And so, every Sunday for the foreseeable future, I would like to highlight short stories and novellas set in worlds I've already come to love and learn a little more about some of the secondary characters in my favorite novels. I'll be underscoring some of my favorite aspects of these short works of fiction, in addition to offering up a mini review of each work.
This week I'm featuring a prequel story:
Author: Ingrid Paulson
Series: Valkyrie, book #1
Publisher: HarperTeen Impulse
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Source: free via Epic Reads/Pitch Dark website
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Fair warning: I read this short story when it was offered for free from the Epic Reads/Pitch Dark website. It's now $0.99 to purchase for your e-reader via HarperTeen's new novella imprint, but in my personal opinion, it's not long enough to warrant even a nominal fee, considering it had previously been offered free of charge. (Yes, authors deserve credit for their work, but when it's this short, offer it as a bonus in the next book or for free with a tweet or Facebook share as I've seen others do...that's just my two cents, again.) Tor.com continues to offer their short stories online for free, even when those same shorts are offered up at $0.99 at the usual e-retailers. Just sayin'. As short as this story is, it might not be worth your $1. But if you've already read Valkyrie Rising and fell in love with Tuck, it still might be. =)
That said, I loved this brief story from Tucker's point-of-view. He was, after all, my favorite character from the full-length story. He was charismatic and cocky, but he was also in it to win it. He is no less so in this story, but you actually get an initial glance at that vulnerability that was hinted at in Valkyrie Rising, at least as far as Elsa and Graham are concerned. Tuck is undeniably drawn to these siblings, and it was nice to actually see that from his own eyes, rather than inferring it from Ellie's POV.
The main benefit I see from picking up this short story is the insight into Tuck's character and a look at the first chapter of Valkyrie Rising. I think you'll be able to detect the camaraderie/chemistry between the characters in this brief glance at the story and then you can determine if this story is something you'd be interested in. For those who've read the full-length novel already, this is just another bonus look at an already lovable character.