Series Review: The Valkyrie by T.G. Ayer
Book review -Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer (Book 1 of the Valkyrie series)
review by Becky
"That day I knew for sure. I'd lost control of my tears then. They fell in huge, mocking drops. I stared at Joshua through those bitter tears, my heart missing beats as I tried to remember to breathe. I finally knew what the glow meant. I was a freak and Joshua was going to die." Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras - Death.
Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead. The new foster kid, Aidan, isn't helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually.
A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human. Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she'd never belonged? Available on Amazon.com: Dead Radiance (Valkyrie, Book 1)
T.G. Ayer is a writer that fills me with joy and a sense of pride because her passion for norse fantasy comes out like a box of fireworks through every word, sentence and page of this book. It's that passion which really makes the many plot twists full of suprise, each character unique and special, and the whole story inspiring and exciting to read. It is also remarkably refreshing in her vision of how the norse gods and in particular valkyries exist and interact with the mortal world. She has done some really fascinating things not just with her portrayal of the gods but also key mythical creatures such as Fenrir the wolf, Nidhogg the dragon at the bottom of the world treee Yggdrasil, and Odin's eight-legged horse Sleipnnir, not to mention of course Valkyries. I must admitt her version of Loki I find particularly magnificent and it made me think of a similar dark character in Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'. }
The best thing is she even makes the world of the Aesir accessible, thrilling and gripping to teenagers as that is the age ranger of her main characters and her target audience being a YA fantasy novel. Each of the main characters has the typical teenager worries and problems, albeit in some cases particularly unique to the character's situation but she has also shown how they both grow and mature inside from their experience with the Norse Gods etc.
But I am ultimately ecstatic as this book is thankfully not a one off like some other valkyries novels I've come across. No, Dead Radiance is the first of a trilogy with Dead Embers due to be released later on this year.
All I can say is if your a fan of YA fantasy and norse mythology or just one of the two and you like a story packed with action, mystery, magic and a touch of romance then this book (if not the total trilogy) is for you.
I personally can't wait to get my hands on Dead Embers, I'm almost as excited as I was about the release of Joanne Harris's Runelight.
Book review -Dead Embers by T.G. Ayer (Book 2 of the Valkyrie series)
review by Becky
"For a shadow of a second, I stared into his eyes, shocked, horrified he'd do such a thing to me. A thousand fears filtered through my frigid brain. Was he in cahoots with Loki? Or was he Freya's dog all along? It took an eternity for him to blink. Even longer for me to blink. Then Fenrir pushed me and I fell off the cliff... into pure white oblivion."
Available on Amazon.com Dead Embers (A Valkyrie Novel - Book 2)
WOW! T G Ayer sure packs a longship full of action, intrigue and emotional turmoil on poor Bryn in her latest norse fantasy adventure as a modern clone Valkyrie. Things start rather sad and upsetting as both the reader and Bryn reels from Loki's treachery at the end of the last book, Dead Radiance. But Bryn being Bryn doesn't stay down in the dumps for too long before pressing matters regarding her personal valkyrie training raises her out of her room. The chapters where she learns to fly are very well written and captivating and thrilling for reader and characters alike. But after that little victory for Bryn something sinister begins to unravel in Asgard, firstly with the failure of Einherjar being retrieved due to a mysterious black substance and the kidnap of her old mortal friend Brody. It seems when things go wrong in Bryn's life they don't do it by halves which is what makes this book so gripping as you follow Bryn as she struggles to save two of her close male friends as well as try and remain in the good books with the Norse Gods as they face their own problems. Bryn's new adventures reunite her with an old scaley friend from the previous novel as well as introduce some fascinating new characters and beasties. I am particularly impressed with T G Ayer's interpretation of dwarves as it goes against all known stereotypes yet still remains strong, fitting and unique to the world she's created. New enemies also emerge in the most shocking of places as all discover by the end of the book Loki's plans go far deeper than anyone suspected and climaxes in the most heart-wrenching ending yet in this series that will leave readers like myself urging time to go faster so we can learn how in Odin's name Bryn recovers from this latest development for Dead Chaos due spring 2013. If T G Ayer's books don't get teenagers hooked on valkyries and norse myths then nothing will!
Book review -Dead Chaos by T.G. Ayer (Book 3 of the Valkyrie series)
Valkyrie Bryn Halbrook is broken and damaged...
Struggling to accept the loss of her wings, Bryn's not sure if she can be a real Valkyrie anymore. But when a mysterious prophecy claims she will be the reason the All-Father dies, she is determined to ensure the prediction will not come to pass.
A visit to the three fates who live beneath the great Tree of life, sends Bryn racing against time to find the missing Heimdall and his horn. As Odin's life hangs in the balance and Ragnarok draws ever closer, Bryn has to find a way to save Heimdall and Odin before she can discover the truth about who she really is.
In the thrilling instalment in the Valkyrie series Bryn must battle not only the formidable frost giants and the hated God Loki, but she must also find a balance between what she will lose and what she will gain.
Available on amazon.com: Dead Chaos (A Valkyrie Novel - Book 3) (The Valkyrie Series)
After being left gob smacked at the end of Dead Embers I was expecting lots to happen from such events in Dead Chaos. A lot did happen but not quite the way I expected. A certain boy had his jerk switched turned on, an on-and-off-again relationship ultimately ended, new love was quickly kindled and suddenly realized and Bryn got sent off on more missions than I'd have thought possible within one book. There is a lot of action, of intrigue, of team work, of friendships being forged deeper due to said action. Due to the amazing amount of actions sometimes not enough detail or focus is spent on the build up so I didn't get a build of anticipation towards many of the fighting scenes but they were still good because in each one someone or something was at stake. One of the characters did drop out of the entire story a little too conveniently for my liking, leaving a lot of issues that seemed resolved but didn't feel totally resolved to me
. But despite that I still did enjoy the book which as always had an equally exciting ending that leads onto book four with much relief as I'm hoping to see a certain character make a come back with some hopefully dramatic consequences as well as wondering what brave Bryn will face next since the major truth she discovers in Dead Chaos. It is to be frank life changing.
And hopefully game changing as it seems a certain prophecy is creeping nearer to being fulfilled. Which makes us as readers wonder how on earth Bryn will survive and she will do to save herself and those closest to her as impending doom approaches. We still have high expectations for what T G Ayer will bring us next.
Book review -Dead Wrath by T.G. Ayer (Book 4 of the Valkyrie series)
Ragnarok is upon the worlds, and the time to fight is now. They come from all of the Nine Realms. Dark Elves, Dragons, Frost Giants, Elves ... They all come to fight for Odin. And they answer to Valkyrie Brynhildr.
While Bryn grieves, struggling to cope with Sigrun's death, she knows too there is no time for tears. Odin is still a shade of himself and though there is no sign of Loki in all of the Nine Realms - Thor knows he is hiding in Midgard.
As the Warriors gather, Bryn must head the offensive and enter the Human Realm in search of the Trickster and his henchman. The war is silent and it rages all across the planet. Ragnarok is here ... In this, the 4th thrilling instalment in the Valkyrie series, Bryn takes the war to home turf. From New York to London, Interpol to CIA, Bryn and her team risk their lives to stop Loki. And to prevent the end of the world.
Available on Amazon.com: Dead Wrath (A Valkyrie Novel - Book 4)
The 4th Valkyrie novel seems more action packed then the 3rd. As it is all battle-stations as Bryn is left managing the armies of Ulfr and Valkyrie all the while monitoring disturbing developments in Midgard
Things start to unravel quickly with the kidnapping of Thor, the wounding of Fenrir, a sneaky detour with Loki and much, much more.
We get to see Bryn take on the power and responsibility she needs to prevent Ragnarok and as always her closes warrior allies and best friends are on hand to assist in many daring challenges, confrontations and missions.
The last third of the book takes a very tense and dramatic twist as Bryn finally catches the Trickster unawares as well as uncovering more of his sinister schemes. Will she be able to stop him before he is too late? You will have to read it to find out.
An enjoyable read, more like a mythical 007 adventure than a norse fantasy due to the plot development but one to still read to see how your favourite characters survive.
Want to adventure throught the lands of the Vikings? The height of the Vikings is an amazing period of time and there is a lot of great fiction that is based on historical facts from that period and place. Rebecca Wilson has written a guide to the genre and to some of the best works in the genre.
If you are fascinated by the subject of Vikings you should check out her blog at: http://www.soulchaserbecky.blogspot.com/
You can follow her on Twitter @soulchaserbecky.
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