Armstrong, K.L. and Marr, M.A. Loki's Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1)
7 May 2013, Atom
ARC from Baker and Taylor
Matt Thorsen finds it hard to be the son of of a policeman and the smaller brother in his family. He can never make everyone happy, and when he sees Fen and his cousin Laura trying to steal a shield from the model Viking ship in the town square, he knows his father would want him to do something about it, but NOT get in a fight. Despite that, he accidentally uses the power of the amulet he has, Thor's Hammer, and throws Fen to the ground. Fen is desperate to get the shield so that he can pay his dues to the wolvenkind so they leave him alone. When the town has a big yearly meeting and festival, Matt finds out more about his family's background. He knew vaguely why he had the amulet, and that he didn't harness his power well, but now it turns out that he is the descendant of Thor who is chosen to fulfill the prophecy and prevent Ragnarok! He'll have to wrestle a giant serpent, but he overhears his grandfather saying that he thinks Matt will not survive. Desperate to find out the best way to proceed, Matt hunts down the Norns and gets some information-- he needs to find the other descendants of the gods to team up. Fen is descended from Loki, but in order to find the descendents of Freya and Freyr, they have to travel to Mt. Rushmore and end up fighting trolls! Odin's girlfriend shows up to help, and the group meets Baldwin, descendent of Baldur. The Valkyries tell them that they have to retrieve Mjolnir, Thor's sword, but Matt doesn't have the first idea about where to find this. The group has to band together to figure out how to save the world... and themselves!
Strengths: There's not a lot on Norse mythology, and I liked how this was set in South Dakota in a Norwegian community. Plenty of action and fighting, and I was able to tell the characters apart, which was no mean feat, since this was fantasy and there were a number of them to differentiate. The mythology is worked in nicely.
Weaknesses: This was technically very good, but something about it fell flat for me. Matt didn't have much of a personality, and the traveling bogged down a bit. I couldn't help but compare it to Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief series-- Percy Jackson always managed to travel around magically, and Matt could have used this. Maybe this will be worked out in the sequel.
And look what was released yesterday!!! I didn't manage to get a copy, so when my summer orders come in, I'll have to make sure I read this first. One little boy who just finished the first two books said to me "Those are the longest books I have read in my whole life!"
I'm going to try to convince the PTO to give me part of their generous funding in book store gift cards so I can buy some special books right when they come out. Did I mention that I have, um, five of the first book in my library?
Greenwald, Tommy. Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Summer Vacation.
7 May 2013, Roaring Brook Press
And WHY does it seem so hard to start inventory before all the books are due? I have biographies set up. We'll see how that goes today, not that I have deaccessioned a 1992 copy of a Madonna biography. *Sigh*