Thursday, 1 March 2012

A Review for Dead Radiance (A Valkyrie Novel) by T.G Ayer

Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Expected Published Date: February 25th, 2012
Finished Date: February 12th, 2012
Publishers: Evolved Publishing
Source: For Review
Format: Kindle
Pages: 381
The Blurb from Goodreads: For as long as she can recall Bryn Halbrook has seen a golden aura around certain people, and it is only when her new best friend Joshua dies that she understands the glow means death. Bryn struggles to adapt to a new town and a new foster home while trying to deal with the guilt of being unable to save her friend. Until mysterious biker-boy, Aidan Lee arrives.
When Aidan unexpectedly takes off he leaves behind a shattered heart, a tonne of unanswered questions and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn is a Valkyrie. Bryn is faced with questions about Aidan’s real identity, the real reason he came to Craven, and that Odin, Freya and Valhalla just might be real.
As if accepting her new wings, new life and new home in Asgard isn’t difficult enough, Bryn is forced to find and return the precious necklace of the Goddess Freya. The only problem is – if she fails, Aidan will die. The mystery of a Mythology is easy to enjoy. The reality is much harder to accept.

The Review: Bryn Halbrook is alone. Has been really since her father died in suspicious circumstances and her mother rejected her. She is passed around the foster care system and lands in Craven and finally gains a friend in Joshua. That is, until he starts to glow, brighter and brighter. Soon Bryn comes to realise that this glow means death,  Joshua is going to die and there is nothing she can do about it but watch as he brightens day by day and when he does die, she is alone again. Trying to wade through the turmoil of emotions and the towns’ rejection of her, she starts to despair. . . . Until she hears the rumble of a motorbike, announcing the arrival of her new foster brother - Aiden Lee.
She is inexplicably drawn to this mysterious young man and him to her, she opens up about her ‘gift’ but soon after he leaves and she is alone again. What he really leaves though are answers to why he was really there and who he really is and it rocks Bryn’s world to the foundations as she finds out that she could be a Valkyrie, a beautiful, winged warrior of Norse mythology. He is not the only one to think so either and when her life is put in danger she is whisked away to somewhere she never dreamed of , thrust into a different way of life and sent on a quest with a huge stake – if she fails, Aiden will die!

Well, what can I say except this book was brilliant! I couldn’t put it down and loved everything about it. The characters – Bryn, poor Bryn, all alone in the world after the death of her father at 13 years old. Her mother had left when she needed psychiatric help for her ‘glow vision’ and never returned, nor did she want her when her father died so Bryn has that lonely, rejected feel to her. It seems like she always will wherever she goes, she never fits in and people are always willing to see her in a bad light. She clings to first Joshua and then Aiden who actually show her some friendship, craving them. It’s quite sad how she is for the first part of the book but that all changes as the discoveries are made and she finally feels like she belongs somewhere. There are always going to be people who have it in for her but she starts to feel enabled and brave and in the end she has something to fight for and will stop at nothing – quite the transformation. She is of course the stand out character, so well written that it was so easy to empathise with her, feel everything she was going through and all the other characters compliment her effortlessly. Aiden is an excellent pairing for her, just as tragic, with parental issues and an expert where she is concerned. The connection between them was just lovely.

The plot was also excellent. The story line, how it came about, what she learned about herself, there was always something going on, finding out new things and facing challenges, I was never bored – the pacing was great and it was jam packed with information on the mythology involved. This is one of those books where you can tell the author has put a huge amount of effort and research into combining all the elements that have gone into making this story believable and educating the reader in Norse mythology backing it up with evidence all the way. It was great to read something other than Greek mythology and the Norse has really got me curious. I had known only of Thor, Odin and Loki so it is all new to me and really piqued my interest so I did a little research and you would not believe how factual this book really is, down to the names and owners of property. Bryn’s namesake is even known as the chief Valkyrie in Robert Wagner’s works, I’m really blown away by it all. I loved that we have a modern day Valkyrie and how it came about, very plausible and it’s a shame we can’t meet her father and get answers. This has been an amazing read that has kept me on my toes as we follow them on their journey, learning about the new world they’ve become a part of, Bryn learning about herself, what she may be capable of, trying to save lives, doing the right thing and finally feeling as if she belongs somewhere. It takes you through times of happiness, hope, love, sorrow, faith, despair, determination – a real emotional rollercoaster that had mine all over the place and my heart beating in time to theirs as if I was going through it with them, I was that involved. I could gush on and on about my love of this book, but I won’t. . . .  I’ll leave it for you to discover for yourself. Just know that this is an awesome first book in a series that is fresh and new, using Norse mythology as a backdrop with both modern day and old world characters that will captivate you as you search for the answers to the puzzle of who is Bryn Holbrook & just what is she capable of? Oh, did I fail to mention the most heinous of cliff-hangers? Well yeah, there’s one of those too.


Natalie @ Book Lovers Life said...

LOVE the sound of this!!! Im adding it to my pile and with an epic rating I know it will be good!! Great review.

Unknown said...

Oooooo, this is sounds like a really interesting read. Thanks for the review :)

Haley @ YA-Aholic said...

Wow, it got an EPIC rating?!?!?!?! Deff going to be getting this one soon then!!! It sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing ! (:

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