Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Review: Loki's Wolves by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr

Loki's Wolves
Authors: K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr
Publication: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 7, 2013)

Description: "The runes have spoken. We have our champion...Matthew Thorsen."

Matt hears the words, but he can't believe them. He's Thor's representative? Destined to fight trolls, monstrous wolves and giant serpents...or the world ends? He's only thirteen.

While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he's always lived a normal kid's life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.

But now Ragnarok is coming, and it's up to the champions to fight in the place of the long-dead gods. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team, find Thor's hammer and shield, and prevent the end of the world.

In their middle grade debut, K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr begin the epic Blackwell Pages series with this action-packed adventure, filled with larger-than-life legends, gripping battles, and an engaging cast of characters who bring the myths to life.

My Thoughts: LOKI'S WOLVES begins a new middle grade fantasy series by veteran authors Kelly Armstrong and Melissa Marr. This series will mine Norse mythology for its world building. This first volume was very much an introduction to the series and the characters.

Matt Thorsen, a thirteen-year-old eighth grader, has always known he was a descendant of Thor. His family and his town are immersed in Norse traditions and mythology and are town leaders. His grandfather is the mayor and his father the Chief of Police. But Matt didn't know that he was to be the Champion when Ragnarok, the end of the world, came again. He certainly doesn't feel ready of qualified. He feels even less ready when he overhears his grandfather and the other elders say that they expect him to win but to die in the trying. 

Fen Brekke also knows that he is a descendant of Loki. He can turn into a wolf. But his home situation is bad. His parents are gone and he is passed from relative to relative for fostering. His only friend, and the only person he really cares about, is his cousin Laurie. Laurie doesn't know about being a descendant of Loki. Her mother is ordinary and her father drifts in and out of her life. Laurie is constantly trying to keep Fen out of trouble and Fen is determined to protect her from all dangers.

Fen and Matt don't get along. But if Matt wants to rewrite the myths and survive Ragnarok, he and Fen will have to put aside their differences so that the descendants of Thor and of Loki can work together to save them all. 

This story is a journey story wherein Matt, Fen and Loki try to gather allies who will help them in their upcoming fight. With limited guidance from the Norns, they head off to gather allies while running from the wolf pack that wants Fen to join. They are also trying to avoid Matt and Laurie's parents who have put out APBs for those two. It is rather telling that no one seems to care that Fen is missing. 

The story is well-written but a little incomplete. Further volumes are definitely needed to answer the unanswered questions. This story could encourage readers to explore more Norse mythology to find out more about the old gods who are Matt, Fen and Laurie's ancestors. 

Favorite Quote:
If there was one thing that totally ruined Norse holidays, it was the food. Ancient Viking traditions, his mom would say. Traditions the Vikings should have kept to themselves, he thought. 
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here. 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed it well enough to sign on for book two. The arc got passed around quite a bit once word got out about it, so it's pleasing the "want more like Riordan" crowd.



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