Yesterday’s post was all about gentle reads. This is just the opposite, a fast-moving book full of violence against monsters that’s sure to grab action-loving kids.
Odin’s Ravens. Blackwell Pages Book 2 by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr. Little, Brown and Company, 2014.
I read this for the Cybils, so I haven’t read book 1 yet. Spoiler alert: a kid died in the last book. Now, Matt Thorsen (yes, Thorsen means a literal descendent of Thor) and his friends Laurie and Fen Brekke are off to Hel to rescue Baldwin. All of them are descended from or current representations of the Norse gods in modern-day America. Our crew has been told that Ragnarok is on the way, but they’re hopeful that if they do things right, they’ll be able to stop it. If they can rescue Baldwin, maybe Matt can also find Mjolnir, which would be very helpful against the legions of monsters that keep coming up against them, including Viking zombies and deadly water horses. There are so many bad guys that they start to wonder who is behind them all – could it be that they haven’t been told the full truth?
The action here is a little too breathless for my personal taste, but that isn’t a shortcoming for most of the kids I know. Armstrong and Marr do an admirable job of fitting some character moments in between all the action, and there’s plenty of humor as well. This is an obvious choice for Rick Riordan fans (still more books for Percy Jackson fans here), although it has somewhat less ethnic diversity. I happened to have this with me when I was in need of something to read aloud to my son one day. Both he and the other somewhat younger boy in the waiting room with us were instantly hooked, and I’m keeping it on my list of good books to give him next time he has an opening in his personal reading schedule.