Author: Amanda Carlson
Series: Phoebe Meadows, Book#1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 24, 2016
When Phoebe Meadows gets struck by a strange light in the stockroom of Macy’s, life as she knows it flies out the window. As if being hit by lightning isn’t bad enough, she’s accosted in the subway by a man with a missing hand, arrives home to find a raven on her kitchen counter, and her neighbor, Ingrid, shows up dressed like a gladiator hell-bent on protecting her.
Before Ingrid can shuttle her to safety, Phoebe is kidnapped and tossed into one of the Nine Worlds where she’s quickly forced to come to terms with what she is: A valkyrie. The only problem is, she has no idea what that means.
After a narrow escape, she finds an unlikely ally in Loki’s son, Fenrir. Together the valkyrie and the wolf must battle their way back to New York City and reach the valkyrie stronghold where Ingrid is waiting for her. But with danger and obstacles at every turn, she might not live long enough to learn the full truth about who and what she really is…
*I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.*
Amanda Carlson is an author I have previously liked due to her Jessica McClain urban fantasy series. When offered a chance to review her new book about a valkyrie, I was immediately intrigued. Mythology is one of my favorite things, so I didn’t think twice about accepting it. And let me tell you, there’s a reason you should always follow your bookish instincts.
The main character and aforementioned valkyrie was Phoebe. I really liked her, especially as she was completely new to the existence of valkyries and Norse mythology. Her entry into this new world was a bit overwhelming for her, and I was sympathetic right away. What I really liked about Phoebe was that she did her best to stand up for herself and what she believed in. Phoebe did start out the book a bit weak, but as she’d always believed she was just a normal woman, I understood it. I enjoyed watching Phoebe become stronger, though.
The most important side character was Phoebe’s love interest, Fenrir. I was very interested in what kind of character the author would make him, as he’s a wolf and the son of Loki. Well, I needn’t have worried. Being banished for hundreds of years, I felt bad for Fenrir and wanted to see him free. It helped that Fen was a strong fighter, and the relationship between he and Phoebe wasn’t too overly dramatic. It moved a bit fast due to Phoebe’s changing into a valkyrie, but I bought it. Other side characters included Ingrid, Phoebe’s neighbor who happened to be her aunt, much to Phoebe’s surprise. There was also Phoebe’s best friend Sam, who had some interesting developments near the end of the book.
The plot followed Phoebe as she became a valkyrie. She started out the story running away from New York City with Ingrid, as she was being hunted by various creatures. This was because Phoebe was the daughter of Odin and a valkyrie, which was forbidden. However, as she and Ingrid began to leave, Phoebe got kidnapped. Through some pretty intense circumstances, Phoebe ended up in the world Fenrir was banished to, where they worked together to escape. The story was fast-paced and interesting. I definitely had a hard time putting it down. A lot of plot elements were left open, but as this is the first book in a series, I definitely can’t wait to check out the others.
If you like urban fantasy with lots of mythology, definitely check out this book. There was action, a nice romance, and some good friendships. Phoebe was a compelling main character just trying to survive in this new world, while still being herself. All of that combined to make for a really good story, and I’m excited to see where the series goes next.
Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, with a BA in both Speech and Hearing Science & Child Development. She went on to get an A.A.S in Sign Language Interpreting and worked as an interpreter until her first child was born. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three kids.