Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley

Viking Warrior Rising 
by Asa Maria Bradley
Series:  Viking Warriors #1
Pub. Date:  Nov. 3, 2015
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages:  352
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Immortal Vikings are among us.

Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.

Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.

But Naya doesn’t want to be found...and he’ll do anything to find her. Because they’re both running out of time.

I would not have guessed this was Asa Maria Bradley's debut novel... so I was surprised when I discovered that after I finished the book. Her writing was on point and the story paced very well. So kudos to this new talent who will be contributing to my TBR list in the future.

It's been a while since I have read a book based on Norse mythology, and I forgot how much I like vikings! These are not vikings in the traditional sense, but viking warriors sent to modern times from Valhalla to prevent Loki from starting Ragnarok. I loved every aspect of the mythology, particularly that Odin and Freya selected these warriors from Valhalla to go protect humans on Midgard from Loki's shenanigans. The story also had a bit of a sci-fi feel to me along with the mythology, so that kept things interesting as well.

Our H/h in this first installment of Viking Warriors are Leif and Naya. Leif is king of the band of warriors and he is having problems keeping his berserker in check. Leif was a good leader for the warriors, he cared about his people and honoring his gods' faith that he would prevent Ragnorak even if he didn't understand how. While I liked Leif, I really wanted more from him. As an immortal warrior who died, then went to Valhalla, and has come back to Midgard to live for a century... that provides a good opportunity to really delve into the history and life of Leif that I felt was missed. We know that he had a wife and kids in his first life, but I didn't feel an emotional connection there. And it would have been really cool to have some information about his time in Valhalla or things he has done for the last century on Midgard. What info we did have for Leif was good, I just wanted more.

Turning to Naya, this mysterious girl was held captive and experimented on in a lab for most of her life. We meet this kickass heroine as she is rescuing her brother from the same facility that experimented on her, so we know that family is very important to Naya. She also intervenes in a fight that Leif is losing, thereby saving his life. I like kickass heroines, particularly when they are loyal and independent. Unfortunately, I did not connect with Naya. Why - because she is a runner. And I have just had my fill of running heroines this year. So this has nothing to do with the writing (which was good), it's just that I am worn out with the running. Right now I want a heroine that will stick around and have faith and fight for her relationship.

In short, this was a entertaining and unique debut novel from Ms. Bradley. I loved the plot, but wanted a little more from my main characters. I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.