Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson


Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
Publisher- Harper Teen
Released- Oct 9th 2012
Purchase- 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

My Thoughts:
As much as Elle loves her brother Graham she's tired of his overprotective big brother tendencies that can gets a little out of control and even embarrassing. She feels like she'll never compare to him or his side-kick best friend, Tucker. So when Ellie leaves a week early to Norway to visit their grandmother before Graham, she's relived that she gets to spend the summer where not everyone worships the ground he walks on and she can finally let loose. But things have been strange since she's arrived. People in the town are telling her to go home and are blaming her and her grandmother for things that couldn't possibly be their fault. Teenage boys have been missing and while it's hard to believe, Ellie is starting to think the legends may be true and Valkyrie's  really do exist.
When Graham goes missing to, it's up to Ellie to embrace her destiny and be the Valkyrie she was born to be. With the help of Tucker, they must find a way to get Graham and the rest of the kidnapped boys back, but first Ellie must fight to prove her worth and stop Odin from building his undead army and unleashing a war to rule all.

Wow, this was surprisingly good. I've always loved mythology. I admit my knowledge of Norse myths are more  limited to the Thor movies then in my reading escapes, which is why I found this so refreshing and fun to read. Valkyrie Rising has a lot going for it. 
It's set in Norway, which I found cool since I loved reading about the land and somehow it made it more alluring. I also really enjoyed the concept of empowering fierce warrior women known as the Valkyrie and seeing how it ties in with Odin and Loki and we even have a little Celtic myth on the side to sweeten the story line even more. 
Ingrid Paulson is a strong writer! I loved how quickly she brings you into the heart of our main protagonist, Ellie and the conflicts that she has to face from beginning to end. I felt connected and invested with her instantly. The pace and the flow of the story was perfect. It was slow building at first, but it never felt dull or dragged out, instead it gave it that mysterious edge to keep it captivating. Once the story started to move on, the more intense it got, in both plot-action and romance.

I really enjoyed every single one of these character. They are all wonderfully developed and intriguing.
When we first meet Ellie, she seems like such a lost and defeated character. She may be 16 years old, but she feels like a child most of the time under Graham's watchful eye. But once Ellie gets to Norway and learns about who she truly is, she slowly but surly starts to believe that she's a lot stronger and braver then she realized and it shows when she becomes a total warrior badass.
The way Ellie goes on about Graham, I thought he would end up being a jerk, but he's actually not a bad guy and only doing what a big brother is suppose to do.
Then we have Tucker Halloway. Aww, Tuck, how much I adore him. The minute we meet Tuck, I knew we were gonna get along just fine. There is something very irresistible about his personality that I just want to hug. He's infuriating, sarcastic, witty with a warm smile that made my heart do flips. I also liked the secret-twist concerning his past. I never saw that one coming.
But my favorite part was the sweet-as-sin romance between Tucker and Ellie. They've always had a rivalry-bantering friendship, but you could feel the longing and tension between these two in waves. The romance was so adorable. It's the kind of romance that was still in the unsure stage. New, hopeful, confusing. It's where everything is muddy at first before it becomes inevitably clear. I also loved how protective he was and  how his jealousy made him deliciously sexy. I smile just thinking about them. 
I also really liked the other characters as well. Their Grandmother, Hilda, was wicked cool. I'd love to have a grandma like that! Astrid, Kjell and Loki also brought in the perfect amount of intrigue and entertainment into the story. Fun stuff.

All in all, I was really impressed with Valkyrie Rising. The concept is fascinating, the writing is smooth and consuming and all these characters will have you invested from minute one. I'm not sure if we're getting more in this world, but I would love to see more Tucker where Paulson takes this next. An amazing debut and a solid escape! 

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                               4.5 Snowflakes


  1. I enjoyed this book too, Tina. I love the idea of women warriors - there's not enough of those written nowadays. Mind you, women are warriors in everyday life but you know what I mean. :)

    1. lol Joy! I know exactly what you mean;) I really loved the concept behind this too, I really hope she does a sequel, but I don't think she will be:(

  2. This is good to know! I picked up a copy when it was free on Amazon and I've been wanting to get around to it. Sounds like it's a winner!

    1. It's a fun book:D I really hope you enjoy it:)

  3. I wasn't overly impressed with this book to be honest, but I'm glad to hear you had a better experience :) I wanted more from the Norse mythology and thought the book was rather silly for the most part. I do remember that I loved the small-town setting tho! :) Thanks for a great review!

    Evie @Bookish

    1. Aw, sorry you didn't like this one as much:( I wanted to see more of the Norse and Celtic myths too, I find it fascinating. I'm still hoping that we'll get a book two:)

  4. I just read this two weeks ago. I rather enjoyed it. I had heard mixed things about it from my friends and many told me it was not worth it. But I had read a short story that Ingrid had written (from Tucker's POV) and it really intrigued me. I'm curious to see where the next book leads.

    1. Ohhh! I forgot about that novella, I'm gonna have to read that one soon. Tuck is my favorite part about this book. So irresistible! lol I hope you enjoy this when you get the change to read it:)