Thursday, January 11, 2018

ARC Review: Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Title: Between the Blade and the Heart
Series: Valkyrie #1
Written by: Amanda Hocking
Published: January 2, 2018 by Wednesday Books (St. Martins)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

I was so excited to read this book. I have been wanting to read more books about Vikings and Norse Mythology. So when I heard there was a book about Valkyrie I was over the moon. And I was even more excited to get a review copy. I made this my first read of 2018 because I was so excited. And while this was a good read it didn't blow me away.

One thing I did really like about this book is the plot. I am constantly reminding you all how much of a plot driven reader I am and this was perfect fodder for people like me who want a book with a strong and specific plot. In fact I think this book may have even had too much plot. So much happened in this book. There were surprises, thrills, action scenes, and lots and lots of adventure. The book definitely built to an exciting conclusion. But like I said, there was almost too much. It's one of those books where so much happens that it has to move super quickly from moment to moment. Because of that I think there was a lack of impact here. Everything was really good but I wasn't able to let it all sink in before we had already moved. I wish that it just had a little bit more of a weight to everything.

I also liked the world of this book despite the fact that it wasn't really what I was expecting. Because this book is definitely urban fantasy. I have not read any Amanda Hocking but I think this is probably what she does well. I don't read a ton of urban fantasy but it's nice every once and a while to read a book like that. This is a world that mostly combines elements from Norse Mythology. But what I appreciated is that it also pulled in some other mythologies as well. Most of the immortals were really interesting and unique which I really appreciated. Plus this book had that show instead of tell style of world building. There were multiple times where I found myself looking up the mythological figures that were mentioned to find out who they were. This was definitely an engaging world and one that was perfect for this kind of read.

As far as the characters go these ones were okay but I didn't totally connect with them. Malin was a fan main character. I appreciated her desire to make a difference and think she was tough and resilient but I finished the book a few days ago and honestly I remember very little about her, she just didn't make that strong of an impression. I do remember she had some complicated relationships with her family. Her mother was only minimally involved but I think their relationship was interesting. She was definitely was searching for approval from her because she admired her so much but she wasn't really getting that. It made for an interesting dynamic that's for sure but it didn't make for super interesting characters.

But I think my biggest problem with the characters and this book in general was the romance. I know I am really hard to please in the romance category but I just was not impressed with this book. One thing I did appreciate was that it has an on the page bisexual character. You saw her not only be attracted to both men but also women. But that just made for a weird love triangle situation. And neither of them I was really very invested in despite the fact that she seemed to be invested in both. I appreciate that she was so sex positive but I was just not into the romance and it kind of impacted my feelings on the rest of the book to be honest.

In general I think this was a good read. It had a great plot and an interesting world but I didn't love the characters but the overblown romance and super complicated plot just kept me from totally enjoying it. It had a lot of promise but it didn't completely live up to that.

I give Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking 8 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. If you are a fan of urban fantasy and are looking for a YA with a sex positive bisexual romance than maybe check this one out. It was interesting it just didn't super impress me.

Have you read Between the Blade and the Heart? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. Too bad the romance could've been a little better. Previous books by Amanda Hocking haven't wow'ed me in the romance department as well so I'm reluctant to pick this new one up.