Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
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.
I was so excited to read Valkyrie Rising. I don't know much about Norse mythology so I was excited to read this and learn a bit about it. Unfortunately instead of the amazing book with Ellie being awesome I got this story of Ellie being a stupid, whiny, weak girl who annoyed me to no end, then suddenly was super powerful instantly! It just did not work for me.
Ellie and Graham are spending the summer with their grandmother in a tiny town in Norway. Nothing ever happens in town, but Ellie is still looking forward to it. She has a bit of time by herself in town before her super over protective brother shows up with his best friend Tuck in tow. Even before she left odd things started happening with her. Her brother had a party and some guy tried to get her to stay and talk to him and when she yelled at him to stop his eyes got all white and cloudy and he almost fell down, like passed out. But no biggie, let's not dwell on odd things happening.
Then, when Ellie arrives in Norway, more strange things start happening. The townspeople who she remembers as being super friendly are suddenly very hostile toward her. She meets a boy, Kjell, and goes out one night with him only to have some strange, super hot girls almost abduct him. Ellie wants answers, but unfortunately Kjell doesn't have them. When she asks her grandmother she knows her grandmother does know what is going on, but she won't tell Ellie. Kjell starts like stalking Ellie, and Ellie is always creeped out by him, but yet still agrees to hang out with him. Makes sense Ellie! I mean I would always keep agreeing to go on dates, especially just the two of us, when he super creeps me out every time I am around him. Makes sense! And just one of the ways Ellie is incredibly stupid.
So she wants answers to what is happening, what is going on, and knows her grandmother has them. When her grandmother sits her down to talk about what is happening Ellie is just like la la la, no I don't want to talk about this with you! It was just like what?? You just went on and on about how you are trying to figure this out! Here are the answers and you just immediately jump up and run away? Okay...cause that makes sense. That and she knows her brother is in danger, but why tell him that? Why warn him that boys his age are getting abducted? Why bother. She can surely keep him safe by doing nothing and letting him go out by himself...yep. Makes sense to me!
So things keep moving forward and eventually Ellie does find out what she is and what is happening. The resistance comes to get her grandmother, and possibly her as well, but instantly Ellie knows what to do to fight them and get away. Instantly she is this super strong bad ass Valkyrie! But not really. She is still kind of stupid. She keeps trying to fight the one Valkyrie even though she is way stronger, faster, and smarter than Ellie. It was just a bit much for me.
Then *spoiler alert* near the end you find out Tuck lied to her! His family's kind of her enemy! He knew a few things that he could have told her, but didn't. He didn't know what they all meant, and he didn't really betray her or anything, but she acts like it is the end of the world. She is so hurt and can't trust him and drama lama he must be horrible just like his family! Only she is doing the exact same thing she hated the townspeople for doing! She is assuming because he is something he is one way, just like they think she is like the bad Valkyries and abducting boys when she is trying to stop them. He tries to talk to her, tell her how he doesn't really know anything but she is stubborn and he must be bad now...well at least for a bit until she decides that no, she knows him he is fine. Too much stupid drama!
So overall if you couldn't tell already I did not really like this book. I had high hopes, but Ellie was way too weak and whiny and stupid for me to enjoy it. She didn't make sense most of them time, and I didn't like how she suddenly just has superpowers and knows how to do everything. It was just...not good.