Mist - Susan Krinard Mist is a Valkyrie, one of the last remnants of the Norse pantheon left on Midgard, following her sacred duty to keep the Treasures safe that Odin entrusted to her, and her sister’s, care.But many centuries have passed and she has lost a lot of faith in this role – she is slowly adopting a normal life in San Francisco with the Norse firmly in her past. Until she runs into a Jotun who tries to kill her and an Alfar who has some ominous news – the 8 other Realms are gone, but Ragnarok has not yet been fought. The other gods are still out there, seeking passage to Midgard to begin the fightAnd Loki is already on Midgard, already preparing to win and unleash his own brand of chaos on the world. It’s down to Mist to stop him, especially when he steals Odin’s spear, Gungnir, her charge to defend.I love Norse mythology. Actually, I love mythology in general and are a definite mythology junkie. This is the kind of book that can be guaranteed to be like catnip for me – I’m reeled straight in to any world that incorporates all the details – the more the author has dug and the more obscure elements they have included, the more geeky glee I enjoy.So here we had a full selection of the Norse on display, a delving into their treasures, and expansion and mention of so much of the nitty gritty of Norse mythology – it’s the kind of thing I love, it’s the kind of thing I can guarantee will hold me interested because of my geeky obsession because there is simply so much of the Norse mythology folded into this world setting. It made for a fascinating world with a lot of strong characters because of the amount there, the fullness of the background and integration and the incredible knowledge the author has and has includedHowever, pushing through my own enjoyment, I have to say that if you’re not a major mythology geek it’s going to be too much. There are too many unnecessary references, not all of them very well explained if you don’t’ have a good grounding in Norse mythology already. There’s a lot of Norse words, Norse references, Norse exclamations – I don’t know if it could be confusing, but it could slow the book. Certainly a lot of them are not necessary to the story. I don’t want to criticise this because of my own geeky love of it, but objectively I think it’s the mythological equivalent of those authors who include lots and lots of literary quotes to prove they have an English Lit degree.Because pacing in this book isn’t brilliant to begin with. It’s not awful, I’ve certainly read a lot worse, but there’s a lot of time when Mist, Dainn or Loki are sat considering their next move and thinking about the situation they’re in. A lot of these are used as teasers for various big reveals with Loki or Dainn’s long, rambling thought processes tip-toeing all around the surprise until they get almost to it – then their thoughts get interrupted. It’s just more dragged out than it has to be and sometimes my mind did wander. I don’t think the fight scenes are written in a way that flows or gets the full sense of the action either – 5 minutes of frenzied activity can feel like 1 hour of 2 people doing stuff while everyone else watches.But these are relatively minor complaints. They’re there, they’re problems but not big ones – the monologuing isn’t so long as to frustrate me, the fight scenes are still exciting enough to keep me engaged, follow the action and feel that the action is there, the world building is a little overdone but it’s all really fascinating. All of these things aren’t critical flaws in the book so much as a lack of polish over the already excellent bones of the story – which is a good story, with multiple actors all playing their own games, all fighting with conflicting motives, a lot of twists and a couple of red herrings to keep you guessing. It’s exactly what I’d expect from a series of gods plotting with and against each other – simple on the surface but with a large amount of background machinations that could easily trip you up. It’s deep, it’s nuanced, it has lots of angles and is generally interesting to read.Read More