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.
Ellie is a meek and humble girl who has a crush on her brother’s best friend. And it’s obvious that Tuck feels the same though Ellie doesn’t see it. They have a playful banter that feels more like flirting than arguing. And what looks like the start of a love triangle begins when Ellie meets an attractive, older Norwegian young man. But instead of teen angst, Ellie focuses on the troubles in town and why the towns’ people seem to hate her.
Blending Norse mythology with YA urban fantasy made for a charming and unique story. This mythology strangely leaves out the most well-known Norse god, but develops a different twist. Well-paced and full of mystery, suspense, and a bit of romance this impressive debut was impossible to put down. With colorful characters, a fascinating story and plenty of fun plot twists along the way, Valkyrie Rising is a must-read for YA fantasy fans.