Review: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Valkyrie Rising
Author: Ingrid Paulson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Teen
Source: Barnes & Noble
Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

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.

My Thoughts

I was pretty excited to get my hands on this book.  It is set in Norway, there is a cute boy, and it is about Norse Mythology.  Although I thought I would enjoy this book, my expectations weren’t too high or anything.  But I was still let down by this book.

I guess what bothered me the most about this book was that Elsa would often act in these really stupid ways.  And I don’t just mean that her character was dumb, but that she would do or say things (or not say or do things) just so Paulson could keep things a mystery for the reader.  But these things Elsa (and somethings Grandmother, too) would do weren’t necessarily things I could picture her doing.  It just didn’t feel natural to me.

I also found it frustrating how long it took Elsa to figure things out.  Like who she was, who her grandmother was, her feelings about Tucker, and Tucker’s feeling for her.  Talk about major eye-rolls!  I again think that had to do with Paulson trying to either keep things from the reader until the end, or trying to keep the plot moving.

And then parts of the plot just felt silly to me.  Some parts that were supposed to be big reveals, just weren’t a big deal to me.  Like the big reveal about Tucker.  I mean, really?  I didn’t feel like it was a big deal at all.  Oh, and the end battle scene, well, it didn’t feel all that exciting like a climatic scene should.  Oh, and don’t get me started on the whole scene in the bar in Bergen.  Parts didn’t make sense.  Else is supposed to be able to have super senses, but she misses things like a door to another part of the bar.  What?  That doesn’t make sense?

Also, on a smaller note, I definitely noticed some missing words, which isn’t a huge thing.  But this book is published by Harper Teen!  I mean, this is from  a big publishing house, so I expect the grammar and all that to be pretty darn perfect.

Okay, it is obvious I didn’t really care for this book.  I did think the setting was interesting.  Norway is definitely a place I would love to visit someday.  But most of the time I was reading this one, I was thinking “am I done, yet?”

Life Tidbits

  • I had such an amazing weekend.  I went to the zoo with a friend and saw the new wolf pact and the snow leopard cubs and the red panda.  It was fantastic.
  • I spent so much time relaxing and reading this weekend.  I feel completely rested up, and ready to attack the work week today 🙂
  • I decided to take Jamie’s (The Perpetual Pageturner) advice, and dedicated an audiobook especially for when I am doing house work to make it more bearable.  I decided to start with The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket.  I wanted something relatively short, with an amazing narrator.  And I have been wanting to finish the Series of Unfortunate Events books for awhile.  I am loving it, and listened to half of the book on Sunday while I was cleaning up.  And the best part – it is narrated by Tim Curry!  Awesome!
  • Since I wanted to relax so much this weekend, I didn’t do much blogging stuff.  So I am going to try to do extra commenting this week to make up for it 🙂

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About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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3 Responses to Review: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

  1. Liesel Hill says:

    Thanks for the review! The blurb does make it sound good. It’s always frustrating when it’s disappointing! Thanks again! 😀

  2. Merin says:

    Aww, snow leopard cubs! SO cute! Thanks for sharing the pictures. 🙂

    And man, this book sounds majorly disappointing. I really wanted to read it, but now I’m glad I didn’t buy it. I’ll just wait until my library gets a copy, I think, if I decide to read it at all. I love anything dealing with mythology, but it still has to be well done.

    • Quinn says:

      I was definitely disappointed. Wait until you can borrow it from the library. And maybe you will love it, but if you don’t no money was wasted.

      I’m glad you liked the photos from the zoo. I love my local zoo.

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