Customer Reviews: RuneWarriors: Ship of the Dead
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4.0 out of 5 stars9
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on July 28, 2011
"Runewarriors: Ship of the Dead" is the final chapter of the Runewarriors saga, and I believe it is the best of the bunch. Masterly combining equal parts heart, humor and action, the authors have produced a rousing page-turner.

Having read the trilogy, it's my opinion that it's not the authors' intention to write a strict depiction of Norse mythology that you'd read in textbooks. Rather, they take the gods, demi-gods and monsters of Norse lore and create living, breathing characters who are fresh, funny and modern in their complexities. For instance, Valkyries are usually depicted as self-sacrificing maidens who feel honored to ferry dead warriors to Odin's Valhalla. Not so here. The Valkyrie sisterhood of Runewarriors is humorously rife with enough back-stabbing and bitching to take up a whole season of "The Office." And the goddess Hel, ruler of the underworld, isn't exactly content that her father Odin stuck her with such a thankless job. Complaining about the endless tide of dead sent her way, she moans, "They never stop coming! Shipload after shipload. And I must find room for them all--as if we weren't cramped for space down here already!" There are dozens of these little gems of comedy amid the text. Some readers may take offense that their precious notions of Norse mythology have been deconstructed by the authors here. Well, these folks just don't get the joke--and never will. As for me, I thoroughly appreciate the fresh, exciting take on Viking times and culture delivered in the Runewarriors trilogy, and especially in the final chapter, "Ship Of The Dead."
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on August 2, 2011
The authors do not disappoint once again in the final book in the Rune Warriors series, "Ship of the Dead". The story has non-stop action and adventure, while weaving the "true love" story of Dane and Astrid. They left us hanging in the previous book - will they be able to be together after she is dead?!! The story is a serious one - what one has to do the save the world from an undead evil king and his band of undead warriors - but there is plenty of school-boy humor to lighten the mood and give you a good chuckle. Dane's band of motley cohorts are with him again, which we loved, along with some new characters, too. The scenes with Dettmarr the dwarf, his wife and the Fire giant are just great storytelling. Our daughter loved the Norse mythology, too.

Our whole family enjoyed all three books. We fought over who got to read them first! Highly recommend.
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on April 21, 2013
The whole viking theme really enhances this fantasy adventure of gods, Valkyries, undead, etc... It's a non-stop adventure! It's like the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the humor and everything, the only difference is that it's not in the modern day, but instead it's in the middle-ages (medieval), and instead of Greek Mythology, it's Scandinavian Mythology! (it's also got a little bit of romance) All around great series! A must read!
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on July 29, 2011
I bought the first book in the Rune Warriors trilogy for my grandson. He enjoyed it so much that I was encouraged to read it too. We anxiously awaited the publishing of the second book and then "Ship of the Dead".

All of the books are so full of good story telling and humor that they appeal to readers of all ages. We loved the hero's and villains escapades. As a school librarian I especially appreciate the authors wonderful use of colorful language.

At the end of this truly entertaining book we wanted more of Dane and Astrid and their friends.
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on August 6, 2011
I was expecting this to be some straight retelling of Viking legends. I was delighted and surprised that it was not! Sure, there's plenty of brave warriors, Valkyries, swordplay and hairbreadth escapes, but there's also lots of Terry Prachett style humor to go along with it. There aren't enough books like this! It was a very fun read. I will definitely pick up the first two books in the series.
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on October 18, 2012
The whole Rune Warrior series was awesome.  Great read
could not stop reading  them   disappointed that it was the last book.
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on August 12, 2012
I use this book for tutoring a 12 year old boy. He loves it! He reads and understands the material.
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on February 14, 2011
There are a very few books that I just don't want to keep reading after the first chapter. Ruin Warriors: Ship of the Dead by James Jennewein and Tom S. Parker is one of those few books. I really wanted to like this book, but there were just too many problems for it to work for me.

Ship of the Dead tells the story of Dane the Defiant as he drags his friends across the country side to save his one true love from being a valkyrie forever after. In order to accomplish this, Dane makes a deal with Skuld, one of the goddesses of fate, to destroy the revived villain Thidrek the Terrifying to give Astrid the choice of being human again. Trouble strikes the band quickly when Lur the Bent, also known as stock mentor figure number one, decides that he needs to eat the magic apple that they need in order to convince a dwarven smith to make them the magical weapon of zombie killing. From there on, we are treated to lot's of posturing, second guessing of Dane by his supposedly trusting companions, and the kind of feel good bull pocky that would make Saturday morning cartoons ashamed of themselves.

I found much more to complain about with this book than things to like. It read as though the authors had done little to no research on Vikings or Norse mythology or the time period. The feel good that I mentioned earlier is one of the non-research related things that got to me. Why are there Vikings in the happy good times kids' book? Why are they bastardizing Norse mythology to say that one can get into Valhalla by being true to oneself and everyday noble rather than dying on a bloody battle field surrounded by the other guys' dead bodies? Oh, right, kids' book can't have anything the good guys do requiring a violent death. What about the part where Dane's theoretically trusting and faithful companions keep second guessing him at every turn? These guys have been with him for two books before this one, and they still don't seem to trust him in anything. Or the part where Lur never gets anything but praise for eating the apple of youth? The Ruin Warriors, other than Dane who is always wrong, love Lur for eating the apple and being a young twenty something again. Or the part where apparently everyone over the Bifrost bridge, who isn't Astrid or Mist or Skuld, is holding a massive idiot ball? The names used for the characters also bothered me a bit, there was no Dane Voldarson no it was "the Defiant", and it went that way for all of the characters. It was almost like the writers picked one major trait for each of them and then named them after it. Is this something that changes over the character's lives? Will Dane eventually be changed to "the Second-guessed" or "the Untrusted" or "the Standard Childish Hero"? This is never shown, so I'm forced to assume that his parents just up and decided that he was going to be a little snot and called him "Defiant."

There's still more, not much though, there's still the lack of research. I know that Norse mythology isn't as widely read as Greek, but this is a kids' book at least bother to get it right. Hel is not a dragon or whatever scaly monstrosity they decided to make her, she's half of a beautiful woman and half of a horrifying rotting corpse. I can't find any record of a "queen of the valkyries", which feels like a tacked on bit of modern day bureaucracy to make the writers more comfortable. There were an absolute ton of those little bits of the modern that, had they been handled well, could have been funny. Instead of being humorous bit of non sequiter, the pieces of modern life just served to make the authors look more incompetent. Why would there be "attached outhouses" when the idea of an indoor toilet was still considered gross less than a century ago? Why is the bad guy demanding a signed memo rather than going for the kill? This isn't funny, it's sad and it makes me sad that I read all two hundred and ninty-four pages of this drivel. I cannot suggest this book to anyone. One half out of five and a request for my time back.
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on July 15, 2014
Just bought this book in a store bargain bin. As a fan of norse folklore and friend of many modern Heathens, the glaring errors jumped out screaming at me as early as page 3! Hel, the goddess of the underworld who is half beautiful and half dead, daughter of Loki, who built the most beautiful hall in her realm for the dead god Baldr, is described as "Queen of Sin and Evil" and introduced as Odin being her father and Thor her brother, none of which is remotely in line with norse myths in any form. I was going to give it as a gift, but now I think it may go into the trash where it belongs, and I will get a proper book of myths like Children of Odin.
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