Title: Claimed by Gods
Author: Eva Chase
Genre: Romance/Urban Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 258
Publisher: Ink Spark Press
Notable Notables: It’s reverse harem time!
Recommended Readers: Fans of Norse mythology and multiple pairings (not a slow-burn read)
I wish I could give Claimed by Gods by Eva Chase a higher rating than this. It’s a reverse harem story (something much needed in book publishing period) featuring Norse gods Thor, Loki, Baldur, and Hod and a once-human girl, Aria Watson, who is resurrected to be the gods’ valkyrie, charged with the task of finding the Allfather, Odin. While I didn’t hate it, I didn’t particularly like it much either.
The book has its good qualities. I liked that Ari wasn’t a squeaky-clean heroine and wasn’t painfully edgy to read, either. All her POV chapters had a good cadence to them, and I liked her outlook on things; she behaved and reacted to her situations believably.
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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.
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