Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyrie #1) by Amanda Hocking (2018)
NA/YA Fiction | Paranormal/Fantasy
“Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.
Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.”
Expected Publication Date: January 02, 2018
pooled ink Review:
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!
This book is a mash-up of fantasy, mythology, and paranormal genres and it spins together a gripping tale full of action, romance, and deadly conspiracies. As you can see I marked this book as DNF because although there was some good stuff in this book in the end I just felt no desire to finish reading it. I did skim through to the end though.
Pulling together characters both familiar and horrifying, the plot races ahead in this world ruled by gods. Valkyries are compelled to kill (or “return”) immortal beings under the instructions of social order, blind duty, and population control, but what happens when one Valkyrie refuses her call? When one immortal slips free from his fate, will that be the first piece pulled from a precarious house of cards?
The world building is pretty in-depth but you learn most of it on-the-go, which is nice because I really hate long info dumps unless absolutely necessary. This book really develops a cool and complex world filled with angels, vampires, valkyries, monsters, humans, and more. Many I recognized but there were loads of new creatures and peoples that I’d never heard of before.
At first I was worried the pace was going to be slow but once that inciting incident broke through everything really picked up in speed. You’re thrown into this dark and fantastical world, sprinting against time, catching facts and details being thrown from all sides, and trying to keep pace with Malin as she charges ahead trying to right wrongs and decipher the truths buried beneath them.
Malin was a really cool character and I enjoyed reading her POV. In fact most of the characters were pretty interesting and often kept me guessing and intrigued.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book, but it didn’t quite whisk me away. The beginning was a bit slow for me and contained some repetitive info, and there were moments where I just wanted to hit the ‘fast-forward’ button, but overall yeah I think this was a unique book and written in a captivating style especially for fans of the heavy paranormal genre.
Definitely check this one out if you’re into complex worlds, terrifying monsters, myths, and powerful beings, and a protagonist who is fierce.
Purchase here: Between the Blade and the Heart
Similar Recommended Reads: Chase the Dark by Annette Marie, The Devil’s Flower by Lisa Collicutt, Wolves and Roses by Christina Bauer, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, Sing Sweet Nightingale by Erica Cameron
Meet Amanda Hocking!
Amanda Hocking is a lifelong Minnesotan obsessed with Batman and Jim Henson. In between watching cooking shows, taking care of her menagerie of pets, and drinking too much Red Bull Zero, she writes young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
Several of her books have made the New York Times Bestsellers list, including the Trylle trilogy and Kanin Chronicles.