Title: Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages, #1)
Authors: K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mythology
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (7th May 2013)
Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga and god as if they were family history – because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. But knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarök is coming and kids – led by Matt – must stand in for the gods in the final battle, Matt can hardly believe it.
Matt’s, Laurie’s 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.
Rating: **** (4 stars)
LOKI’S WOLVES is the first book in an exciting new middle grade trilogy THE BLACKWELL PAGES by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr (otherwise known as New York Times bestseller Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr). THE BLACKWELL PAGES trilogy tells the story of the descendants of the dead Norse gods, who must stand in for their ancestors – some of who know they are the descendants of gods, whilst others are in the dark – and prevent the coming of Ragnarök. LOKI’S WOLVES begins the adventure, and focuses on Matt Thorsen – a descendant of Thor – and Laurie and Fen Brekke – descendants of Loki.
I have to admit that there are two main reasons that I decided to pick up this series. The first was that it was a joint venture between two of my favourite authors – I love Kelley Armstrong’s WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series as well as both her Young Adult ventures, I also really enjoyed reading Melissa Marr’s Young Adult series WICKED LOVELY. The other reason is that I am a huge fan of Norse mythology, and books based on it. I read up on a lot of the Norse myths when I was younger, so I was really looking forward to seeing how Armstrong and Marr would handle this and make it into something new. So honestly, I went into this book and series with a lot of expectations.
LOKI’S WOLVES was a really fun and engrossing story. I really enjoyed the fact that although it is set in the modern-day – for all appearances in our world – Armstrong and Marr’s use of Norse mythology felt really integral to both the plot and the world. The fact that the main characters are supposed to be able to trace their ancestors back to the Norse gods sounds a bit fantastical, but with the way Armstrong and Marr have written the book it really doesn’t seem anything extraordinary. I also liked the fact that although Matt, Laurie and Fen are descendants of the Norse gods and they have been chosen to represent them – why and by who isn’t clear at this point – they are still normal thirteen year-olds, and they don’t possess all of the powers attributed to their particular god.
The pace of the book, particularly at the beginning, was a little slow but that was, I think, mainly due to the fact that Armstrong and Marr had a lot of world-building to do. The main plot really kicks in about half-way through when Matt discovers that he has been chosen to lead the fight against the coming Ragnarök. From there, Armstrong and Marr kick the story into gear and it is a really enthralling and exciting read. Armstrong and Marr handle the ending of the book with skill, concluding with enough of a cliffhanger to leave me waiting for the publication of ODIN’S RAVENS but not so much that I felt cheated, and as if half the story was missing.
As a fan of either (or both) Armstrong or Marr, then you won’t be disappointed with this new series. They use Norse mythology to create an interesting world and story, one which I look forward to exploring further in future books. If you are a fan of mythology re-tellings, particularly of Norse ones, then you should pick this book up and give it a try whether or not you like middle-grade books or not. It is a brilliantly imagined and inventive story.