Loki's Wolves by KL Armstrong and MA Marr
Matt Thorsen and his family have a secret. They are descendants of Thor, god of thunder. In fact, most people in his small hometown of Blackwell, South Dakota, are descendants of Norse gods, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke, who are descendants of Loki. Which is trouble enough for the 8th graders, but now, Ragnarok is at hand, and Matt has been chosen as the champion of Thor's descendants, the one who will fight the giant Midgard serpent. As Loki's descendant, Fen is expected to help thwart Matt's attempts to stop the end of the world, but instead, Fen and Laurie team up with Matt, at the behest of the Norns, to join forces with other descendants of the gods, to change the story and prevent the ice age and end of the world they believed Ragnarok would usher in.
In general, I liked this book (the beginning of a trilogy). I'm a huge fan of Norse mythology and have been looking for something along the Percy Jackson lines in this myth system, and for the most part, Loki's Wolves fills the bill. The writing isn't quite as vivid as Riordan's series. It's rather heavy on exposition, relying on info dumps to set the scene. I liked that the characters (well, Matt and Fen) knew of their godly heritages instead of suddenly learning about it and then being thrust into battle. As a result, the exposition isn't handled quite as smoothly as I'd like, and because of this, I think the books are better suited to younger middle grade readers -- not that these kids don't deserve good writing. I'm just remembering myself as a burgeoning novel reader, and I was more forgiving of clumsy exposition. And it's not all exposition. There's plenty of action. Matt, Laurie and Fen face off with trolls and maras and wolves. And this book ends with a rather exciting cliffhanger. So while I was occasionally put off by less-than-deft info dumps, I do think that kids looking for more Riordan-esque mythology series will enjoy this series.*
This review is cross posted at (Library Lass) Adventures in Reading, with a few extra tidbits (or, if I'm honest, a bit of whinging) if you're interested in that sort of thing.
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