Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on October 4th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Sexual Content: Explicit sex scenes.
Reviewed by: Kim
She can't let him discover...Immortal Vikings are among us
Astrid Irisdotter is a Valkyrie-a fierce warrior fighting to protect humanity from the evil god Loki and his brutal minions. She's on an urgent mission for her queen when everything goes hideously sideways. Undercover agent Luke Holden arrives on the scene just in time to save her life-and put his own on the line.
Luke may have saved her, but that doesn't mean Astrid can trust him. Tempers flare as they hide secret upon secret from each other, but Astrid's inner warrior knows what it wants...and it will not take "no" for an answer.
Although the back blurb says Vikings are the new Vampires, I’m not sure that’s true. I’ve seen quite a few viking books in the last year, but whereas vampires are easy to incorporate into stories (you can make up your mythology as you go if you need to), vikings are more confined by their link to specific geographical locations and religious backgrounds.
The mythology really didn’t work for me. The vikings and valkyries are fighting injustice and evil probably sent by Loki. That part isn’t super clear, and instead of getting direct help from the gods, the warriors are forced to search the “darknet” for rumors of nefarious new developements, like this was a 1998 hacker direct to tv movie. It’s 2016 - are people still using “the deep web” as a term? Do they mean anonymous boards? And how do they get high speed internet in a secret compound in the middle of the forest that is so off the beaten track that it’s not even supposed to be there?
The mythology and the plot were a bit flaky, which is unfortunate because the characters were extremely solid and interesting: Astrid and Luke are both great and I loved all the hoops their relationship had to jump through in order to get realized.
I am not usually a fan of relationships that are wholly built on lies, but there are good reasons for the things Astrid and Luke are not telling each other. They don’t even know if they are on the same team for part of the book; Luke is the owner of a shady nightclub that may or may not have ties to people who traffick sex slaves. That would make any girl think twice about telling their truth about her origin and her true age (which is up there in the hundreds).
The other warriors are worried about Astrid, whose “berserker” lies closer to the surface than the others’; she is less predictable, less of a team player than the other (mostly) men, but she is no less of a warrior. She has been training as hard and long as them, and she knows she can take them. Her semi-tragic background only adds to the character, and felt like a real origin story and not a sob story added in for pity points.
This was a difficult book to rate; I didn’t care about the overarching plot or the specific rescue that takes place, but I desperately wanted to learn more about the main characters, and even the secondary characters were appealing. I’d love to learn more about them, but I’m not sure I want to have to read about more gods arguing in the background to do it.Series Titles:
- Viking Warrior Rising
- For more sexy viking high-jinx, try The Undoing by Shelly Laurenston.