Title: Odin’s Ravens (The Blackwell Pages, 2)
Authors: K. L. Armstrong & M. A. Marr
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mythology
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (13th May 2014)
Seven kids, Thor’s hammer, and a whole lot of Valkyries are the only things that standing against the end of the world.
When thirteen-year-olds Matt Thorsen and Fen and Laurie Brekke, modern-day descendants of Thor and Loki, discovered they were fated to take the places of the Norse gods in an epic battle against the apocalypse, they thought they knew how things would play out. Gather the other descendants standing in for the gods, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right?
But the descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend Baldwin is poisoned and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in hopes of saving him. That’s only the first stop on their journey to reunite the challengers, find Thor’s hammer, and save humanity – a journey filled with enough tooth-and-nail battles and colossal monsters to make Matt and his friends legends in their own right.
Perfect for fans of ancient myths and filled with young heroes, monstrous beasts, and godly enemies, this fast-paced adventure is impossible to put down.
Rating: **** (4 stars)
ODIN’S RAVENS is the second instalment of K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr’s epic THE BLACKWELL PAGES. It continues the journey started by Matt Thorsen and Fen and Laurie Brekke in the first book in the series. After the events of LOKI’S WOLVES (review) Ragnarök looks closer than ever, but Matt and his friends are determined to stop the end of the world. Even if that means venturing into the Underworld to try to save Baldwin.
Since reading LOKI’S WOLVES, I have been really looking forward to getting my hands on this book. I am a huge fan of Norse Mythology, so of course I had to check this series out and having really enjoyed the first book in the series I was curious to see if a second book set in THE BLACKWELL PAGES would live up to my expectations. Long story short, it did. ODIN’S RAVENS is a brilliant addition to THE BLACKWELL PAGES; Armstrong and Marr do a brilliant job building the story, and using the Norse legends to tell an engaging and complicated story.
If you have even a passing interest in Norse Mythology, then I highly recommend that you check this series out. Armstrong and Marr take the legends and weave them into a complex and entertaining read, maintaining just enough of the myths to be half-familiar to those who know them whilst at the same time making the stories and world-building strong enough to stand on their own. If you aren’t familiar with the Norse legends then don’t worry because you don’t need to be, as Armstrong and Marr do a brilliant job in telling the story.
Building on the events of LOKI’S WOLVES, Armstrong and Marr tell an elaborate story of gods and monsters and the end of the world. The narration of the novel is split mainly between Matt, Fen, and Laurie which works to give a broader perspective on situations and events in the story. There is also a chapter narrated by Owen, which gives an interesting insight into the character and allows the reader a bit of extra knowledge. I found the split narration worked really well, especially as Armstrong and Marr didn’t re-hash information already covered in previous chapters. Armstrong and Marr do a brilliant job building the tension as the book continues to its climax.
ODIN’S RAVENS is a really strong second book, and a good addition to THE BLACKWELL PAGES. It is an interesting and engrossing read, and it works brilliantly as a middle grade novel. The book also contains some really beautiful illustrations which really add to the story. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the next book in this series.