From School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-Sixteen-year-old Ellie is used to being an outsider: she's blond, statuesque, and Graham Overholt's little sister-no guys dare get too friendly with her as long as the golden boy, high school sports star is watching. Normally her visits to her grandmother in Norway are different. She blends in with the locals and everyone is typically friendly. But not this summer. Instead, she is greeted with suspicion and even hostility. Young men have been disappearing at an alarming rate, and a ridiculous-sounding rumor has begun that these vanishings are the work of Valkyries: beautiful women from mythology who were seen around battlefields gathering the souls of young men for Odin's army of the undead in Valhalla. Ellie would think the rumor was ridiculous, too, except she's seen the strong, beautiful women who've appeared in the clubs just before some men have gone missing, and suddenly her grandmother is acting strange as well. To complicate matters, Graham's infuriating and irresistibly handsome best friend has also come to Norway. What Ellie doesn't know is that Tuck has a secret, and it might save or doom the young men of the village. With guest appearances from Odin, Loki, and even the Morrigan, the plot in this creatively imagined but incompletely executed book creeps along for the first half, then struggles to gain its footing as Ellie accepts who she is and what she is up against. If readers ignore the flat characters and stick with the book to the end, they will be rewarded with a thrilling climax where the mythological characters intersect and become better realized.-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, COα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Elsa Overholt is 16 and has always been in her brother’s shadow. As the family golden boy, Graham could do no wrong, but Elsa is tired of his overprotective nature. Now that Graham is headed to college, she sees her chance to finally steer her own life. But first she has to get through the summer visiting her grandmother in Norway, which turns out to be more complicated than she thought. The village is frightened by a rash of missing young men, whispered to be connected to the mysterious and beautiful young women claiming to be the Valkyries of Norse myth. Elsa gets dragged into the intrigue, and by the time Graham arrives, the villagers are blaming her for the disappearances and she realizes that maybe her crush on Graham’s friend Tuck is a bit more complicated as well. While the story follows established teen fantasy tropes, new elements such as the isolated Norway backdrop and the coldly beautiful Valkyries add a fresh touch. Teen girls will empathize with Elsa’s feelings of unsure independence and courage. Grades 9-12. --Tina Coleman