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The Lost Sun: Book 1 of United States of Asgard Library Binding – June 25, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up–Soren Bearskin and Astrid Glyn meet for the first time at a boarding school in an alternative America with places called Nebrasge and Colorada. Soren is a berserker who wants to resist his destiny to be a fighter. Astrid is a seethkona, a seer, whose famous mother has recently died. Everyone in the country is watching the television when the god of light, Baldur, does not rise from the dead for his yearly renewal. Astrid decides to seek him out, and she enlists Soren for the mission. They find him, and the journey to return him to his father without being followed is where most of the action takes place. The protagonists learn that the gods are manipulating the annual ritual to suit their needs. Soren and Astrid become romantically attached, and many sacrifices have to be made for them to deliver Baldur safely to his home. The mix of contemporary living and technology with mythology and fantasy is jarring at first, but readers will quickly get a hang for the unusual names and attributes of the characters. Hand this to fantasy lovers who might be ready to branch out of their comfort zone.–Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Soren, doomed from the start by his berserker lineage, is falling in love with Astrid, whose own lineage carries the dark power of a seer. When Baldur, the god of light, disappears, the world is thrown into chaos. Compelled to find him, Astrid and Soren instead discover a mortal man with no memory, and in an apple orchard that holds the keys of immortality, they are torn between their love for each other and the balance of the entire world. Gratton sets up an alternate universe where Norse gods are juxtaposed with typical American life in this first novel in a new series. Clever word alterations are just familiar enough, and Soren’s first-person point of view and single-minded determination to win Odin Alfather’s reward for returning his beloved son gives the quest to rescue Baldur a frantic immediacy. While Astrid dreams of apples and Soren battles the berserker rage inside, they forge new alliances and a bond of friendship that puts them squarely in the path of a cat-and-mouse game played by gods. Grades 7-12. --Charli Osborne --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Soren Bearskin is determined not to give in to his berserker heritage. After all, he was only eight years old when he saw his beloved father give in to the frenzy and massacre innocent bystanders at a mall. He knows that everyone at his school is afraid of what he might do and chooses to isolate himself from others. Then Astrid Glyn comes to the school and won't let him remain in isolation. She is the only one he knows who is not afraid of him. She comes to him and says that she has seen him in her dreams. She is the daughter of a famous seether who has disappeared and is a budding seether herself who gives herself to the frenzy and sees visions.
When Baldur the Beautiful fails to rise at the appointed time, Soren and Astrid are determined to find him to make the world right again. Astrid has the visions and Soren is determined to protect and help her. Both want to ask Odin Alfather for a boon for successfully returning his son to him. Astrid wants her mother back and Soren wants to get rid of all that could make him a berserker.
But finding Baldur only begins their quest. Baldur has lost his memory and become mortal too.
I really enjoyed getting to know something about Norse mythology in this story. I also liked the juxtaposition of modern conveniences like cell phones and the internet with the mythology. I liked the relationship between Astrid and Soren. Fans of adventure, romance, and mythology are the perfect audience for this first book in a new series.