Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Lost Sun

The Lost Sun
(Image from usatoday)
Tessa Gratton

In a world where the Norse Gods are real, it usually pays to be a beserker. Unless, of course, you're Soren Bearskin, son of a previously acclaimed beserker that went insane and killed thirteen people and had to be shot down by a SWAT team. 

His life seems to be going up when he meets Astrid Glyn, a seethkoma who's famous prophetess mother went missing. But his celebrations end when Baldur, the much-loved god of light, fails to rise. Now Soren and Astrid must find the missing god, and confront their own problems along the way.

I vaguely enjoy the summary I just wrote. Isn't it beautiful? However, beauty can't last, so onto the (extremely unorganized) review.

You know that one person you really want to like, but have these little habits that just bother you so much? This book was that person for me.

First of all, I love the plot. I could roll around in the plot all day while giggling like a maniac. A road trip to save a god? Awesome. Beserkers and prophetesses? Heaven Valhalla. Journey of self discovery? I love you.

And the plot was executed so beautifully. It was well-timed and well-written. The pacing was more beautiful than that summary I'm still fairly proud of. In fact, if that was the only way I judged this book, I would probably be shoving it in your face screaming, "READ IT READ IT READ IT!"

And the world? So fabulous. Oh so fabulous. Perhaps not the best built one (Does everything have to revolve around the gods? I mean, a lot of stuff being dedicated to them make sense, but absolutely everything?), but still amazing and great and fabulous and [adjective with a positive connotation]. This may have something to do with the fact that I'm obsessed with most mythologies and folktales, but ignore that. My bias can be ignored.

Wait, no it can't. Because I've read Prose Edda, and I know all you slip-ups and stare into your soul.

A lot of the stories referenced/mentioned in this book were changed for no apparent reason. A couple are reasonable (Freyja magically becoming the goddess of magic, when that's more of Odin's thing, makes sense because too many people with Odin as their patron would be weird). But for the most part, it wouldn't be significant if they were told correctly. For instance, Baldur is not the sun. You may think he's the sun, but he's not. Trust me. I wouldn't lie to you, I'm not a Lokiskin. Sol is the sun. Baldur is the god of light and innocence and other awesome stuff like that, but not the sun. Since the reason the book is called The Lost Sun is because Baldur is lost, its title must be changed. "Sun" has become a random noun. We may replace it with any other noun.

Okay, while that bothers me, it isn't the only mythological mistake in The Lost Paperclip.  The Fenris wolf was the brother (or sister, maybe) of Jormungand with the same parents. Loki and Angurboda. At no point did they turn into a young girl, but illusion magic does exist in all unreality, so whatever.

Jormungand was cut out of no one's stomach.

It wasn't Baldur's mother that refused to weep for him, it was random giantess lady-who-may-have-been-Loki, Thokk. No one but Baldur and Hodr was murdered in that story.

See? Pointless things that could easily be changed. The only reason I even bother mention is to a) say that The Lost Skeleton is by no means a mythology textbook, and b) to point out one of the habits of the person-book mentioned in paragraph one of the actual review.

The characters, even, no, especially Baldur-who-is-not-the-sun, were interesting and unique little ducklings. They had their own drives and personalities and while Soren was basically a steel wall of seriousness, were still extremely cool and fun to read. It makes sense that Soren is the wall he is, I guess- after all, he could potentially kill someone, and that, kiddies, is something to be serious about. Oh, fun fact: the word "beserker" comes from the words "bear skin". I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, AUTHOR LADY.

And yes, I enjoyed Baldur's character veddy much. I have no idea why. He was just cool.

Names came to be another of the irritating-habits-no-one-but-me-cares-about. Why did all of the names of things have to be changed? Canadia (although that explains why they're Canadians, not Canadans), Montania? Anglish and New Spain? Why do these names have to be different? Does it matter? Do you like the idea that it takes me a second or two to understand certain things? These are questions that must be answered.

In more, better news that once again only I care about, I could find a lot of queer subtext in this book. Not actual text, but I have my dreams (JUST YOU WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT REVIEW). Of course, this is me just throwing out things that I noticed, so this entire paragraph may be ignored. 

While the style was usually pretty great, the wording could get a little odd. 

Also, I've noticed that out of the 22 books I've reviewed (counting this one), 17 have been in first-person narrative. That comes up to 77%. What could this mean? More unimportant sentences when I should be reviewing. That's what it means.

The romance was decent. Maybe not the best, but definitely not gag-worthy.

More useless text (maybe I should just, like, change the text color of useless stuff to green so you know to ignore it): I've noticed that in novels with a male protagonist, the romance is a lot more touchy-touchy. They want to hug and cradle and otherwise hold their love interest. With female protagonists, it's more emotional stuff that they're concerned about. Just pointing that out.

And since romance is almost always the thing I end with, you all know it's good-bye time. The book was decent with its habits. I might read the next book if I saw it in the library or something, but wouldn't purposefully seek it out.


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