Saturday, March 21, 2015

[Review] The Ragnarok Chronicles

 

The Ragnarok Chronicles

by Nicki Markus



Title: The Ragnarok Chronicles
Author: Nicki J. Markus
Length: 678 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
Suitable: 16 years and above

Rating: 3.5/5

Book summary

For Ragnarok will be completed....

Nothing marks Cassandra out —except her visions. She’s only ever seen small, insignificant things. That is until the strange frost arrives.

With her normal life turned upside down, Cassandra is plunged into an extraordinary and terrifying world of Norse gods and rampaging giants, ancient feuds and broken prophecies.

A handsome stranger offers aid. But can Cassandra really trust him? More importantly, can she trust her own judgment when his slightest touch sets her heart and her body aflame?


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My thoughts


How I love all things mythology. In reality Greek mythology is my forte (haven't missed a question about it yet on Trivia Crack) but I've recently found Norse mythology to be an interesting topic. That's why I chose to participate in this blog tour for The Ragnarok Chronicles

We have our heroine, Cassandra, who has the odd ability to predict the weather and other ordinary, day-to-day things through her visions. I thought the name Cassandra was an interesting choice, since Cassandra is a prominent figure in Greek mythology and she also has the gift of prophecy. But I digress. 

We open this story getting to know a little bit about Cassandra and her best friend, Sarah, as they go about their usual routine. In comes Tom Lockyer, who you can easily guess is not who he says he is. Tom ends up trying to kill Cassandra, not once, but twice, when a vision overtakes her and he stays his hand. Pretty soon we're thrust into the world of Norse gods and what happened after Ragnarok. It's pretty obvious that Tom is one of these gods, but I won't tell you which one because half the fun is guessing. 

What I liked: I loved the Norse mythology here. I thought it was a very accurate representation and Markus went so far as to include the original spelling of each figure. I definitely learned a lot more than I thought I would. 

As far as characters go, I like the balance Markus created between Cassandra and Sarah. They each have their faults, but the other manages to make up for it. Sarah is ruled by science, whereas Cassandra knows from personal experience that not everything can be explained. They work very well together. 

There's also plenty of action to go around once to book gets going. I always love when a book doesn't keep me waiting for things to happen. 

What could use some improvement: The actual writing is a bit stilted and over flowery. I like that kind of writing when it comes to Tom's speech. He's an ancient god, not from this world. So I think his way of talking should be a bit more stilted. 

However, some of the dialogue between Cassandra and Sarah reads like a instruction manual on proper grammar. For me, it makes the characters a little less relatable. 

Lastly some of the descriptions are a bit too informative. As a reader, I like to infer some things in my mind. While the author's job is to paint a picture for me to be able to imagine the scene in my mind, there is such a thing as too much. I don't need every single detail laid out for me. One example off the top of my head was something like, "He bent over, with his hands on his knees and his chest tight, as he gasped for air." (Paraphrasing here). For me I would rather have it simply say "He bent over, gasping for air." I can infer the rest because almost everyone put their hands on their knees and their chest is tight when they are gasping for air. I don't need to be told every little detail, because when you do that for an entire book, skimming starts to happen. 

Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars. It's a good read for fantasy fans and anyone who liked Norse mythology. Even the small things I didn't like about the book are easily overlooked in favor of a good story with good characters. 


Excerpt

 

In the shadow world the winds were howling now. The place that had once been still and silent, the land where no breath had stirred, had come to life. And as the land awakened, so too did those who had long slept in its quiet embrace. One in particular had opened his eyes. And he did not like what he is seeing. The figure watched, shutting his ears to the rush of air speeding past him, and a frown clouded his brow, as stormy as the skies rolling overhead. Events were unfolding in the nine realms that were out of his control. Things were moving too quickly, hurtling in the wrong direction, and he was not yet in a position to intervene, to put a stop to them.

The deaths of the last of the jötnar had helped. With each frost giant that expired, the shadow world had weakened. The walls that bound it, keeping its occupants from the nine realms and the World Tree, had thinned. They were not yet ready to break, but soon they would be malleable, bendable... and that might be enough for him to slip through, at least temporarily. The sly one had unwittingly helped him by dispatching the jötnar, but only one death would free him completely and forever and he would receive no assistance from the son of Fárbauti in that regard.

And now the little mortal was in danger once again. He had never dreamt she would have any involvement in what would come to pass, but then the trickster had stumbled upon her and suddenly she was trapped right in the middle of it all. If not for the mischief-
maker, she would be safe in Miðgarðr, oblivious to the drama unfolding outside her realm, living a normal life; instead, she could well be the catalyst that would determine the future of all nine worlds. Which way she would tip the balance remained uncertain. That was why he needed to reach her as soon as possible — he needed to influence her to take the right path. If not, all would be lost.


About Nicki J. Markus



Nicki J. Markus was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist.

Nicki launched her writing career in 2011. She published works through Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing before both companies closed their doors. She is now self-publishing some of her works.

Nicki also writes M/M fiction under the alternate pen name of Asta Idonea and has had several short stories published by Wayward Ink Publishing.

Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader and in her spare time enjoys: music, theatre, cinema, photography, sketching, history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel.

Author Links
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Giveaway


Prizes: 3 x eCopy of The Ragnarok Chronicles and Swag signed by Nicki J. Markus