Valkyrie Rising

Valkyrie Rising - I am pretty sure I have not read a book about Valkyries, but maybe books that mentioned them. Anyways, this was really good and I loved learning about the history of it and the Norse Mythology. I was only aware of the very basics, so this book was really interesting to me. Besides the mythology lesson, the storyline was just fantastic. I really loved Ellie's character and some of the secondary characters. There was plenty of action and adventure in this, and a but of romance. I found that the romance was kind of taking over at some points, but thankfully it didn't totally take center stage. Ellie is a girl who is used to living in the shadow of her good looking, super popular brother. She tries to keep to herself. Even her best friends ignore her for her brother. (Nice best friends huh?) She is in no way a weak girl though. She is funny, strong, and smart. Once she gets to her grandmothers house in Norway she starts to just be herself. She is tired of being talked down to by her brother Graham and she will go out of her way to do things just because he doesn't want her to. She discovers new found powers in herself that she must use to save her brother when he goes missing, along with her grandmother. This is one tough chick. She will stop at nothing to save her brother and the other missing boys. She needs to do all of this while she is letting her feelings for Tuck come to the surface. The writing was very good and I loved being able to feel and imagine the settings in Norway. I could clearly envision the winding roads, the buildings, the crowds in the pubs. I was very intrigued by the story and it kept me turning pages. The romance got to be a little bit too much at times because I really wanted to focus on the story and what was going on, but I think it was necessary in Ellie really finding herself and letting her inner self out for everyone to see. She always seemed to get walked all over, but now it's her time to shine and be in charge of her own decisions. The secondary characters were really great in their own ways too. I really liked Margit, even though she was a moody pain in the butt. I understood where she was coming from. I think I was just really irritated with her lack of open mindedness. I suppose when you have had something put in our head your whole life, it makes you very stubborn to even try to think about it another way. Vague, I know, but you will understand if you read it. Tuck was really great too. He is a bit infuriating, but him and Ellie go way back since he is Grahams best friend. They have grown up together so they have some really fun banter. We get to see a whole different side of him though when he's not picking on her or trying to irritate her. It's quite sweet. The other character who I really liked, was her grandmother. She is one tough woman. She is fun and inviting and I could imagine sitting in her kitchen having some tea and cookies. I loved the mythology of this book and loved learning more about Valkyries. I was really excited to read this when I first heard about it, but I have to admit I was a bit nervous since I hadn't really read a book like this. I had no need to be worried at all. This definitely exceeded my expectations. The visual imagery I got from reading this was fantastic in itself, but the great storyline and incredible cast of characters made this a total win!