Author: Ingrid Paulson
Release Date: October 9, 2012 (hardcover)
Overall: 5 Stars
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 that something powerful and ancient will awaken in her and that strange whispers will urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, suddenly there's 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.
For months now, I've been highly anticipating Valkyrie Rising, so I was incredibly happy to finally get my hands on a copy. With fast-paced, fun and exciting storytelling, the book was well worth the wait... and I loved how it was set in Norway! Ingrid Paulson's debut novel Valkyrie Rising is an addicting combination of Norse mythology, thrilling action and romance.
When Ellie heads to Norway to visit her Grandma Hilda, her dreams of a peaceful summer vacation crumble when she learns about the mysterious disappearances of the boys in the small fishing town her grandmother lives in. Many of the locals are less than welcoming, scowling at Ellie's very presence even though she's done nothing wrong, and rumours swirl that beautiful and powerful women called Valkyries are taking boys to Valhalla. But when Graham becomes the next young man to be stolen away, Ellie and Tucker must race against time to save him before it's too late...
Ellie was definitely a strong heroine! She's always felt she couldn't escape the shadow of her perfect, older brother, Graham, but she really steps up when the time comes, embracing the warrior heritage she never even knew she had. Graham has always been rather overprotective of Ellie, but she was ready to finally show him that she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself and making her own decisions. She was courageous in the face of danger, and fought for what she believed in.
The ever gorgeous Tucker loved to infuriate Ellie, having a talent for getting under her skin and pushing her buttons... but you could easily see the signs which proved just how much he truly cared for her. He was always right by Ellie's side when she needed him most in the novel, offering strength when she needed the encouragement. I couldn't get enough of Ellie and Tucker's bickering to each other – their snarky comments were loaded with flirtations just waiting to burst through the surface as they both tried to always get the last word.
Valkyrie Rising is a standalone novel for now, but I'm seriously hoping there will be a sequel one day because I'd love to read more about Ellie and Tucker!