Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton

The Lost Sun: Book 1 of United States of Asgard 
  Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities.

   When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be.

        I really liked Soren as a character. He was quiet and brooding yet determined and (oddly) humble enough I didn't hate him, despite how grouchy he got at some points. His struggles with his father's choices felt real, and reinforced a theme of how we allow the past to rule the present. I'm not sure I would click with him as a real person, but he's a hearty character. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about Astrid. She seemed a little too focused on herself and the future she sees to be very likable or to feel very real. But in other ways she is a perfect counterpart to Soren; Their interactions felt very natural.
Characters: 3.2  Stars

          Though not quite a fairy-tale retelling, this book contained the same air of magic and myth as fairy-tale retellings should. As our heroes move along a quest containing a sprinkling of mystery, a dash of action, a helping of romance, and a serving of intrigue, they face obstacles from the realm of the gods and the realm of mortals. I did skim most of the middle section (it seemed like this book relished its driving-in-a-car scenes). But the ending was quite good and almost ripped my heart out before ending with a bittersweet, satisfying thunk.
Plot: 3.5 Stars

          Tessa paints her original story with a backdrop of nordic mythology and culture and somehow makes it flow seamlessly with a modern world in which a god can use a cell phone and the rising of Baldur the Beautiful is televised. When I saw the phrase 'United States of Asgard', I admit I thought this book was going to contain its fair share of cheesy. But it didn't. Tessa Gratton pulled it off with a flourish.
Style: 3.7 Stars

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Source: Library
Genre: Fantasy
YA Fiction (350 Pages)

For an excerpt check out The Lost Sun on  Amazon!

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