Thursday, March 9, 2017

ARC Review: Freya by Matthew Laurence

Author: Matthew Laurence
Series: Freya (Book 1)
Publication: Imprint (March 14, 2017)

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

There's far more to Sara Vanadi than meets the eye. In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death - though that past hardly seems to matter now. For an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers - and the strength they bring - are painfully hard to find. But when a new, rising power threatens to remake the world by bending the divine to its will, Sara realizes her days of hiding have ended, and a chance to claw her way out of the history books has arrived. She'll just need new clothes and a manicure before she gets started.

Blending elements of fantasy and scifi in a modern-world setting, the first novel in this new young adult series by Matthew Laurence is perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

My Thoughts: Freya has been hiding out at the Inward Care Center for some years under the name Sara Vanadi. Due to a lack of worshippers, she hasn't very much power. When Mr. Garen comes to recruit her for a shadowy corporation that wants to control or destroy all of the gods from all of the pantheons. If she doesn't agree to come voluntarily, he won't hesitate to use force. She manages to defeat him temporarily but she knows he'll be back.

Sara grabs Nate, a new orderly, and makes him fall in love with her long enough for her to use him to escape from Garen. But, other than running away from Garen, she doesn't have a plan. Once at Nate's apartment, she encourages Nate to fall out of love with her but then convinces him that she really is the god Freya. He decides to throw in his lot with her in part because it sounds more interesting than his earlier plans for a job. Together, using Sara's gift to charm and persuade, they get new IDs, a new place to live, lots of cash, and a job at Disneyland for Sara who soon learns that the belief of the children is adding to her power.

Garen catches up to them though and Sara is brought to the corporation's Orlando facility where they try to convince her to work for them. Everything she sees convinces her that the whole corporation is evil and needs to be destroyed. This won't be an easy job for an under-powered god with one web site designer high priest.

This was an engaging story which combines fantasy and science fiction. There were lots of action scenes as Freya and the fellow gods she recruits attempt to bring down the building. I liked Freya's character. She has managed to convince the corporation that she will work for them while overcoming the stereotypes of her role as a goddess of love, beauty, war and death. Though a little of the beauty sneaks in when she goes shopping and envies the various types of bling she sees.

This was fun. I look forward to more books in the series.

Favorite Quote:
He shakes his head. "Attack gods, industrialized blasphemy, a global conspiracy to kill or capture you...and it feels dull?"

I nod. "Profoundly. It's not at all what I expected. I know it's silly, but a part of me still hopes to raid imposing castles on stormy mountain spires. Instead, a get a stupidly large office building."
I got this one for review from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

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