Loki's Wolves (Blackwell Pages) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-01-14 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 128 user ratings

"Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Loki’s Wolves, the first Middle Grade novel of YA heavy-hitters Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong, transfers the Gods and the ideas of Norse mythology to a modern-day setting.

Most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of the Norse Gods Thor and Loki. Matt is a Thorsen, and to him, family history and tradition are the most important things in the world. But being descendant of Thor is a not only a matter of pride but as it turns out, a matter of responsibility too. After all, it is Thor who is supposed to lead the Gods in their final battle when Ragnarok – the end of the world – comes. But Thor is dead. All the Norse Gods are dead. So when there are signs that Ragnarok is coming, the leading families of Blackwell come together to find the ones that will stand in for the gods in the final battle.

To his utter dismay, Matt is chosen and now has to stand in for Thor, and to put together a team of new gods to prevent the end of the world (with no help whatsoever from his family). And the first step is to find the other descendants, starting with Loki’s: because if Matt manages to get that god on his side, things might not end up as badly as they have been predicted.

Loki’s Wolves’s main conceit and thematic core are actually pretty awesome and had tons of potential: get a bunch of kids together to fight a big Serpent thingy that will bring the end of the world but also have them question the fact that they must follow old legends and to try to change the outcome of their DESTINY by making their own choices. The most obvious one is to have Thor and Loki fight side by side as friends. The narrative is split between Matt and two of Loki’s descendants, cousins Fen and Laurie, which gives a more diverse tone to the story. Another positive aspect is how both Matt and Fen are constantly trying to protect Laurie because she is a girl and this is presented as an internalised idea that has been passed by their family and Laurie herself is constantly questioning that and acting to prove them wrong. In fairness though, this is not faultless: Laurie also had a tendency to protect and forgive Fen’s constant sexist comments because “that’s how he is”. But I suspect this might be addressed in further instalments.

All that said, it’s amazing how a good idea can be derailed when execution fails. My main problems with Loki’s Wolves were twofold: the sheer amount of suspension of disbelief required to buy into the premise and how underdeveloped the progression of the story was.

With regards to the former, I was obviously prepared to suspend disbelief (Kids! Standing in for Gods! To fight the end of the world!) but WHY exactly are the descendants of NORSE Gods living in small-town America? This is never addressed. WHY exactly must KIDS be standing in for the Gods? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have fully developed adults to take on this fight? There is an attempt at explaining this choice but I thought it was a flimsy explanation at best and a contrived one at worst. My biggest problem though is how the Ragnarok is taken at its most literal. The population of Blackwell knows the end of the world is coming because Volcanoes are erupting and Tsunamis are happening. Therefore: the Midgard Serpent must have broken free of its bonds and is causing all of these natural disasters.

When transplanting these ideas – the Ragnarok, the Serpent that causes Tsunamis – to a contemporary setting it makes little sense to take them at face value as this implies that nature disasters are caused by mythological figures turned real. My point is: this is a Contemporary setting and for all intents and purposes is our world. So what happened to Science? To Geology?

With regards to the progression of the story: things progressed very fast, with little care given to developing storylines or characters. There is a moment in the story when Matt says:

‘After facing a few monsters at his side, they were becoming friends.’

And this basically sums up the story – from facing monsters to becoming friends without a lot of development in between.

I enjoyed reading about the heartfelt connection between cousins Fen and Laurie and how Matt took upon himself to become a leader but there was a redundant presence of those aspects of the novel, with the characters always rehashing these same topics. Not to mention the fact that as Matt met the descendants of the other gods, even those kids who had NO IDEA who they were and why, still accepted the premise that they had to fight a giant Serpent at the end of the world without even questioning it (going back to suspension of disbelief).

All of these combined to make Loki’s Wolves so flat to the point of when something really tremendous happens I felt cold and uninterested.

But the illustrations are kind of amazing.
" said.

"A good start to a series that has mega potential. It's Percy Jackson, but with the Norse gods! So you know I was instantly in love. There were a few drawbacks, though. The target audience (this is middle grade) will not notice these things, but I could tell that these were authors who were used to writing for teens or adults, trying really hard to write younger. I think in future books this will be smoothed out. I also was a little O.o about the relationship between Laurie and Fen. They're cousins who are as close as siblings. So of course he goes into a jealous rage every time she looks at another boy. And sleeps with his head in her lap. And they're always touching . . . Um, what? I love my cousins, and my brothers, but . . . um, what? Yeah, some of that needs to go. But the action and adventure was great. The premise is awesome. I loved the look of the book, the cover and interior illustrations were perfect, and I loved, loved, loved the ending. So this is sort of 3.5 stars, and I will DEFINITELY read the next book. Also, I'm excited to give this to my son, I think he'll really love it." said.

"I've read quite a lot of popular, juvenile fantasy over the years. Anything my younger sister likes, I pick up and read along. Some of these collaborations have been great (she gets credit for Harry Potter, to be sure). Some have been disappointments... either too juvenile or too derivative to hold my attention. I approached LOKI'S WOLVES holding my breath, hoping not to find a Norse Percy Jackson, and within one chapter, all my fears were allayed. Wonderfully written, this book has a whole host of great characters sharing the spot light. It's rare for me not to have a favorite (ok, ok, and I do kind of love Laurie a little bit extra), but Matt and Fen totally won me over as well. LOKI'S WOLVES is that rare book that was interesting as an adult while remaining completely appropriate for kids. Outside the villains and some bad parenting (though at least Armstrong and Marr didn't kill off all the moms, Disney style), LOKI'S WOLVES is filled with relatable, admirable characters. In keeping with a younger audience, LOKI'S WOLVES focuses on friendships, not romance. It talks about insecurities and longing, disappointments and finding a place where you belong. Though a but younger than my usual urban fantasy fare, I'll definitely be back for book two. And you can bet that I'll be giving a copy to my little sister to read along. " said.

" Not really all that great (Bad writing and kinda slow) but hey, it had Loki mentioned in it so who's complaining? " said.

" My relationship with Melissa Marr is not very good. I haven't had a very good introduction to her work. But I love Kelley Armstrong. Hopefully, this series will lean more into her writing rather than Marr's. Sorry Marr.The cover makes this book look like it's from the 1900s rather than the 21st century. " said.


(There seriously should be a half star rating system on Goodreads)

That was a dreadful book. It was full of half-baked, sloppy ideas, plot lines and backstory. The story fell SPLAT! on its face. The integration of mythology, more specifically Norse mythology, into a modern-day setting was lazy and uninteresting. Which pretty much proves that Rick Riordan is ace at this stuff and if you’re looking (desperately) for a book to fill the hole in your chest his book(s) created, you’ll not find solace anywhere and would have no choice but to read his books. Again.

While Magnus Chase wasn’t the best of Uncle Rick’s work and the way I remember the reading experience is that I laughed and then I dozed and then I woke up, laughed some more then dozed again, I cannot deny how skillfully the mythology was weaved into the story. Most people would call this technique “info-dumping”, it’s probably what I would call it too but I learned so much about Norse myths and legends by reading it and is also why I recognized every (slapdash mention of a) Norse deity in Loki’s Wolves. This area is where this book just flat out sucks. The world building and plot developments are so incredibly careless, it’s like the writers were a tad over confident in their abilities.

Norse mythology is very intriguing and if dabbled in correctly, it can lead to endless possibilities plot-wise. I wasn’t expecting this book to have the humor or wit of RR’s books, really, I didn’t expect anything from it. I just wanted to have a good time and see how other writers dealt with myths so my dislike can’t be blamed on me being biased.

What it’s about:
It’s middle-grade so the characters are about 13. They live in a town called Blackwell where descendants of Thor called Thorsens and Loki called Brekkes reside. Most people know that the myths are real, some don’t. There is a typical Thor-Loki rift among the masses with the Brekkes hating the Thorsens. Out of nowhere, Matt Thorsen is told that Ragnarok is coming and that he will be the stand-in for Thor, similarly the other descendants will be the substitutes of their respective ancestors. So Matt has to find the other children and collect a bunch of things and then defeat the Midgard Serpent which Thor is destined to fight.
If I made it sound interesting that’s entirely because of my supreme skill I apologize ‘cause it’s not.

The book’s cover is magnificent and there were some really nice illustrations in there. Let this be a lesson to all the fangirls and fanboys who perk up whenever his name is mentioned; “Not everything with the word LOKI in it is good.”
" said.

" Drenched in mythology and adventure, this is definitely an excellent book for younger readers, getting them excited about reading in and of itself while educating on mythology and the history behind it. The characters add some modernity to it so readers can relate well to the protagonists, too. I would've absolutely fallen in love with a book like this when I was in junior high school. :) " said.






*happy dance*


Wait a second...

*looks closer*

Release Date: May 30th 2013



After Finishing

Matt Thorson is a descendant of the Norse god, Thor, and is destined for greatness. At only 13 years old, he's chosen as Blackwell's Champion, the one to defeat the serpent and keep Ragnarok, the end of the world, from happening.
But to do that, he seeks the help of Fen and Laurie, descendants of the Trickster god Loki, Thor's worst enemy. Fen is arrogant and easily antagonized into a fight. But Laurie, his cousin, keeps his anger at bay and in turn, Fen is adamant that he must always protect her.
The three adolescent ancestors must team up and join their special abilities to find what they need to defeat Ragnarok.

This is such a cute story. It's middle-grade so it should be treated as such.
Is it realistic? Hel no. Is it a quick, sweet story about kid versions of the most beloved Norse gods? Hel yes!
I would highly recommend it for people who loved the Percy Jackson books. It's basically the Norse mythology equivalent of that series.

Nowadays, I normally loathe middle-grade novels, simply on the whole 'kids saving the world' and unrealistic factors. But this was a decent surprise that I truly enjoyed.

Anyone looking for a fast-paced, adorable middle-grade series, definitely pick this up. I'm eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.
" said.

January 2018 New Book:

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