Wednesday, May 24, 2017
I Bring the Fire: Wolves by C. Gockel
With the endless amount of Greek Mythology stories that are out there, it's nice to see someone delving into the often under appreciated realm of Norse Mythology. While I'm not nearly as well versed in Norse myths as I am Greek ones, I still find them interesting and full of great characters and stories. So, how'd this one turn out? Let's dive right in.
Amy is a college student returning home to stay with her grandma when she stumbles upon Loki, the Norse God of Mischief, who saves her from a terrible predicament. It turns out that Loki has come to Midgard (earth) in an attempt to flee from Odin, the All-Father, who tried to execute Loki's sons for treason. Loki must regain his power and what few allies he can count on, including Amy and her grandmother, Beatrice, to save his sons and protect them from Odin's wrath.
First thing I really appreciated was Loki's characterization. He's not a bad guy, but I'd say he's a bit more anti-hero than straight up knight in shining armor (although he does wear shining armor). He drinks, he makes dirty jokes, he sleeps around, all the kinds of things you'd expect from a trickster god, and yet his backstory and overall personality are so good the reader doesn't mind these things. How else would you expect the Norse God Loki to behave? It's nice to see such a flawed character handled so well. Not enough flaws and he might have come off as too perfect, but too many flaws would have made him unlikeable and sleazy. Instead, there's a nice balance and I liked that about this book.
Sadly, things kind of go downhill from there. As well written as Loki is, I cannot say the same for Amy. The biggest (and only) flaw with her is that she is unbearably annoying! She's an animal-lover and training to be a veterinarian, but this she just goes way too far with the animal loving thing! When they're being chased by men on horseback and Loki manages to stop them she's freaking out that he's hurting the poor horses and he shouldn't do that. Woman, you're being chased! Forget about the friggin' horses! During that same running-for-their-lives situation, she hits something with her car and insists they stop and make sure whatever they hit was okay. You're running for your life, woman! Let. It. Go! But the thing that just killed me is her inability to grasp the concepts of magic and that she's dealing with a legendary Norse God. I get that it's a big deal and a hard thing to come to terms with but she goes almost out of her way to ignore things that are happening right in front of her face to the point where it just makes her look stupid. Speaking of stupid, she's hopelessly blind to all of Loki's obvious innuendoes that even a third grader would understand and she's not even a virgin! She's a college student and has had sex and you're honestly telling me you can't get these? You're slow, woman, very slow. Also, she uses the word "crazy" so often I want to smack her in the face with a thesaurus.
As for the overall structure of the story, I wasn't too crazy about that either. Sure, some things were nice. For instance, I liked the descriptions of Alfheim, and I appreciated that the police involved in the story were actually smart enough not to try and mess with a Norse God. But the flashbacks into Loki's past kind of come out of left field and don't always have to do with what is going on currently in the main story. Then there's the deal with the ending. Again, no spoilers, but this really kind of ticked me off. I get that it says "Part I" right there on the front cover, but this book has it's climax three quarters into the book and the rest is just sequel fodder. Any installment of any series should be able to hold its own as a standalone book and not rely heavily on the fact that it's a part of a whole. Just hyping up what's to come in the next book when you're current story has loose ends out the whazoo isn't exactly the best strategy for making people want to keep reading.
I'm not sure there's enough good things in this book to make up for the bad ones. Loki was good but the Amy was unbearable, the plot had potential but the pace was slow. In the end I'd say that, if you wanted to give this book a shot, go ahead but check it out at your local library.
Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Have a book you want to see reviews here or would like to make a recommendation? Find me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer
Next Time: You're gonna need a lot more than faith, trust and pixie dust to win this battle....