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Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
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Valkyrie Rising (edition 2012)

by Ingrid Paulson

Series: Valkyrie (1)

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1691470,359 (3.71)1
Member:tripsis
Title:Valkyrie Rising
Authors:Ingrid Paulson
Info:HarperTeen (2012), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

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Oooh, I really enjoyed this book! And after that synopsis how could you not expect to love it? Valkyrie Rising is an action packed novel that sucked me in and kept me in Norway until I finished the book... amazing! I am so excited to tell everyone about this book...

The characters were nothing short of amazing. Ellie was a great and relatable (and sarcastic) character. I enjoyed reading the story from her perspective. Also, her brother, Graham was a vivid character who learns the some valuable lessons about being a big brother. Tuck, Graham's friend, was also pretty great. Astrid, an evil valkyrie in the beginning, was also fun to read about because her personality and traits were unique and vivid. I hope we see more of all these characters in the second book.

Okay, Norse mythology. Kidnappings. Valkyries. What could be cooler? This novel definitely had a plot to die for. The audience will never be bored, or at least I never was, with all the end-of-your-seat action. I think I read this in half the airplane ride. (P.S This is fun to read on a plane because then you can pretend to be going to Norway!)

There were several "plots" (I may be using this term loosely.) One was about the kidnapping of young men in the Norwedgian fishing village. Another one was the war including the gods. There was the part where Ellie tries to figure out some family secrets, and what she is. And finally, there was the romance between Ellie and Tuck, plus the relationship between Ellie and Graham. All these "plots" joined together to make an awesome story!

The conclusion solves most everything and there was no cliff-hanger, which I liked. However, there is definitely room for more books in the series. And I hope the second one comes out soon! I want more gods, goddesses, valkyries, and action! What will happen next in the war of the gods?

Overall, Valkyrie Rising was an epic read. Fans of mythology, action, and romance will love whipping through the novel like I did.

4.5/5 bookcases
( )
  Emily_Anne | Mar 16, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book, but I would have liked more character development. ( )
  rtevels | Sep 23, 2013 |
Recommended

The story starts at Graham’s 18th birthday party, with most of the school being at Graham and Ellie’s house. Ellie (Else) is watching everything from her balcony, not really feeling like part of the group. As the school year comes to an end, Ellie, Graham and Tucker (Graham’s best friend) go to Norway for the summer. Ellie has been to Norway many times to visit her grandmother, but this time things are different. Ellie is scorned by the townspeople and pursued by a cute Norwegian boy named Kjell. Young men are disappearing from town and the townspeople blame Ellie and her Grandmother. Soon, a centuries old war between Loki, Odin and the Valkyries surface in modern day Norway. Ellie discovers her true self and eventually falls in love.

One of the first things to catch the readers’ attention in this book are the references to Norse mythology. I think that was a unique aspect to this paranormal romance. Many of the references to Loki, Odin, Valhalla and the Valkyries stay true to the original stories, but are set in today’s society. I like the name of the town the story was set in, Skavøpoll. The description of the country, the fjords and the night sky brought Norway to life for the reader. Some of the professional reviews seem to be lukewarm, but I really enjoyed the story. The female characters were strong and independent; the mythology was nicely woven into a contemporary setting. The dialogue was fast paced, with just enough mystery to make the reader want to finish the book.

I think this book is appropriate for a school library. It has some underage drinking, but it’s very tame and I don’t see anything objectionable about it. I think the book could be used as supplemental reading for a mythology course. A school librarian could make a display of contemporary mythology stories to go along with a literature unit on mythology, if they don’t have time to do it in the classroom. It would also be a great contemporary YA novel to go along with a Norway book display mixing fiction and non-fiction. I would also recommend it to high school and public library teen book clubs. ( )
  kmjanek | Aug 29, 2013 |
4.5 Stars. This book took a little while to suck me in, but when it did I discovered a really intriguing storyline and wonderful characters. Paulson takes a few chapters to set up this story, but once Ellie gets to Norway things start to pick up and they continue to get more interesting once Graham and his best friend Tuck arrive.

Ellie was a likeable character. She was sweet, but toughens up and learns to stand up for herself as the book goes on. I loved the dynamic of Ellie and the boys around her. Other than her grandmother and the Valkyries all the other main characters are guys. Seeing Graham, Tucker and Kjell all being territorial over her was entertaining. I also liked Tucker a lot. He pushed Ellie’s buttons and could be a bit of a bad influence, but he was also a loyal friend and on the inside a really sweet guy.

Tucker’s jealousy was cute, and I liked his relationship with Ellie. She’s his best friend’s sister and they’ve spent a lot of time together growing up. Now that they’re older they realize they have feelings for one another, but to act on them would mean changing and potentially destroying the way things have been since they were kids.

Ellie has always lived in her big brother’s shadow. His overprotective ways have labeled her as “Graham’s little sister” and all she wants is to be able to make her own decisions. I think what this book is really about is Ellie growing up and becoming her own person. When she visits her grandmother, who lives in Norway, we see her wanting to do her own thing, but she has a hard time talking to her brother about this. Graham tends to just assume what she wants and isn’t a very good listener.

After Ellie and Graham get in a fight the plot really picks up, and Ellie is thrown into a dangerous situation that she has to deal with without the help or guidance of her brother or grandmother. There’s a lot more to Ellie than just being Graham’s little sister and she discovers some of these things and has to learn how to deal with them in a short period of time.

I liked the twist on Norse mythology in this book. There were some familiar faces, like Loki and Odin, but the storyline felt completely new to me. One thing that I was disappointed in with this book was that we never got to see Valhalla. We hear a little bit about it, but the characters never actually make it there.

Also I felt like the fight scene at the end was too easy. There were families fighting against their sons, it just felt like it should have been more emotional. But, instead it ended peacefully and without any casualties and then the whole town’s memories were wiped as if it never happened. I would have liked that scene to have been a little more meaningful.

I did like the little bit of drama at the end with wondering if Tuck was under the same spell as Kjell, and the scene with Tuck and Ellie on the roof made me smile.

Overall this book had nice imagery, an interesting plot and well developed characters. It was descriptive, but in a way that was fun and whimsical. It was a really fun read.

Read more by Lauryn April at http://laurynapril.blogspot.com/ ( )
  LaurynApril | Jul 26, 2013 |
Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

Sometimes, it kind of seems like authors have purchased dictionaries of mythological and paranormal creatures, flipping through and arbitrarily choosing one to write about, because they know it will make them money. Actually, that's what my friend suggested when I tried to explain the plot of Valkyrie Rising to her. I'll admit that she does have a point, but, hey, I prefer some well-done variation to consistent repetition of vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.

NGL, I hardly know anything about Norse mythology. My childhood mythology obsession only stretched as far as Greek and Roman, so do not expect this review to critique the accuracy of Paulson's take on Odin and Valkyries. I can't tell you that. What I can tell you is that this book was just so fun, and that I loved the Valkyries. I mean, who doesn't love a group of hot girls who can destroy anyone with their physical prowess and mind powers? Sure, some of them are a little bit evil, but they're still really interesting, which is clearly the most important thing.

I completely loved the first half of this novel, before the paranormal elements really entered the scene, not that I didn't like those but they weren't my favorite part. What I loved was the dynamic between Ellie and Tuck. They have this snarky back-and-forth banter, a mutual loathing/attraction, that I find incredibly compelling. Basically, they remind me a whole lot of Benedick and Beatrice (couple name: Beatrick) from Much Ado About Nothing. Given that they are perhaps my OTP, that's seriously high praise from me. The best moments are when Ellie and Tuck really get the insults flying thick and fast.

Ellie comes across as a real teenage girl to me, awkward and rebellious and lonely and without an accurate sense of herself. Graham, Ellie's perfect older brother, basically runs her life, keeping guys from dating her, because of an uncomfortable instance one time, and making sure she sticks to curfew. Ellie resents this, but cannot find the will to act out, because she basically hero-worships Graham. Their relationship reminded me a lot of Lugh and Saba in Blood Red Road, especially in the later discovery that the younger sister turns out to be much stronger.

I bonded with Ellie almost immediately, alone at a party, unsure whether to join or to hide. She feels uncomfortable in her own skin and no longer knows if she's a social pariah because of herself or her brother. When she goes to stay with her grandmother in Norway, she arrives before her brother and Tuck. She meets a really hot guy, cuter even than Tuck and older too, Kjell, and he asks her out. She agrees to go in a fit of rebellion. Though he's gorgeous, she does not trust him one bit, and has little to no interest in him. This made me want to fistbump Ingrid Paulson for letting a heroine care more about personality than looks.

I will say, though, that aside from Tuck and Ellie who I loved, the rest of the characters did not seem particularly well-developed. I really don't have a sense of any of them as people, even Graham, which might be part of why I dislike him so much. This dovetails with my other complaint: this should be a series. The story does wrap up, but it's open-ended. So far as I know, a sequel isn't in the works, but it should be, and then we could see the other characters grow more.

Valkyrie Rising is just a heck of a lot of fun, with the added bonus of a unique setting in small town Norway. I loved reading it and will be keeping an eye on Paulson's career from here on out. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
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While visiting Norway, sixteen-year-old Ellie must step out of the shadow of her popular older brother, join forces with his infuriating best friend, and embrace her Valkyrie heritage to rescue teen boys kidnapped to join the undead army of the ancient god, Odin.… (more)

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