Blog Tour, Book Review

Between the Blade and the Heart

Between the Blade and the HeartBetween the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking
Published by Wednesday Books on January 2nd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 319
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy at The Book Depository

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.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Love, Maggie


  1. Darque Dreamer

    Ouch! Hate that it was a DNF!

    16 . 01 . 2018
  2. Dorka

    Been seeing this book around lately, not sure if I’d really pick it up.. Great review! 🙂

    09 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      Thanks, Dorka! This was a tough review to write!

      14 . 01 . 2018
  3. Sarah Campbell

    I feel the cringe mags!! So sorry you didn’t enjoy it, IT looks so promising too!!

    08 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      I know! I was so super sad I didn’t like it! P.S. I love to be called Mags! <3

      08 . 01 . 2018
  4. Lia

    Sorry you didn’t like it! Hopefully your next read is better. Also, shall we try buddy reading again?

    08 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      YES! I so want to do another buddy read! That’s so funny – I meant to ask you the same thing yesterday! LOL! 😀

      08 . 01 . 2018
  5. Ashleigh Williams

    Aw I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it! Sometimes it’s for the best to DNF a book though, best way to avoid a reading slump in my opinion!

    08 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      In total agreement! I tend to get stuck on books I don’t like, but feel like I HAVE to read – a resolution for me this year is to DNF anytime I’m not enjoying my reading! 😀

      08 . 01 . 2018
  6. Danielle

    I agree with everything youve said in this review! Romance is just Ehh and sometimes unnecessary. I also think that some synopses really do give away some books. I hate that! I want to find out what happens in the book myself, not be told the entire plot in the synopsis. Great review, even if you didnt love this book!

    08 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      Thanks so very much, Dani! Synopses kill me! The one for this book is really really in depth!

      08 . 01 . 2018
  7. kris

    aww wish you enjoyed it more, but I love that you left an honest review! thank you maggie!

    08 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      Aw! Thanks Kris! I’ve been about to explode to see the response for this review – y’all are too good to me! <3

      08 . 01 . 2018
  8. Linda

    I’m sorry you didn’t like it and had to DNF it. But thanks for writing an honest review!

    08 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      Thanks, Linda! I’ve been dying about the response I’d get for this review – LOL!

      08 . 01 . 2018
  9. Diana @ The Bookish Sisters

    Fantast books are not my thing. I feel like most of them are extremely descriptive and my attention just wanders all over the place about everything but the actual story. Such a bummer you didn’t enjoy this one. Lovely review!!

    07 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      Thanks a bunch, Diana! I usually love fantasy, but this one definitely couldn’t hold my attention. <3

      08 . 01 . 2018
  10. Nicole @ Boundless Bookaholic

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. I understand not finishing books though. I’ve done it several times, because I don’t want to waste my time when I’m pretty sure I won’t like it. Great review.

    07 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      Thanks, Nicole! I despise DNFing books, but sometimes it’s just necessary. If I try to force myself through a book I’m not into, I end up taking forever to read it and get way behind on my reading goals. Luckily, I had a deadline for this one!

      08 . 01 . 2018
  11. Cassie Winters

    I am glad that you left an honest review of this. I know that sometimes when an other over explains things I am similar. I get disconnected. I can usually get through it for a fantasy novel since that is part of the genre, but not in a ya fantasy novel.

    07 . 01 . 2018
    • Maggie

      I appreciate your comment so much, Cassie! I’ve been sweating about the response my review will get! LOL! If the description was of the world instead of minute things like hair and outfits, it wouldn’t have been so bad…

      07 . 01 . 2018

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