Book: Between The Blade And The Heart by Amanda Hocking
Published January 2018 by Wednesday Books|319 books
Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library
Series: Valkyrie #1
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Re-Telling- Norse Mythology
Between the Blade and the Heart is the first book in a brilliant new young adult fantasy duology inspired by Norse mythology by New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.
As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. 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.
As Malin 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. Malin, along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend, must decide where her loyalties lie…and whether helping Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and to her heart.
I didn’t like Between The Blade And The Heart as much as I thought I would. It is a cool idea, but I thought the mythology and world were more confusing than it needed to be.
Yes, you get a general idea of Malin’s world but I thought that things weren’t explained very well…if they were explained at all. The book was both futuristic and old, all at the same time, but it didn’t work for me. I think it just made it seem like Hocking wasn’t sure if she wanted something more traditional or more futuristic. I think it did need a little more direction, because I felt like most of the time, it was unclear where things were going.
And I didn’t particularly care about the characters…or like them. I don’t need to like characters to like a book, and sometimes unlikable characters are what make me like a book, but I felt like the characters were superficial and boring. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t care about any of them, or what happened to them. The book was on the shorter side, so maybe the characters didn’t develop as much as they needed to.
It did move fast, and there was quite a bit of action, but I was bored. I don’t understand how a book with a lot of action can be boring, but this book was. Maybe I was bored but I didn’t like or care about the characters. Maybe it’s just me, and not the book.
Going back to the mythology, I did like seeing Valkyries! It’s not something you see a lot in fantasy/paranormal, and you do see some other paranormal beings that you don’t typically see. So that was nice, but like I mentioned before, things weren’t explained very well. I’m not too familiar with Norse mythology (or anything else we see in the book, in terms of supernatural/paranormal beings), so it’s possible that having that knowledge would have made a difference. Still, I felt like some of the basics should have been explained, because I was left feeling confused and bored. I know I picked up this book up because it sounded really cool, and not everyone reading this book is going to have enough knowledge of Norse mythology to know what’s going on.
2 stars. This book was okay, and while I wanted to like it more, I couldn’t. It had a lot of potential, but it wasn’t the book for me.