As you may remember, last week I announced my participation in Itching for Books blog tour of Ingrid E. Paulson’s debut novel, Valkyrie Rising a story of Valkyries, rising powers, and young love. I’m super excited for the blog tour (just click on the link above to see what else is happening) and to share my thoughts on the book! After my review will be the opportunity to enter in a contest for your very own copy of Valkyrie Rising (sorry, U.S. participants only).
Ellie grew up in the shadow of her brother, a star athlete who can do no wrong. Quiet and a little shy, the only person Ellie talks to at her brother’s high school graduation bash is his best friend, Tuck, and mainly to yell at him for sneaking in alcohol. Ellie is looking forward to the end of the school year because she is going to visit her grandmother in Norway for several weeks and though Graham will be joining them later, she’ll have time to herself to explore who she is away from him and his over protective nature.
When she first gets to Norway, Ellie meets a local boy who is home for the summer from college to help out on his family’s boat. One night he takes her out to a bar as there isn’t much night life in the middle of nowhere Norway. While out for the evening with the boy and his friends, Ellie discovers that boys have gone missing from the village. They have been kidnapped, and the local lore is that the kidnappers are legendary Valkyrie’s, beautiful women who take the souls’ of soldiers from the battlefield as they are dying. Only now, instead of dying soldier’s, young local boys are disappearing every time several beautiful women show up. Ellie is concerned about the disappearance especially when Graham arrives and brings Tuck with him.
Then Graham disappears soon after he gets to Norway and it is up to Ellie and Tuck to find and save him. Along with her rising concern Ellie discovers rising powers and a family heritage she never imagined. Suddenly stronger and faster, Ellie hopes the powers she has inherited will come to her aid to help save her brother and the other missing boys.
What a delightful read. Valkyrie Rising is a wonderful coming of age story about a young girl who has to learn how to come out from the shadow of her perfect brother, deal with rising powers, and the attention of a boy she’s known all her life for whom she suddenly starts having feelings. I really liked the Norway setting and the incorporation of the Valkyrie legend into the story. Ellie was an interesting character that really started to develop after she got to Norway and responsibility was expected of her in using her powers to save her brother and the other kidnapped boys.
The book did start out a little slow in setting up the characters, but once the action started happening it didn’t stop. Ellie and Tuck are resourceful people who find themselves in an impossible situation that they handle as best as they can, teenagers in a foreign land. While their young love romance is rather predictable, it is sweet in its own way and didn’t detract from the overall story. The one thing I would have liked was a little more development of Ellie’s thoughts and feelings. Though the action was well written I think there could have been a little more attention given to an expression of how Ellie was feeling and what she was thinking.
While I had a few minor issues with character development the overall story was great. I loved reading about the Valkyrie’s and Ellie’s heritage. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop, Ellie and her tale are an engaging read. Tuck was a great character and was well developed over the course of the book. At first annoying and then later a great source of support to Ellie, the boy next door, Tuck is not without his faults, but he was always there for Ellie, and that is what counts. Paulson’s debut novel is an enjoyable tale of one young girl’s quest to discover who she is as her own person. People who enjoy coming of age stories with supernatural twists will enjoy this book.
I received a free copy of Valkyrie Rising in exchange for an honest review.
Ingrid E. Paulson lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter and enjoys long- distance running, eavesdropping, and watching science documentaries. She has always loved books and writing short stories, but was surprised one day to discover the story she was working on wasn’t so short any more. Valkyrie Rising is Ingrid’s first novel.
Ingrid’s grandmother might actually be a Valkyrie; she’s still waiting for her to come clean.
Win a signed copy of Valkyrie Rising (U.S. Only) by heading on over to Itching for Books or here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway. (I can’t host the Rafflecopter on my website because I’m on WordPress.com.)