Loki's Wolves (Blackwell Pages, 1) by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr, May 7, 2013. 358 pages. Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers. Source: Won/Publisher.
In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters--wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.First Sentence:
The gods died a long time ago.
Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history--because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.
However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids--led by Matt--will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.
Matt walked through the center of Blackwell, gym bag in hand, jacket thrown over his shoulder.
While it has been quite some time since I first read Loki's Wolves, and some of the character names have slipped my mind (characters' names are always the first thing I forget), the writing of this book was so good that there are things that are still so clear in my memory.
I am sure y'all have noticed that I enjoy books with a strong mythological background from time-to-time, and Loki's Wolves was just the things to satisfy that need.
While I have read one of the authors' work before, but not the other, I was excited yet nervous to see how their writing would fit with the others and whether or not they would able to do Norse mythology justice in their middle grade debut. Frankly, I think they hit it out of the park. I enjoyed seeing the way they combined stories from the legend and changed it to fit their needs within the story. What was most interesting though was the abilities that Matt, Fen and the rest of them had based on why they were descended from; and how their ability would help or hinder the quest. I also really enjoyed seeing the characters pushed to the brink as they tried to juggle their growing friendships with the longstanding discord between certain families.
I believe what really sold me on this book was the Norse mythology, as well, as both of the authors' writing. It was really nice to see a well written book with mythology that was not Greek mythology; add in the fact that the way the authors took the story and made the myth and lore their own and you have a pretty thrilling read. Seriously though, it was really interesting to think that those of Blackwell were the descendants of the Norse gods and to see how the different families interacted with each other.
So, even though the Norse mythology and writing were some of my favorites things while reading the book, what pulls the book together is the characters. They are nothing like you'd expect, especially certain decedents of certain Norse gods, which makes them all the more interesting as they have to struggle in one way or another to accept their task and work together.
While I really did love the vast majority of this book, the only thing I did not like was Matt Thorsen, seriously he was my least favorite character, even though he is (obviously) a descendant of Thor; as well as some of the residents of Blackwell (I have my reasons but to share would be spoiling the story). It's not that I hated Matt, it's just that out of the characters sent on the quest to stop the end of the world he was my least favorite. I just failed to connect with him at first as one of the lead characters for reasons unknown even to me; although, I do admit that by the end of the book he is not nearly so bad.
Final Verdict: Loki's Wolves- An excellent middle grade debut and co-authorship by two really great authors. They did a great job capturing the middle grade voice and creating a thrilling, adventure and danger riddle read.
Loki's Wolves earns 5 out of 5 griffins