Sunday, August 4, 2013

YA Review and Giveaway- The Lost Sun

(Cover from Goodreads)
"My mom used to say that in the United States of Asgard, you can feel the moments when the threads of destiny knot together, to push you or pull you or crush you. But only if you're paying attention."
-Opening Line

Book: The Lost Sun
Author: Tessa Gratton
Genre: Alternate Universe/Fantasy/Adventure/Romance
Published: Random House 2013
Medium Read In: ARC from Random Buzzers Ambuzzador Program
Pages: 350

Rating (Scaled 1-10): 10

Why I'm Reading It: As previously mentioned, I am currently an Ambuzzador for Random Buzzers. I got an ARC for The Lost Sun after I was accepted into the program, and got the chance to read the book. I requested to represent this book because the title was intriguing, the cover was pretty, and I've always wanted to learn more about the Norse gods.

Summary: In a world populated by the Norse gods of old, a teenage boy, Soren, sets out on a journey with one of his classmates, a seeress named Astrid, to rescue a missing god. Their cross-country search for Baldur takes them across the country as they face gods, warriors, trolls and more to find their destiny and return the sun god home.

Review: So I can't get enough of this book. I've actually re-read it so I could write a proper review. The plot, characters, and world of this story really pulled me in, and its a great book to share with everyone. I really can't say how much I loved it, honestly.

I loved Astrid. She was probably my favorite character of all of them. She had a certain quirkiness about her that reminded me a bit of me, and I absolutely loved it. Besides that, she's a seer, which is pretty awesome. In their world, this pretty much means she can sort of see the future and use the powers of the goddess she has sworn to, Freya, to do all sorts of mystic things. Considering some more recent female leads in YA, she had a lot of character and I really felt she was a strong character. Astrid wasn't just there for Soren to look at.

In the same vein, I also really liked Soren. He had a lot of complex emotions, and he spent a good part of the book grappling with those emotions. They weren't just "Oh, Edward doesn't love me" emotions, either. Because of the actions of his father (he was a Berserker who went on a killing rampage in a mall when Soren was a child), Soren doesn't want to accept his destiny as a Berserker, one of Odin's warriors who can "berserk" and become super-fighters. Despite being in a fantasy world, Soren's emotions came across with an amazing realness on the page and made him a very endearing narrator.

I know from experience with my own writing that it can be pretty hard to properly capture the mind and voice of a teenage male narrator, but Gratton managed to very well. His emotions lent a realness to the story, while also grounding him as his own character. And on the same topic of his voice, the way the Norse mythology was tucked into the story didn't seem forced or condescending. The gods were decently explained, and I didn't feel the need to Google anything to understand the story better.

When you have a male narrator, and a world imbibed mythology of some kinds, I feel like it's sort of inevitable to hear Percy Jackson comparisons. I am a huge fan of Percy Jackson, so I was filled with a little anxiety that this would be a really bad rip off of the series. However, there are some major differences that separate the two, and make the newer one an entirely different story with only the same background as the other novel.

First off, in comparison to Percy, Soren is sort of ignoring his past, almost as if he is running away from it. The two characters are both different from one another, and so having two very dissimilar narrators really sets the two stories apart. The main difference is probably that in Soren's world, the gods are acknowledged by (nearly) all to be real. If you've read Percy Jackson, you'll know that the gods are not at all public figures in our society. The world of the United States of Asgard is really and truly a Norse world, and so it separates the two.

I really loved this book, and am proud to say it is the first novel to be officially inducted onto the Shelf. I was really glad to read it, and very happy at how it turned out. If there was any fault I could find in it, it would merely be the fact that I would have liked a little bit more action. However, the action that was in the novel was well written and fit the plot very well. I much prefer that over random action sequences with no real relevance, so in all this book was amazing and did not fail to please.

A Final Note
And now, for the Giveaway!!!

I have a very pretty ARC of The Lost Sun, available for one of you lucky people. Now, there are a few criteria:

  1. US only please!
  2. You must follow Cloud 9 Shelf.
  3. You must actually want to read the book!

For following the blog, you get one entry. If you comment below about why you want to read The Lost Sun, you can get a second one. If you follow @tessagratton on twitter and leave your username, you can get another one. And finally, if you tweet about the giveaway with a link to Cloud 9 Shelf, you can get an extra entry! (For these, please comment the link to your tweet). 

Well, I hope you get excited about entering!! The giveaway will be open for two weeks, and then I will be contacting the winner via their email about getting their awesome new book!! If you can't wait to start reading it, you can always get it here. Good luck, and as always, happy reading!

(This Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!!)

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