Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson Blog Tour



Welcome to Valkyrie Rising Blog Tour hosted by the lovely Shane at itching for books that stops here today!

Synopsis

Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.

Review

I have always had an interest for mythology be it greek, roman, egyptian or viking. So when I stumbled across a blog tour for this book that I'd already heard of I jumped at the chance reading about viking mythology amongst the norwegian fjords.

Initially starting in America but then quickly moving to Norway Ingrid Paulson didn't spare much time in presenting Ellie and me to the stirring mysteries of Skavopoll where boys are disappearing, Valkyries are appearing and long forgotten gods are starting to meddle. But that is just the tip of the iceberg! 

Ellie was a sharp tongued but sheltered girl, always forced under the protective wing of her older brother Graham. As far as he's concerned no boy, teenager or man will ever be good enough for her; and he makes very sure that everybody knows it. Ellie is consequently very much lacking in male attention and very, understandably, annoyed.
When she leaves for Norway a week before her brother is due to join her, Ellie decides that it is high time for her to take control of her own life and decisions.
Although this book was undoubtedly about mythological warriors there was an undercurrent theme of coming of age, rebellion and demand of independence from those who should be responsible, protecting and perhaps somewhat dominating.

Ellie sets out to free herself of Graham's strangle hold on her academic and romantic life, and what starts as a first step in this direction, by going out for drinks at the local bar, turns into an adventure of mythological proportions. Ironically Ellie begins to find the change and release from her brother in the most unlikely of people, one who has been under her nose her whole life: Tuck.

Tucker was, and still remains, almost more of a mystery to me than the viking legendary warriors. With an incredible skill of hiding all emotion, remaining constantly calm and schooling his face to a perennial neutral expression, Tuck was unreadable. As readers it is both a blessing and a curse to be able to understand what the main character picks up, and also read between the lines into the gestures and expressions of other characters interacting with him/her. But not Tucker. His grey eyes reminded me of cement walls and steel doors, guarding an infinity of secrets.

Ingrid Paulson narrated a fast paced story that had me finishing this book in 2 days. Valkyrie Rising was a funny and romantic  read, with adventure and mythological action.
It was a refreshing change from the now more easily found vampire, witchy and zombie paranormal YA books, and I hope to be reading more of this world from Ingrid Paulson.

Are you intrigued? Would you like a taster?
Then check out this excerpt!

Excerpt 

The beautiful girl shifted closer as she trailed her fingers from Kjell's shoulder down his chest, probing, as if she'd find buried treasure beneath his chest.
I had to admire the speed with which she closed in on what she wanted. But the way her fingers continued to expertly weave across his torso reminded me more of a butcher inspecting a side of beef than an attempt at seduction.
I started to laugh. I couldn't help it. In light of the man still washing the hardwood floors with his blood, a groping session seemed ill timed. At home, the LAPD would be all over the place by then. As I glanced around the bar again, no one seemed particularly bothered by any of it.
The catatonic expression had settled back over Kjell's features, like he wasn't fully cognizant of what was happening.
The second girljoined her companion and curled one hand over Kjell's cheek and started saying something in Norwegian. It was about time, I thought. In my book, a few words of small talk ought to precede a full body massage.
I caught the word doctor. Somehow the knew about medical school. Perhaps these were Kjell's friends from Oslo? Kjell tipped his head to the side, watching the blond girl in absolute rapture. Beautiful as she was, it was wrong. So wrong. She pulled him two steps forward, leading him toward the door like a puppy on a leash. I knew I had to do something about it. I had to stop them.
"Kjell are you okay?" I asked, putting my hand on his wrist protectively.
Instead of replying, Kjell glared down at me. Like he had no idea who I was or what I was doing there. But I held his gaze, steady and trying not to be frightened by the furious intensity in his eyes. He blinked, three times fast, as if waking from a dream.
Frantically he dug for something in the pocket of his jacket-something small and silver. It looked like the tiny object my grandmother had dropped into his hand earlier that night. it was a small metal disk, with a series of raised lines and curves that resembled letters, only from no alphabet we'd ever learned in school. Kjell held it out in front of himself. Like a priest exorcising the devil. Except his eyes were firmly closed, clenched tight.
His other hand reached out and found mine, his fingers snaking in between each and every digit, squeezing so tight I thought my knuckles would pop like balloons.
The blond girl took a step back, staring scornfully at the object on Kjell's palm. Her hand flew out as if she was planning to snatch it away from him. But the instant her fingers touched the metal, she whipped them back like she'd been burned. Then her eyes shifted to me. She looked me up and down as the strangest feeling flooded me, a surge of power and knowledge nipping at the periphery of my conscious, fighting to get in.
A slow, cruel smile spread across Blondie's face. I felt as if I was an amusing, albeit annoying, pet. One that she was about to back over with her car. On purpose.
She extended her index finger and pressed it hard against my forehead. My skin burned under her touch, but I was paralyzed by whatever current seemed to flow between us. And for a horrifying instant, it made me question whose side I should take in this encounter. After all, I barely knew Kjell, and these girls were something truly remarkable. Longing filled my heart, a burning desire to go with them. To follow the blond girl anywhere she chose to take me.
I fought against the intrusive urge, because it came from someplace that I didn't trust. I grabbed her wrist but couldn't knock her finger away.
"Valkyrie", she said in clear, ringing accents. The word unleashed a double roller-coaster of exhilaration in my veins. It was so foreign, yet so familiar, both the word and the feeling it triggered.

And this lovely Blog Tour also comes with this amazing giveaway!!
Don't miss out!!!




You can follow Ingrid Paulson on twitter, her website and goodreads.

A big thank you to Shane and Ingrid Paulson for this fantastic blog tour and book!

3 comments:

  1. Great review Prue!
    This sounds like a really refreshing read.
    It is a shame that the comp is US only- Oh well! *adds to wish list*

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  2. Great review! Glad you enjoyed it :)

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  3. I really like reading mythology of any kind as well. I haven't read many on the Vikings though so I wanna check this one out. It sounds better than a book I had read last year I believe it was and sounds like the main character can hold her own ground ;)

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