Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 374 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Blackwell Pages series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I have had this book on my to be read pile for some time. This was a decent middle grade book set in present day where a bunch of kids find out they are descendants of Norse Gods. It was easy to read and fast-paced; although there is a lot of set up here. It reminds a bit of the Percy Jackson series by Riordan but with less action and different mythology.
Blackwell, South Dakota is a town where the residents are all descendants of Norse Gods, mainly Thor and Loki. Matt is a descendent of Thor and finds out that he is supposed to be Thor’s stand in as Ragnarok draws closer and closer. His classmates Fen and Laurie are descendants of Loki and end up coming along with Matt on a quest to stop Ragnarok. They have to find the other descendents and find Odin in an effort to learn how to stop Ragnarok.
This book is a lot of set up. Basically Matt, Fen, and Laurie are trying to collect the other descendents together and then find Odin. We learn a lot about the other descendents and go on some adventures in South Dakota. I was a bit confused as to why the Norse descendants are living in South Dakota, but I assume that will be explained in future books?
I did enjoy the interplay between the different characters. There is a lot of personality conflict between Matt and Fen. Fen has led a tough life and has a huge chip on his shoulder. Both Fen and Matt are constantly trying to protect Laurie (it’s kind of in their blood) which irritates her to no end. As we meet more descendents the interaction between all of the characters gets more and more interesting.
I enjoyed the book fine but am not sure if I will continue reading the series or not. I think kids in the middle grade age set will enjoy it more than I did. The language is a bit simple and the plot a bit predictable for me (and most likely other adults will find it the same). I am going to give this book to my 8 year old son and see if he enjoys it more thanI did.
Overall this was an okay middle grade fantasy that is set in modern day but involves Norse mythology. I thought it was okay but think that younger kids will enjoy it more. The dialogue and language were a bit simple for me and the plot fairly predictable. I would recommend to middle grade kids who enjoy mythology and adventure.