Valkyrie Rising by: Ingrid Paulson

Synopsis: 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.

Thoughts:  I have to admit I really didn’t know much about Valkyries at all and was not sure what to expect with this one. I was pleasantly surprised right away. The first chapter sucked me in and the action just kept building up from there. Valkyrie Rising has fantastic Norse mythology, a topic I wasn’t too familiar with, and a story I ended up completely loving. Plus the cover is quite gorgeous!

Ellie is so used to living in her brother Graham’s shadow. Graham is popular, good-looking and everyone knows Ellie is his little sister. It doesn’t help that Graham always thinks he knows what’s best for her too. So for once to get away from it all, Ellie is excited to go to her grandmother’s in Norway for the summer. This summer is completely different though.  Local boys have been going missing and the town seems to hate Ellie and her grandmother. Then Graham shows up and tagging along with him his is sarcastic, girl-charming best friend Tucker.  Then one fateful night, Ellie’s brother becomes one of the kidnapped boys and it’s up to Ellie, her new found powers, and Tuck to not only fight to get Graham back, but figure out exactly what is going on in town.

The first chapter pulled me directly in, and I instantly found myself loving Ellie, Graham, and of course Tucker Halloway. The three of them have one of those bonds that you realize no matter how much they play or argue it’s a forever type of bond. By the end of the book, it was such a full circle of growth for Ellie. She got stronger and some-what found her purpose. She was able to finally step out of her brother’ shadow and fight for things she believes in. The other relationship and character I loved was Tucker. He’s that boy who is playful by nature, but under that is the heart of gold that you cannot help but fall in love with. He’s protective, slightly jealous (which is only cute on so many guys and Tuck is one them!), and completely caring. I absolutely loved watching Ellie and his relationship turn into something. And, I totally want more!

There were tons of other characters that make the story what it is as well like Ellie’s grandmother, Astrid, Kjell, and Margit. This story though has it’s own magic. The concept is so unique and the town is a beautiful setting that you don’t normally get to see in other books. I really enjoyed this one and read it quite quick. I hope we get more… because I’d love to see some more bad-ass girl fighting and the sexy Tucker Halloway!

– 5 out of 5 Splatters –

Published by Jena Freeth

30. Boy mom. Book lover. Fitness junkie. Shopaholic.

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