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July 20, 2014

Review: Odin’s Ravens by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Odin's-ravens

Seven kids, Thor’s hammer, and a whole lot of Valkyries are the only things standing against the end of the world.

When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right?

But the descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him. But that’s only their first stop on their journey to reunite the challengers, find Thor’s hammer, and stop the apocalypse–a journey filled with enough tooth-and-nail battles and larger-than-life monsters to make Matt a legend in his own right.

Authors K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr return to Blackwell in the epic sequel to Loki’s Wolves with more explosive action, adventure and larger-than-life Norse legends.

add to goodreadsOdin’s Ravens (The Blackwell Pages #2)
by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr
Publication Date:  May 13, 2014
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo|amazon|B&N|kobo|TBD|indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USs9108Ur3o” color=”white” autohide=”1″]

** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby-2013After reading the first novel in the book series The Blackwell Pages, Loki’s Wolves by authors K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr—I couldn’t wait to read the next installment in the series. Odin’s Ravens was intense, awesome and tons of Norse mythology as main characters Fen, Laurie and Matt try to stop the ensuing end of the world, Ragnarok. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the novel, especially since Loki’s Wolves held a lot of surprise twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.

In Odin’s Ravens takes place right after where Loki’s Wolves left off. Fen, Laurie and Matt have all headed straight to Helen’s realm, the land of the dead, to get their friend Baldwin back in hopes of re-writing the sequence of myths and stop Ragnarok from coming. Heading into Helen’s realm, the trio faces threats they’ve never faced before, like two-headed jotuns, zombies and evil zombie kings who will stop at nothing to thwart Matt’s plans. However as their adventure continues, Matt and the cousins find new allies, old friends and Valkyries all ready for the end of days to arrive. What the trio doesn’t expect are for old faces to make reappearances, secrets to be revealed and a choice to be made for when Ragnarok arrives.

Odin’s Ravens has messed me up. And I mean that in a really good way. The entire time I spent reading can be broken up like this: I was either a) On the edge of my seat, hoping that nothing went wrong b) freaking out because the possibility of something going wrong was very real or c) something wrong would happen and I had no idea how Matt, Laurie and Fen would go about fixing it. Odin’s’ Ravens is written in a way that will leave readers not only intrigued but also unsure of what will come next, with twists and turns just waiting to reveal themselves.

Readers who have read Loki’s Wolves know that Matt, Fen and Laurie are left on a quest to find mjolnir and avert the end of the world. Yeah, totally cool man. Except that Odin’s Ravens takes that and shows that there may not get to be such a hopeful, simple outcome with Ragnarok fast approaching. As I said before things just get bad, bad, bad for the characters or make it look  like things are about to go pretty bad. It made for an exciting story and the novel’s conclusion—readers will be left begging for more. To know what will happen next (because seriously it ends on such a high note).

A big thing in Odin’s Ravens is character development. In Loki’s Wolves there’s still a lot of feuding between Fen and Matt, neither of them really consider each other friends at first, Fen starts off as a cutthroat little crap—but that all changes in Odin’s Ravens. Fen’s character changes so much in the novel and it’s not hard to notice, he grows loyal to the group that he’s with, fesses up to things he wouldn’t in the novel prior. Plus characters with smaller roles in the last novel return and are expanded on a little bit more.

There are still a lot of questions that have been left wandering through my mind ever since Odin’s Ravens has reached its end. What happens next is the first that comes to mind, the next being do things resolve? Does anybody die in Ragnarok? Will I be left weeping over fictional characters? Only the authors know, but I have a pretty good feeling that the next novel will leave readers on emotional rollercoasters as Odin’s Ravens did.

I would have to recommend this series to readers who are big fans of Norse mythology. Don’t let the fact that this is a middle-grade novel deter you, the writing is still pretty amazing and the plot is great. If you want a novel that is non-stop action and adventure with no romance involved you’ve gotta give The Blackwell Pages a read. Like, right now.

You can check out our review of book 1, Loki’s Wolves HERE

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

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Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. All efforts to make her produce “normal” stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She’s the author of the NYT-bestselling “Women of the Otherworld” paranormal suspense series and “Darkest Powers” young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

 

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Melissa grew up believing in faeries, ghosts, and various other creatures. After teaching college lit for a decade, she applied her fascination with folklore to writing. Wicked Lovely, the first novel, was simultaneously released in the US and UK by HarperCollins in 2007 (with translation rights also sold in twenty-seven countries). It debuted as a NY Times Bestseller. Critical responses both here and abroad have been positive. Ink Exchange, the second novel, released in late April 2008 in North America. Currently, Melissa lives in the DC area, writes full time, and still believes in faeries and ghosts.

 

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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