5bat! Review: Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr

May 12, 2013 Review 2 ★★★★★

5bat! Review: Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages #1) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. MarrLoki's Wolves by K. L. Armstrong, M. A. Marr
Series: The Blackwell Pages #1
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Excerpt: Excerpt
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on May 7, 2013
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Julia
5 Stars
In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters--wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history--because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids--led by Matt--will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

I've read quite a lot of popular, YA fantasy over the years. Anything my younger sister likes, I pick up and read along. Some of these collaborations have been great (she gets credit for Harry Potter, to be sure). Some have been disappointments... either too juvenile or too derivative to hold my attention. I approached LOKI'S WOLVES holding my breath, hoping not to find a Norse Percy Jackson, and within one chapter, all my fears were allayed.

Wonderfully written, this book has a whole host of great characters sharing the spot light. It's rare for me not to have a favorite (ok, ok, and I do kind of love Laurie a little bit extra), but Matt and Fen totally won me over as well. LOKI'S WOLVES is that rare book that was interesting as an adult while remaining completely appropriate for kids. Outside the villains and some bad parenting (though at least Armstrong and Marr didn't kill off all the moms, Disney style), LOKI'S WOLVES is filled with relatable, admirable characters. In keeping with a younger audience, LOKI'S WOLVES focuses on friendships, not romance. It talks about insecurities and longing, disappointments and finding a place where you belong.

The morals of this book are a little heavy handed and repetitions, but I liked these characters so much I tended to cheer their growth towards security and teamwork rather than get tired of it.  LOKI'S WOLVES is bit younger than my usual urban fantasy fare, but I'll definitely be back for book two. And in the meantime, the review copy of LOKI'S WOLVES I received had tantalizing blanks where full page artwork will be inserted, which means I can't wait to order my own copy to enjoy the full effect.  And you can bet that I'll be passing it on to my little sister to read along.

Series Titles

  1. Loki's Wolves

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