‘A fast-paced, exciting read with an absolute scorcher of a hero’
Runes by Ednah Walters is the first book in a YA series based on Norse mythology, a subject close to my heart as I’m half Swedish. I was interested to see how the author would connect that with teenagers in an American high school setting, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.
Short blurb: 17-year old Raine (Lorraine) Cooper is trying to cope with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s strange behaviour and the possibility of her long-time crush/boyfriend Eirik relocating … Enter her new neighbour, mysterious and gorgeous Torin St James. Who is he? How is he connected to her father’s disappearance? And why does he know so much about her?
There seem to be eight books in the main series and three in a companion series, plus others planned for future releases – impressive! But as with other such series, the author ends book one on a cliff-hanger, and as I have mentioned before, that annoys me immensely – I really prefer to have a choice as to whether I buy the next book or not.
However, I did enjoy this first instalment (apart from the ending obviously) and it is a fast-paced, exciting read with an absolute scorcher of a hero. Torin is the epitome of a bad boy – wicked smile, wears black leather, rides a Harley – and he’s almost infuriatingly perfect. Until the reader finds out what he actually is … (although I liked him even then and it adds great conflict to the story).
Raine is incredibly attracted to him, even though she’s always thought the boy she wanted is her crush Eirik. She tries her best to resist, but somehow Torin is always there when she needs him and he gets under her skin. The chemistry between them is electric and I really enjoyed their encounters and Raine’s attempts to distance herself from him, as well as discover what/who he really is.
Torin isn’t the only stranger in town though – there are others and they use ancient magic in the form of runes. (I loved the way these were woven into the story). Raine and her friends are in danger and she has to try and figure out a way to save them.
As I said, this is a great read and an intriguing start to the series. The links with Norse mythology were different to anything I’ve come across before and the author has made imaginative use of the Norse concepts. They could perhaps have been explained a little more, but I’m assuming the reader will build up a better understanding as the series continues (and there was an explanation of some Norse terms at the beginning of the book).
I would love to find out what happens next with Raine and Torin, but although I understand book two is free (if you sign up for the author’s newsletter), I’m hesitating, as yet again I feel I’m being made to buy lots of books simply because the author doesn’t want to end each instalment with a ‘satisfying-for-now’ ending. As this seems to be so prevalent now, I guess I’m in a minority here and I’ll probably cave at some point, but for now the rest of my TBR pile beckons instead.
But if you want a fantasy series based on mythology with some great characters, sassy dialogue and lots of excitement, then this is for you.
Pia Fenton writes contemporary romantic YA stories and her Northbrooke High series features UK heroines clashing with US heroes in an American high school setting. The fourth one in the series – New England Dreams – is out now!