police,' Tuck said.
'And tell them what, exactly?' I asked. 'That we think Valkyries kidnapped my brother? And attacked my grandmother? Maybe we should interrogate all the other fictional creatures, starting with the Easter Bunny?' I knew I wasn't being helpful, but my frustration was screaming for an out.
'Leave the Easter Bunny out of it,' Tuck murmured. 'I know that dude has an alibi.' " (eARC, pg 168)
You can pre-order Valkyrie Rising at:
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I'm glad you liked this book despite the few things you mentioned. I have been really eager to read this one.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing your wonderful & honest review Andrea :)
I hope you enjoy it, Sharon. And good luck getting it soon!Delete
I really thought this book was going to be different. Different from what I just got out of the synopsis and your review. I guess I didn't do my homework for this one, just fell for the cover and title. I might just have to pass it up.ReplyDelete
Great honest review, Andrea!
I had hopes for a good story,too. Thanks Lisa!Delete
Thanks for the review. I'm not a fan of abilities conveniently developing either. I think we can be cleverer than that!ReplyDelete
Hmmm....I'm not a fan of the telling not showing in books either. Sorry this one fell flat for you. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Cally and Valerie - Those two elements make any book very difficult for me to love.Delete
I totally agree, Andrea, writing a review for a book that was "okay" is super hard. I don't like the "telling" instead of "showing" way of writing either. It makes me feel like I'm being dictated to and can't figure things out on my own. To tell you the truth, I wasn't really interested in picking this book up before your review, so you just solidified my decision. :)ReplyDelete
I had no idea what to say, Rachel. I didn't have strong feelings either way. Oh well...Delete
Urgh! I hate that. I have a book I'm reading right now, that I'm having a bit of trouble with. It makes me sad too. I had high hopes. I do like Valkyries, but the only ones I've really read are from Kresley Cole's series. They're bad ass!ReplyDelete
I guess I need to try Kresley Cole.Delete
Too bad this one didn't spark for you. It hasn't really been making me jump up and down to get it, so I've been waiting on some reviews. Thanks for your opinion! :DReplyDelete
Hope my review helped!Delete
I'm am going to be reading this book next. It's too bad that it didn't do anything for you either way.I'm hoping I enjoy it. I just read a book like that. I agree it's hard to find words to explain a book that you just felt "meh" about.ReplyDelete
I do hope you enjoy it, Amy. I'm looking forward to your review.Delete
I don't know if I'll read this one or not if twas only an okay book .. Thanks for the honest review Andrea :)ReplyDelete
You may like it, Elodie, it just wasn't for me.Delete
And thank you!
It really is the worst writing a review for a book that you are just meh about. I always feel like I just don't know what to say where as with a book I love I can go on and on gushing or if I hate it on and on complaining. Thanks for the review, I wasn't sure about this one.ReplyDelete
It is a struggle. And I could barely think of reasons to defend my feelings and thoughts.Delete
I have to admit I am intrigued by the premise. Some of the nits you had would probably bug me too, but I might just check this one out anything. Sorry you didn't love it!ReplyDelete
I hope you like it, Camille!Delete
I didn't add this one to my tbr list because the blurb didn't do anything for me. Interesting that you feel kind of neutral about it because I hate writing reviews for books that made me feel that way. My mind is completely blank and I really have to push myself to come up with something.ReplyDelete
I think I will pass on this one as the quote you provided still does nothing for me. But I am glad you helped me make that final decision. I am just sorry you didn't like it more!
I really struggled to get into this and I really struggled with my review. It's tough!Delete
LOL -- I was putting together my Hot Off The Presses for next Tuesday and came across this. I hadn't heard anything about it -- and wouldn't even know what a Valkyrie was except that I read the Touch of Frost series.ReplyDelete
Thanks for giving me a better idea of what this is about!
Oh no! I am on the tour for this one and now I am scared! I agree that stories with too convenient plot twists grate on me as well. It drives me insane, sorry you didn't enjoy this one more. I hate writing reviews for books that I am "meh" about. I feel like I just try to think of random things to say to flesh it out haha. GREAT review!ReplyDelete
My feelings EXACTLY actually! I liked it okay...but I didn't love it at all. Tuck was cool! He was cute. But I also liked the med student. hehe Who doesn't want a future doctor?! Apparently her!!! I mean I get she had a thing for Tuck but if she wasn't going to say anything she should have got with the med student. I hated the secrets. Ellie not telling her brother like duh you know if you don't warn him he will be kidnapped. The the grandma didn't tell them. It was a big mess. Also not enough action. I just didn't really connect with anyone.ReplyDelete
I'm on the tour for this book, and I am starting it soon. Thanks for the great honest review. I'll be interested to see how I like it.ReplyDelete
I felt that it was an ok book too! AND I'm having a hard time writing a review for this too!!!ReplyDelete
Krazyyme @ Young Readers