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Arctic Dawn: Stop the RoMESS and Kiss Her Already!

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Arctic Dawn (The Norse Chronicles, #2)

The Norse Chronicles #2
Goodreads Rating: 4.39 Stars
332 Pages
Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Published July 5th, 2016
Get a copy here!

Alone and exhausted after her month-long sojourn as a shooting star, Solina Mundy flees to southern California to lie low, recuperate, and plot a survival strategy. The one person she trusts to watch her back is her best friend, Skyla Ramirez. But Skyla has been missing for weeks.

The arrival of a dangerous stranger and the discovery of a legendary weapon of mass destruction forces Solina out of hiding and back into the fight for her life. Solina knows she won’t last long on her own. She must find out what happened to Skyla and unite her contentious allies if she hopes to track down this devastating weapon before her enemies use it to burn the world to ash.

4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: so much delicious snark; love the scattered pop culture references; this is one roMESS I both am afraid to see the end of, and am dying to see resolved; quick read filled with action and adventure; love the continued focus on Norse mythology; I just want to squash these characters to pieces

I just… I don’t even… GAAAAAAAAH! Karissa Laurel, you have done it again–swept me up on a journey of snark, adventure, and cinnamon roll characters only to leave me hanging by a thread at the end, drooling for the next book. Please, please, tell me the next book comes out soonish–I don’t know how long I can stand to wait this time! I need to know, I need to knoooooow!

Ahem. Let me try to find a bit of coherence now, yes?

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Once again, this book was full to the BRIM with Norse mythology and pop culture references. I found myself giggling every couple of pages–there are references to Chuck Norris, to Disney movies, and SO many others I’m sure I didn’t even catch them all. Each time, I found myself cracking a smile–the mix between the “old” and the “new” really worked to keep a balance throughout this book, and draw the two worlds together in a coherent and well-planned way.

 

The plot is fast-paced and loaded with action. Between the battle scenes, the “AHA!” moments, and the general tenacity of the characters, I was torn between racing headlong toward the ending and slowing down enough to savor the story–after all, I don’t know when the next book will be released. It’s bound to be quite the long wait–but I just couldn’t keep myself from devouring this book! Karissa Laurel does a fine job of “wrapping up” the smaller plot line of the current book, and maintaining the larger, more out-of-focus story as set-up for the next installment. While these books end with sort-of cliffhangers, they manage to give readers a sense of completion and satisfaction.

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The snark is almost ten times that of the first book–there were SO MANY clap-backs, sassy moments, and deliciously played scenes, especially between Thorin and Solina. I both feared for and looked forward to scenes of them, anticipating heartache all the while wishing for more. Their weird push-and-pull dance is getting tighter, the more books are added to this series…and I’m looking forward to the explosion, honestly. I am anticipating it impatiently, if I’m honest–I just want to shake them until they kiss already and get it over with, because PENGUINS, the tension there is just bone-searing.

 

The rest of the cast is no less entertaining, though, so don’t be put-off! There are battles of life and death, there are several cruel twists of fate, there’s a trickster who fooled even ME… Pretty much anything you could ever want in a book about the children of Gods, you can find in this series, and it’s awesomely done!

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I cannot WAIT for book three–it’s going to be a nail-biting, emotionally-jarring time for me, I feel, as I’m invested in these characters to my very core. I need to know what happens next. I need it like penguins need webbed feet and round bellies. I need it like air, which I know sounds dramatic, but… It’s the truth. If you’re searching for a series with a heavy focus on Norse mythology, snarky characters, and roMESSes…this series?! Definitely for you. Don’t just take my word for it–go pick these books up! I’m in for the long haul with this one; you should be, too.

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Midnight Burning: This Girl Knows How to Bring an Immortal to His Knees

Penguin2.3

Midnight Burning (The Norse Chronicles, #1)

Goodreads Rating: 4.29 Stars
280 Pages
Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Get a copy here!

Solina Mundy lives a quiet life, running the family bakery in her small North Carolina hometown. But one night, she suffers a vivid nightmare in which a wolfish beast is devouring her twin brother, who lives in Alaska. The next morning, police notify her that Mani is dead. Driven to learn the truth, Solina heads for the Land of the Midnight Sun. Once there, she begins to suspect Mani’s friends know more about his death than they’ve let on. Skyla, an ex-Marine, is the only one willing to help her.

As Solina and Skyla delve into the mystery surrounding Mani’s death, Solina is stunned to learn that her own life is tied to Mani’s friends, his death, and the fate of the entire world. If she can’t learn to control her newfound gifts and keep her friends safe, a long-lost dominion over mortals will rise again, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.

 


4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: LOVE the play on mythology, particularly in regards to the sun and moon; huge cast of awesome, kick-butt characters; lots of romantic tension and suspense; Thorin, you’re a huge butthead, but I love you so frakking much I can’t even; beautiful prose; action-packed, intriguing, entertaining plot; huge cliff-hanger ending (I NEED BOOK TWO!)

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Huge thanks to Karissa Laurel and Red Adept Publishing, LLC for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.


This was my first foray into urban fantasy, and let me just tell you all—it was pretty rockin’, in my opinion! Let’s start with first things first, yes? The prose is action-packed, filled with kick-butt characters, and pretty awesome! But more than that, it’s filled to the brim with mythology—particularly of the Norse variety—and a ton of fun to read. Seriously, the small snippets of stories we get throughout, especially pertaining to the sun and the moon, were some of my favorite moments.

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Of course, some of my other favorite moments had more focus on the characters than on the plot line. I really enjoyed watching Solina grow and thrive in a place not beneath her parents’ thumbs. I had an immediate connection to her, first off, for her feelings of “obligation” to the family and family business—I, also, grew up under a fair amount of pressure from my mom. While I managed to get out from beneath these obligations much earlier than Solina, I still feel a kinship toward her and had a blast watching her come into her own in the midst of chaos and tragedy.


Which brings us to the romance…or…frustrating lack thereof? I don’t know what I’m trying to get at there, but SERIOUSLY, can this girl ever catch a break?! First off, there’s Val, who…UGH. Val, you started out as a decent enough character. In the beginning, I was even willing to like you and give you a chance. But somewhere along the way, you became literally the most annoying, self-centered, stuck-up character EVER! (Yes, I am shouting. There will probably be a lot of that in this section. Forgive me.) I get that you think you like Solina, but trying to control her every move and thinking that you are somehow “entitled” to her does NOT a romance make! That just makes you gross. Go away, dude, and figure out what love really is, okay?! And Thorin. THORIN, YOU ABSOLUTE NUT-HEAD! I could spend the next seven paragraphs raging at how stupid you are when it comes to “wooing” the girl of your dreams, so let me just stick to this: You’re an idiot, and I adore you. You better figure yourself out in book two, though, or I’ll be coming after you and you can BET your butt your immortality will quail in the face of my frustration. In other words: it won’t help you. Though I have to admit: seeing Solina interact with you? Definite awesome-sauce amounts of snark and wonderful.

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What this all amounts to: an entertaining, fun, action-packed read with a cast of kick-butt characters who, for lack of a more sensitive way to put this, don’t know what to do with themselves when it comes to love. I mean…you’d think immortal beings spawned from Norse Gods would have SOME sort of clue!? Also, I AM DESPERATE for book two…which doesn’t come out until August. Book Gods, WHY must you torture me?! I need answers. And a steamy mushy romance. Er… Mostly the romance bit, because what can I say? I’m dying for all the butterflies! Ahem. This book is great, the characters are complex and well-rounded, and the plot is pretty fantastic. I definitely recommend to lovers of urban fantasy, books interspersed with mythology, and frustrating romances that make you want to bash a character’s head into a brick wall. (Oh…is that just me? Huh…)