Title: Between the Blade and the Heart
Author: Amanda Hocking
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Version: ARC (Uncorrected Proof)
Page Count: 319
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Notable Notables: LGBTQ+ characters
Recommended Readers: Ages 14+, mythology enthusiasts, newcomers to fantasy
I received an ARC from St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review.
When I found out I had won an Advanced Reader Copy of Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking, I was ecstatic. First ARC and a new author? Well, she’s new to me. I have yet to read her Trylle trilogy or Watersong series, but this book instantly had my attention. Valkyries? Revenge? Shattered world views? Sign me up!
Even from the get-go, however, this book threw me off guard. I was expecting a Norse/Valhalla-inspired world of old, especially given the lovely, simplistic cover with the glowing blade in front of some dark, spooky woods. Instead, I was thrown into a futuristic, soft sci-fi city setting, but I adapted to it and was intrigued to learn more about it.
Unfortunately, the intrigue dried up rather quickly because the author didn’t give the city so much as a name. It’s just some vague, made-up city in the United States. In fact, everything about the world seemed vague and made-up as the author drew inspiration solely from past mythologies, which is a shame. The concept of walking into a bar and seeing demons, incubi, goblins, and mortals all hanging out is my aesthetic, but here it came across as flat, not possessing its own breath of originality that I was hoping for.