Cool Concept, Bro BUT…: Freya by Matthew Laurence

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Freya is myth. She is legend. And she’s about to make one hell of a comeback.

Sara Vanadi is more than she appears to be.

In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. Now all that’s left of her legacy is herself. Her power comes from belief, and for an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers are hard to come by.

She’s been lying low for a few decades, when all of a sudden a shadowy corporation extends an offer: join them and receive unlimited strength and believers—or refuse and be destroyed. Sara chooses neither; she flees with the help of a new friend named Nathan.

With a modern power rising that wishes to bend the divine to its will, Sara decides to fight back—but first she needs some new clothes.

Source: GoodReads

Eh.

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This is a DNF but it’s a me not you DNF. I do think for the right person, this book might work but for me.  Not going to happen.

It had an interesting concept, don’t get me wrong.  That is why I picked it up after all, I don’t read a book that’s concept I know is going to dull me, I just didn’t like the execution.  Especially the depiction of the main character.

I get that Sara/Freya is supposed to be a goddess, but she comes off being completely unrealistic.  Much like the plot was a series of unrealistic events as well.  It seemed more or less like it was just an advertisement for the Orlando tourism circuit.

And I’ll admit it, when I first heard that the characters were running away to Disney World I was excited.  Until I actually read it and was like nope…just nope…

It just felt like an advertisement and as much as Freya was supposed to be this spunky fish out of water protagonist, I did not like her.  She seemed more like and idealization than a person (think the stupid MPDG cliche)

As a whole the book  felt very stilted.  And I didn’t care for Nathan either who was more or less an idiot just along for the ride.  Things might’ve improved but…

No just no.

By the time I got through about a hundred pages of this and could spot half a dozen plot holes, I really didn’t care to continue further.

I just didn’t have the time or patience to carry on.

There’s really not a lot to say other than that.  I just really didn’t care for this one because it had such a cool concept.

Overall Rating: DNF

The Gods Approve (Sort Of): The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Source: GoodReads

Bookish Confession: I never read a Riordan book before.

Or all the books by this author I should’ve read already.

I don’t know why, I know they’re extremely popular, but they’ve sort of flown under the radar for me.

I picked this one up though, mainly because I am interested in learning more about Norse mythology and have just had such horrible luck finding such a book that’s decent.

Grant it, the one series I read with Norse mythology in it was The Witches of East End (ugh, Uncle Arthur and Freddie) and that series pretty much blows, so anything has to be an improvement on it.

I actually liked The Sword of Summer quite a bit.  Magnus was an interesting main character, and the book didn’t fall to many pitfalls that other books in the genre did.

I think what I liked the best about it that it wasn’t romance heavy at all.  In fact, there was no romance there.  And sometimes, just sometimes I want a romance free novel and this is it.

I think if I was to describe this book it would be like a buddy flick with some Thor thrown in.  It’s just pure fun.  To be fair though, I don’t know if it handles it’s source material with that much accuracy.  Then again to be fair, it just might.  My recollection of Norse myths are pretty bleak.  Ask me about Greek mythology and then I can get picky.  So if I knew more about Norse mythology, I might’ve not had liked it as much as I did.

The characters are all fleshed out.  The main character was delightful and felt surprisingly realistic, despite his circumstances.  The actual plot, while using the typical quest formula didn’t feel old to me like it usually does in these sorts of books.  I also liked how there were humor in this book.  It’s so hard to find humor-at least entertaining humor in YA these days.

The thing is, even though I enjoyed The Sword of Summer, it was hardly a perfect book.  It was a little bit on the cheesy side, and I could see the series quickly going down hill, but right now I enjoyed it for what it was.

Overall Rating: A solid B+ a nice start to the start of a series especially if you’re a Norse or Riordan neophyte like yours truly.