Author: Tessa Gratton
Series: United States of Asgard (Book 1)
Publication: Random House Books for Young Readers (June 25, 2013)
Description: Fans of Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Holly Black's The Curse Workers will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard.
Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities.
When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be.
My Thoughts: Welcome to the United States of Asgard where the Norse gods walk among men and play with their fates at their whims.
Soren Bearskin is determined not to give in to his berserker heritage. After all, he was only eight years old when he saw his beloved father give in to the frenzy and massacre innocent bystanders at a mall. He knows that everyone at his school is afraid of what he might do and chooses to isolate himself from others. Then Astrid Glyn comes to the school and won't let him remain in isolation. She is the only one he knows who is not afraid of him. She comes to him and says that she has seen him in her dreams. She is the daughter of a famous seether who has disappeared and is a budding seether herself who gives herself to the frenzy and sees visions.
When Baldur the Beautiful fails to rise at the appointed time, Soren and Astrid are determined to find him to make the world right again. Astrid has the visions and Soren is determined to protect and help her. Both want to ask Odin Alfather for a boon for successfully returning his son to him. Astrid wants her mother back and Soren wants to get rid of all that could make him a berserker.
But finding Baldur only begins their quest. Baldur has lost his memory and become mortal too.
I really enjoyed getting to know something about Norse mythology in this story. I also liked the juxtaposition of modern conveniences like cell phones and the internet with the mythology. I liked the relationship between Astrid and Soren. Fans of adventure, romance, and mythology are the perfect audience for this first book in a new series.
I won't lose her. I can't. Fate has always been a thing for me to fight. This tattoo on my cheek is a mark of possibility, and everything I've done has been to keep it from coming true. How can I fight any less hard for Astrid's life?I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.