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Norse Code Mass Market Paperback – May 19, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Short story author van Eekhout makes a successful leap to long fiction with this thrilling urban fantasy. As human civilizations crumble, Valkyries prepare for Ragnarok by using DNA testing to select perfect warriors for their army of the dead. Resurrected NorseCODE operative Mist loses faith in the project after a tragic accident, and she goes AWOL. After Mist encounters the near-forgotten god Hermod as he investigates portents of doom along the California coastline, the two journey into the afterlife of Helheim, where they make some unexpected allies. With deities scheming and ancient prophecies coming true, can a reluctant Valkyrie and a world-weary god prevent the apocalypse? While a few aspects of the conclusion don't quite hang together, the compelling prose and epic blend of mythological and modern elements make it clear that van Eekhout is an author to watch. (June)
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“Norse Code is a clever, witty reimagining of one of our enduring myths in a world of Southern California baristas and shopping malls: Ragnarok at Malibu, with wandering gods, thoughtful monsters, high tech Valkyries and world-spanning catastrophes. Van Eekhout demonstrates his well-deserved reputation as a masterful short fiction stylist on a much larger canvas—one that stretches from the frozen basements of hell to the depths of black infinity, without ever losing his focus on the human and the humane. A satisfying read that taps the vein of our oldest legends in the most modern way possible.”—Jay Lake, author of Escapement
“Greg van Eekhout combines the thrills of gods and monsters with the chills of endless winter in this inventive and mythic modern fantasy. Neil Gaiman fans take note!”—Tim Pratt, author of The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl
“Van Eekhout plays with Norse mythology like he invented it. This is a really fun read, with plenty of cool bits to chew over after putting it down. I like this book a lot.” — Steven Brust, author of Jhegaala
"Norse Code has bone crunching battles, ironic ravens, a resistance movement of dead Iowans, a great loner hero redeemed by the love of a spunky valkyrie in California during the apocalypse, and lots of wit. If that doesn't sound like fun to you, all I can say is, well, I'm sorry. Cause it is."—Maureen McHugh, author of China Mountain Zhang
"A renegade valkyrie and a runaway god team up to stop the apocalypse in a book filled with battles and betrayals, love and hope. If the world ends tomorrow, you can't do anything better than read Greg van Eekhout's Norse Code. But don't blame me if you end up joining the resistance. I love this book."–C. C. Finlay, author of The Patriot Witch
Top customer reviews
Add conspiracies, as gods seek to position themselves to gain by the world's end, and strange adventures, as a modern Valkyrie challenges Hel herself to claim her sister from the land of the dead, a minor Aesir who has spent the past centuries bumming California's beaches, and even Sleipnir, the great eight-legged horse, and you get what manages to be a rollicking read and yet a book of remarkable depths.
And... it isn't the first book in a seven-book, over-padded series, but an actual novel!
Read and enjoy.
This was an excellent book. It kept my interest; and while violently graphic in some instances, I could not put it down.
"The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army. Given a sword and a new name, Mist’s job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world—and to kill those who refuse to fight.
But as the twilight of the gods descends, Mist makes other plans.
Journeying across a chaotic American landscape already degenerating into violence and madness, Mist hopes to find her way to Helheim, the land of the dead, to rescue her murdered sister from death’s clutches. To do so, she’ll need the help of Hermod, a Norse god bumming around Los Angeles with troubles of his own. Together they find themselves drafted into a higher cause, trying to do what fate long ago deemed could not be done: save the world of man."
Mist is a rugged and gritty character, a well developed heroine with a purpose. Hermod, usually given short shrift in the Lore is fully developed and "true" to his nature. It's a twisted, tense tale and the ending is very surprising. For as we all know, we do have the ability to shift our fate, if only to an "nth" and from that can spin a different outcome.
Van Eekhout did a great job, and, I really enjoyed reading it. His description of Hel / Helheim and Naglfar are jaw dropping. As you traverse the Nine Worlds while they spin out of control many things will go through your mind. Definitely a "must read" if you are interested in exploring the concepts behind Norse Legend / Lore!
I'm glad I did. It's complicated with a lot of characters and jumping between different scenes taking place with the characters, but it's worth it.
It's sometime in the near future. The world is in winter and pretty bleak, civilization as we know it is crumbling, but it's not really mankind's fault. It's Ragnarök. Despite everything humans have done with their free will and inventive spirit, at the end, it comes down to prophecy laid down eons ago, it's up to a lesser known god, a renegade Valkyrie, a warrior, a ghost, and the god blamed for the start of the fall to change it, to save the world from destiny.
It's well written and a great re-imagining of mythology. I enjoyed it completely. It's not fluffy and light like the cover suggests. It's a good story.
Most recent customer reviews
Not a stellar composition, but who cares?Read more