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August 30, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: Mist, by Susan Krinard

Book Review: “Mist” by Susan Krinard

Mist lives a normal life. She has a normal job, a normal boyfriend, and a normal apartment in San Francisco. She never thinks about her past if she can help it.

She survived. That’s the end of it.

But then a snowy winter descends upon San Francisco. In June. And in quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.

Mist’s normal world is falling apart. But thankfully, Mist isn’t quite so normal herself. She’s a Valkyrie, and she’s going to need all her skill to thwart Loki’s schemes and save modern Earth from the ravages of a battle of the gods.

 

I picked Mist as a filler while I was on vacation. I was bored and needed something to pass the time. This new novel by Susan Krinard did the job quite well, and as far as urban fantasies go it was one of the better ones I’ve read, despite a few flaws.

In her book, Krinard introduces the reader to extensive Norse mythological themes. Unlike other urban fantasies, which tend to blend a wide variety of cultures together, she sticks to what she knows. I was impressed with exactly how much she did know. As a fan of Greek and Roman myth, I had never really delved deeply into the Norse. Mist provided an easy to follow story with major themes and characters, but without being exhausting.

The title character, Mist, is a Valkyrie living on Earth (Midgard) after a botched apocalypse. She is a likable character with just the right amount of flaws to make her relatable. I do wish that she could have dropped the whole “I-don’t-know-my-own-strength” shtick sooner, but I got over it. Dainn, the elf in the story, was impressively wrought, if a bit on the angsty side. I wholeheartedly approve of Krinard’s portrayal of Freya and Loki, though. Spot on, in my personal opinion (and from what little Norse mythology I am familiar with). These weren’t the only characters, of course. Only the main ones. The others were well written and provided a nice background for the events of the story.

The plot was a little lacking in originality. I shan’t spoil, but it could have used some sprucing up. It was mostly redeemed by the fight scenes, though, which were chock full of rune magic, sword fighting, and angry frost giants. Mist makes her own weaponry (swords and the like), but I was a little disappointed that it was only mentioned. A Valkyrie that can use magic and fight, and makes her own swords? Now that would have been awesome. Technically that’s still what Mist is, but it’s more implied.

Overall the book was enjoyable and interesting. The Norse themes were new and different (to me, anyway) and I appreciated not having to rent a Norse encyclopaedia to understand it all. The plot wasn’t heavy on the intellectual side, but entertaining all the same. A nice, relaxing read for vacation!

If you would like to see what I’m talking about for yourself, check it out here!

Thanks,

A Daily Dose of R&R

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