Saturday, October 13, 2012

Welcome to my stop on the Valkyrie Rising Blog Tour, hosted by Shane at Itching for Books.  In addition to a giveaway for your very own signed copy of the book, I'll be reviewing this fun and exciting coming-of-age story for you guys.  But first, let's meet the author...

About the author:

Ingrid Paulson lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter and enjoys long-distance running, eavesdropping, and watching science documentaries. She has always loved books and writing short stories, but was surprised one day to discover the story she was working on wasn't so short any more. VALKYRIE RISING is Ingrid's first novel.

Ingrid's grandmother might actually be a Valkyrie; she's still waiting for her to come clean.

Find out more about Ingrid Paulson & her books:

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Title:  Valkyrie Rising
Author:  Ingrid Paulson
Series:  n/a or unknown at this time (which means I anticipate a sequel, but nothing's official yet  :D)
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date:  October 9, 2012
Source:  galley from publisher
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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 something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly 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.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.

I am so unbelievably ashamed of myself for putting this book off for so long.  I daresay I had the galley in my possession for a few months before I even cracked it open.  And then I remembered the allure of that cover, and the pull of Norse mythology reminded me why I wanted to read the book in the first place.  I love mythology, any kind and of any origin, in all of its various permutations over the years and through various retellings.  Can't get enough of the stuff.  And the fact that I knew next to nothing about Norse mythology intrigued me beyond belief.  Again, why didn't I read this novel sooner???

I've heard the term valkyrie before, but in case you weren't aware, a valkyrie is "each of Odin's twelve handmaidens who conducted the slain warriors of their choice from the battlefield to Valhalla".  You don't need to know that going into this story because the author does such a splendid job of explaining the mythology in the book -- without going overboard with the details, I might add -- that you'll pick it up fairly quickly.  But it always helps to be prepared...just ask Elsa.  ;0)

I don't normally say this, but I would totally like to see this book made into a movie.  Norway as the backdrop for all of the action would be gorgeous.  And I've already got the head Valkyrie well as many of the other characters.  But Astrid was the first one I had pegged down.  I'm serious people...I'm never able to cast a book, but these characters are so clearly defined, even as they waver in their beliefs, that I knew exactly who should play the parts.  Scary.

That synopsis might make it sound like the romance is first and foremost in this book, but let me tell you, Valkyrie Rising is equal parts action, danger, romance and myth.  No one aspect stands out more to me than the others.  And I loved every bit of it...from Elsa finding out who (and what) she was to her taking on her nemesis even when she was likely to be defeated to the swoonage between Elsa and Tuck, the ever-persuasive boy-next-door.  Yes, it's safe to say that this story far exceeded my expectations.

I laughed out loud, I whooped in celebration, and I stared in open-mouth shock at times.  This novel brings it.  There's family drama.  There's boy drama.  There's really-beautiful-girls-who-want-to-destroy-the-world-on-Odin's-behalf drama.  And it gets intense at times.  If I had to compare it to any of my recent reads, I'd have to go with Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races, due to the mystical mythology, the will-they-or-won't-they aspect, and just the way that the setting is like another character in the story.  There's also a touch of humor in both stories that just feels so authentic, so true to the characters.  You don't have to enjoy mythological tales to appreciate this's simply the kind of book that will speak to your sense of adventure and make you wish that your grandmother had passed down some extraordinary genes to you.

Favorite quotes:

"Last name too?  Bad sign.  But here goes."  He leaned closer, knowing full well how destabilizing his proximity could be.  Before I could help it, I was batting my eyelashes right back at him.  A reflex as involuntary as the knee-jerk test at the doctor's office.

"He laughed.  It was a noteworthy event--his teeth were so straight it wouldn't have surprised me if he said he'd had braces twice.  But his smile was crooked.  It was the best possible combination."

"We should call the police," Tuck said.
"And tell them what, exactly," I said.  "That we think Valkyries kidnapped my brother?  And attacked my grandmother?  Maybe we should interrogate all the other fictional creatures, starting with the Easter Bunny?"  I knew I wasn't being helpful, but my frustration was screaming for an out.
"Leave the Easter Bunny out of it," Tuck murmured.  "I know that dude has an alibi."

Rating:  Photobucket 1/2

And below you'll find your chance to win your very own signed copy of Valkyrie Rising!  U.S. entries only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck & happy reading!


  1. Any ONE European country? O_o Darn, um... I would definitely visit France. My other two choices are Italy and Spain. Maybe even England.

  2. I've got this one on my list! I love different mythologies!
    What country would I visit? I've never been to Scotland or Ireland. I'll go there!

  3. Italy. I don't know why, just do.

  4. I'd go to Ireland!

  5. Tough question! I love history and have read several non-fictions and fictions set in Europe. I think I would really enjoy visiting the Baltic countries - Latvia and Estonia are high on my list.

  6. Italy!

    Great review! I'm bumping this one up on my TBR. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. So many to choose from, but I think I would have to go with Italy, because I love Italian food!


  8. Italy
    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  9. I would go to England.

  10. Hard question....I want to go to so many. :) If I had to pick one those, then I would pick England.

  11. ITALY!!!!!! But I also would love England, France and Germany!

  12. I would go to Italy! It seems like such an amazing place!

  13. I'd like to visit Ireland, England and Rome. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. I would go to Scotland.Thank you for this chance to win.Have a fantastic week.

  15. I'd love to tour around England, Ireland, and Scotland :0

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Since there are Irish and Scottish family history, I'd love to go to Ireland and Scotland. I'd also love to visit Italy and France as well but Ireland is at the top of my bucket list

  17. I would love to visit Italy. My husband has family there and I would love to absorb the rich history throughout the whole country. I think my husband would rather visit Ireland though. That's where his father is from.

  18. I would go to Italy. Maybe even meet a few long lost relatives. :)


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