Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages book 1) by KL Armstrong and MA Marr
Genre: Fiction, Norse Mythology,
Age Range: 5th – 8th Grade
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013
Norse mythology foretold of the epic battle of Ragnarok, otherwise known as The End of the World. An event that only the gods can stop. Fast forward centuries later to South Dakota, where Matt Thorson (a descendent of Thor) along with Fen and Laurie Brekke (descendants of Loki) are now placed with the responsibility of fighting monsters the size of the moon and saving humanity. But first, they need to assemble an unbeatable team made up of descendants of other Norse gods. Will this new generation stand a chance?
I really wanted to like this story, but there were a few things that just held it back throughout the entire book. I wish this story had more of a background. Unlike Harry Potter and Percy Jackson (which it’s often likened to), there was no big reveal about the character’s relation to the gods Thor and Loki. They just know what they are and what their powers are. The entire town knows. It was a little bit of an awkward start to the book for me. Everything just starts off running. I also wish that there was more history involving the Vikings and Norse gods in the books. It’s almost as if the writers expect readers to already have a preconception of Norse mythology going into the book. Although many of the myths are mentioned throughout the book, I still wish there was more detail or even a little FAQ at the back of the book. I do hope that this will encourage kids to seek out these books on their own after reading this book.
Matt and Fen are overly protective of Laurie. As much as she can stand up for herself and has proven herself at every challenge, we still hear both of them try to protect her as if she’s a little child. It was annoying from the start, but the repetition of this stance was frustrating. I wish she would only to tell them to stop being overprotective once or twice maybe. Not at each and every obstacle throughout the entire book. Everything is somewhat simple in this book. Matt needs to find the rest of the descendants to form his group for the battle. But there is little to no challenge in gathering the group. He just happens to find them. They easily believe his story and are on his side. It was all too easy, to rushed, for me. In a way, it felt like the authors wanted to cram in so much into the first book, that they didn’t expand or extrapolate areas that would have made the book more thoughtful.
What I liked about the book
I like the array of characters, I think they are all unique and bring something interesting to the group and the story. I like the even mix of boys and girls in the group. I think this is a book that will be an easy sell for both genders. It’s very action-packed with wonderful illustrations. The characters are flawed, but in very relatable ways. I think this is a book that will appeal across the board to many ages and reading interests. I like that the chapters alternated perspectives between Matt, Laurie and Fen. Although these three are the main leads, I hope that the other group members will have a voice in the upcoming books in the series. This is the first book of the series, so it’s really the launching pad for all the characters and the plot. Everything is just sort of jumbled together. I do plan on reading the next book. I hope that the authors slowed the pace down to give the characters more breathing room for their own back-stories. I’m really curious to know what’s going on with the twins and Balder especially. And what Matt’s grandfather has planned for the family.
Odin’s Raven’s is book 2 of the series, it was published in 2014. Book 3, Thor’s Serpents is set to be published March 1st this year.
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