Published by Wednesday Books on January 2nd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.
Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.
What I Expected
- A modernized fairy tale
- A heart literally being cut out of one’s body with a blade [I take titles seriously sometimes!]
What I Got
- Tons of detail and monotonous description
- A story I couldn’t really follow
- My first DNF of the year
What I Thought
Well, as you can see above, I’ve met my first [and hopefully last] DNF of the year in Amanda Hocking’s Between the Blade and the Heart. I was so hopeful that I’d enjoy this book; I put a lot of pressure on myself to like it, especially since I was [shockingly] invited to participate in my first ever blog tour.
I was intrigued by the book’s premise – the tale of a Valkyrie, one who serves the Norse god Odin by “returning” immortal beings to their netherworld upon orders from the higher ups. Sadly, I could tell pretty quickly that this story was not going to necessarily be my cup of tea.
Now, I know this is a YA book and all, but the writing seems a bit, well, juvenile. Can you feel me cringe as I type? I have a chill in my spine – I feel SO bad! However, since I was invited to read the book and to give an honest review, I will do just that.
While I think it’s great that Malin – our protagonist Valkyrie – is bisexual, I just was not interested at all in her romantic life, whether it involved a male or a female. Sometimes I just don’t understand why romance seems to play such a huge part in books that I want to simply be action-packed. While romantic endeavors can be fun and cute, I’m just not a romance enthusiast.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I very rarely – if ever – read book synopses prior to reading; I generally prefer to read the summaries after I read the books, just to see how much of the plots are truly given away in them. After making the decision to draw the blinds over Between the Blade and the Heart, I skimmed the synopsis. Had I read the summary before attempting to read the book, I could’ve predicted everything that happens in the tale and avoided reading a single word.
As an aside – it KILLS me when a synopsis basically tells the entire story – give me a brief overview that doesn’t give away the plot completely or give me nothing! People seem concerned about reading spoilers in reviews, but books are often more spoiled for me if I dare to read the insides of the jackets or the back covers.
Anyhow, Hocking doesn’t fill her story – which really does have an idea behind it with vast potential – with details of futuristic scenery or anything else of interest to me. Hocking does, however, go into great detail regarding the looks of characters and nuances that just don’t seem to matter. Just as I don’t like synopses, I don’t like a bunch of minute detail – I don’t need EVERYTHING to be so heavily described.
However, I did want description about the mythology by which the book is inspired – I like to learn while reading even fiction. But I didn’t get far enough into the story to honestly state whether or not Hocking’s endless descriptions shift to focusing on plot points that mattered to me.
All in all, Hocking has a great imagination – I’m just not so sure I get along with the execution of such a promising premise. Mythology of all kinds is SO vastly interesting – I just would have liked to have read more about the old Norse belief system as opposed to the few things that stuck out to me – the romance and the endless descriptions.
Meet the Author
Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.
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