In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters--wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.
The gods died a long time ago.
Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history--because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.
However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids--led by Matt--will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.This is an MG book. I know I don't often read MG, but when you have Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr as the authors I have to at least check it out. I'm glad that I did. Even adults will probably enjoy this tale.
What I think I most enjoyed about this tale was that it didn't talk down to the reader. They used the norse terms (which I'll never be able to pronounce properly) and didn't shy away from the proper spelling... not even to make it phonetically pronounceable. I liked that because we don't get that in adult literature and it doesn't bother me to butcher it in my head (sorry Icelanders...) and it doesn't slow down my reading my getting the proper pronunciation either. Small quibble that I have, but I've seen books have to draw out everything before so I was glad it wasn't present here. It treated you like you could figure it out for yourself.
The adventure was also engaging. We follow 3 friends... or new to being friends and they start to see each other outside the labels they were encouraged to be used while in their small town. They find out there is more to the person than just their reputation and trust slowly develops. I also loved it when a character found out they were wrong and then admitted it to the others. Adults could use a lesson in that. :)
My biggest complaint is that some of the pacing seemed a bit off. I think it could have been a bit tighter and really made the pages really fly especially for the younger crowd. Still, I think both boys and girls can be really engaged with this one and find someone to connect. The ending is a bit of a cliffie, but yet didn't bother me like some. Still, it will leave you with a huge question at the end and a want for the next book.
I give this book 4 stars. It's a good start to a MG adventure and I think all ages will have fun with the adventure.
I received this ARC from Atom and no compensation for my review was given.