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The Lost Sun: Book 1 of United States of…
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The Lost Sun: Book 1 of United States of Asgard

by Tessa Gratton

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Welcome to the United States of Asgard where the Norse gods walk among men and play with their fates at their whims.

Soren Bearskin is determined not to give in to his berserker heritage. After all, he was only eight years old when he saw his beloved father give in to the frenzy and massacre innocent bystanders at a mall. He knows that everyone at his school is afraid of what he might do and chooses to isolate himself from others. Then Astrid Glyn comes to the school and won't let him remain in isolation. She is the only one he knows who is not afraid of him. She comes to him and says that she has seen him in her dreams. She is the daughter of a famous seether who has disappeared and is a budding seether herself who gives herself to the frenzy and sees visions.

When Baldur the Beautiful fails to rise at the appointed time, Soren and Astrid are determined to find him to make the world right again. Astrid has the visions and Soren is determined to protect and help her. Both want to ask Odin Alfather for a boon for successfully returning his son to him. Astrid wants her mother back and Soren wants to get rid of all that could make him a berserker.

But finding Baldur only begins their quest. Baldur has lost his memory and become mortal too.

I really enjoyed getting to know something about Norse mythology in this story. I also liked the juxtaposition of modern conveniences like cell phones and the internet with the mythology. I liked the relationship between Astrid and Soren. Fans of adventure, romance, and mythology are the perfect audience for this first book in a new series. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jul 15, 2014 |
This book was surprisingly good. I mean there are a few things that I didn't like but I liked the book.

I love mythology fiction and that was no different with this book. I liked reading about the Norse gods and goddesses and the various myths that are told throughout the book. I love that Baldur, the sun god was in the book and was such a down to earth and loyal friend to Soren and Astrid. I also loved that Fenris Wolf was in the book and she told her story of what really happened to her. I wished the actual gods would of played a bigger role in the book (aside from Baldur) instead of just appearing in the end. I really enjoyed the journey that Astrid, Baldur, Soren and Vider went on. I liked the inclusion of trolls and elfs and seers.

I liked Soren well enough. He is brave and very loyal to his friends. He starts out the book being scared of his berserking power and isolating himself from everyone because he is scared of hurting people. By the end of the book he is confident in his berseking and has gained lifetime friends and found a love. I have to say the way he was described was sexy. He apparently is really tall, with muscles and a tattoo, which I love even if its on his face. I liked reading the book from his perspective but I didn't really connect with him. His fear and complaining about his berserking all the time got old and annoying. All he wanted was to get rid of his berserking that is constantly in his chest but then by the end he wants to keep the frenzy and can control it. Yeah ok. I feel for him though with what happened with his father. That was sad. His home life and past is not delved into much and I would have wanted to learn all about his father and mother.

Astrid was eh for me as well. She was kind of annoying with her seething and her mysterious prophecy, dreams and readings. I just have no patience for all the guessing and answers that are not really answers. Just give it to me straight and forget all that mumbo jumbo and "if". I liked when she fought the guy in the holmring and won.

The character I really liked was Baldur. He was just so nice and funny. He was a great friend to Soren and I loved how he always wanted to sunbathe. He cared for Soren and Astrid. Even though he was a god he sparred with Soren and taught Vider punch and defense moves. He was very trusting in Soren to protect him and to take him where he needed to be. He was just an all round good guy.

Once again insta love was present and kind of annoyed me. I mean Soren was so scared of his berserking that he isolated himself from everyone and had to use every minute of the day controlling his frenzy. BUT his self-imposed rules went straight out the window when he met Astrid. He wanted to be around her even though he was afraid of the frenzy inside him. BUT that doesn't stop him from being around her. All it does is make him complain more. While the insta love tore at me, I did like the romance between them. The subtle gestures that show they liked each other, their little fights, how Soren was always there to protect her was sweet. Its just the falling in love instantly that drives me crazy! The only way insta love can work is in romance books where its to be expected.

While I liked the world that the book took place in, I didn't like that nothing was said about it. Was the world always like that, so heavily influenced with Norse mythology and gods? Was it like our world now and then changed? Did the Norse gods take over? I mean the world is called the United States of Asgard, with basically the same state names but with different spellings (the same thing for the days of the week). Was it ever The United States of America or has it always been The United States of Asgard? Also I didn't really like how everyone was the son or daughter of a certain god with their features and personalities. Its like there is no individuality~ They're all like the gods.

The things I didn't like didn't out-weigh what I did like or my enjoyment in reading the book. I will continue the series even though the ending of this book seemed like an ending.

SPOILER
I just found it hilarious when in a book a reason is shown for why the book should have been written at all. In the book Baldur doesn't remember he is a god~ Soren has to take him somewhere to get his immortality and memories. Astrid asks Baldur something along the lines, "Why didn't you call Odin to come and get you?" and Baldur tells her that he didn't remember that. My thing is, well he can call on Odin now to come and get him making the entire book unnecessary. lol

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews ( )
  spantalian12 | Jan 10, 2014 |
In the United States of Asgard, the gods walk among us. Every year, the resurrection of Baldur is televised, but this time something has gone terribly wrong. The god has not returned from the realm of the dead, and the world threatens to sink into chaos if he is not found. Two teenagers, a beserker named Soren Bearskin and a seer named Astrid Glyn team up to find Baldur and return him to his father, Odin, gaining a boon from the ruler of the gods to grant their greatest desires.

I find the idea of a "United States of Asgard", in which the Vikings founded America and created a nation built around Norse mythology, instead of Christianity, a fascinating 'what if?' scenario. It's so close to our America, but slightly tweaked place names and terminology help emphasize that this truly is another world. It's interesting that the gods are active and present in this world, and not merely distant figures that characters merely believe in. I really liked the modernized spin on classic “evil” gods like Loki and Fenris Wolf, as well as the updates to Odin, Thor and the other members of the Norse pantheon.

Unfortunately, the two romantic leads are thrown at the reader almost immediately, and they're given little chance to develop. Soren Bearskin is fighting his beserker heritage; when he gets emotional a 'fever' runs over him. He spends most of the book trying to bottle up his powers instead of using them. Meanwhile, Astrid Glyn is the daughter of one of the greatest seers in the United States, and she struggles to live up to that reputation. She and Soren an instant connection the moment they meet, which comes across as forced. Instead of developing into two unique individuals, they simply become two halves of a couple.

If other books in the series - this is the first in a trilogy - had different characters as the leads, I would be tempted to continue because I am really intrigued by this Asgardian America. But the adventures of Astrid and Soren interest me not at all. ( )
  makaiju | Oct 21, 2013 |
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Tessa Gratton's books. BLOOD MAGIC was a 5/5 read for me, whereas I couldn't even finish THE BLOOD KEEPER. The premise involving a modern day Norse Mythology infused world completed grabbed my attention, but THE LOST SUN itself struggled to maintain even a low level excitement for most of the book.

THE LOST SUN is slow. That's the kindest way to put it. Very little happens to adequately fill these 368 pages, and the characters aren't interesting enough to pick up the slack. Soren is really quiet and broody, Astrid lacks personality, and Baldur is so underutilized as to be fairly pointless in any of his scenes. The book is essentially one long road trip. You'd think in a world where mythological gods like Thor and Loki roam around freely, that there would be all this fantastical epic stuff going on. Not so much. There are news reports of savage troll attacks and mob swarms, but we don't see them first hand. Instead we stay in cheap motels, pick up take out, and practice sparring...yeah, that's exciting.

The big disappointment is how small this world feels. I really wanted to feel and experience the gods and the way the world is different because of them. THE LOST SUN is written in such a way that it assumes readers know all about the United States of Asgard and is rather ho hum about it all. Sure days of the week have different names and there are different holidays etc, but it doesn't come across as grand an epic like mythology should.

The ending does pick up in terms of the plot, but since I felt pretty indifferent towards all the characters, their plight was lacking impact. Ultimately, nothing stood out enough here to make me interested in reading the next book in the United States of Asgard series. ( )
  pollywannabook | Sep 2, 2013 |
The description of this book led me to believe this was going to be more light-hearted and "flip" than it actually is. Yes, the Norse gods are real. But, nowhere did I find Odin Alfather casting a tiebreaking vote in Congress. The gods ARE heavily invested in a North America that was apparently successfully settled by the Vikings a few centuries before, but like the "real" Norse gods they are an aloof and confusing bunch, not to be trusted.

Author Tessa Gratton brings a writing style that echoes in the style of epic poems written in the first person. Protagonist Soren Bearskin is a "berserker," marked with a tattoo of a spear on his cheek in order to warn others that he could become mindlessly violent at any time. Astrid Glyn is a "seethkona" or prophet who really can see the future (but as with all seers, sometimes the future seen is not complete or is misleading).

With a missing god to find (Baldur the Beautiful), the young berserker and seethkona team up for a classic road trip to rescue the world. Ms. Gratton slowly and subtly unfolds her created universe, with descriptions of honey flavored soda, troll warnings from the Emergency Broadcast System, and justice (small and large) determined by combat, I was continually drawn in to the United States of Asgard and want to know much more about this alternate universe.

Ms. Gratton establishes a consistent vocabulary which adds to the veracity of her world. There are locations such as the "kingstates" of Colorada and South Lakota; "holmrings" are found in every town for settling legal disputes by combat (seldom fatal); "Jotun burgers" are a house special of a roadside dive; "Trollhome" is north of "Canadia" from whence real trolls raid human settlements; and the volcano, "Sanctus Elens" exploded years before where the female berserker Luta Bearsdottir fought (and died) in the last elf uprising.

For a Young Adult (YA) this book has a consistent dark and foreboding tone which may not be a good thing for the youngest readers. Those familiar with Norse mythology might find special interest in reading this book; those unfamiliar with the mythology might be nudged into further exploration.

I personally loved this book's feel, one of a quirky magic realism, but have a hard time with a universal "must read" recommendation just for that stylistic reason. Some of the best YA writing is like that.

NOTE: I received a free copy for review purposes from the Amazon Vine Program ( )
  fugitive | Aug 26, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307977463, Hardcover)

   Fans of Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Holly Black's The Curse Workers will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard. Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities.

   When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:36:21 -0400)

"In an alternate U.S.A. (the United States of Asgard), Soren Bearskin, the son of an infamous beserker, and Astrid Glyn, daughter of a renowned seer, embark on a road trip to find Baldur, the missing god whose absence has caused panic throughout the country."--… (more)

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