Content Warnings: Main characters’s mother has died four years earlier and her father is critically injured and hospitalized for most of the book.
Twelve-year-old Abby Beckett is proud to come from a long line of elite Viking warriors known as the Aesir. She’s spent her entire life training to hunt the horrific creatures known as Grendels – the ancient foe of the Aesir – just like her mother did before she died. But there’s just one, small problem: No one has seen a Grendel in centuries, and the Viking Council wants to disband the Aesir . . . forever.
When her father is injured in an attack that leaves him in a coma, Abby is forced to take refuge at Vale Hall, a mysterious school in Minnesota where nothing is quite as it seems. She soon discovers the tables have turned and a Grendel is hunting her, but when she tries to alert the Viking Council, they accuse her of making up stories for attention . . . just like her mother did.
Desperate to protect her father and clear her mother’s name, Abby goes on a dangerous quest to discover the truth–a journey that brings her face-to-face with some unlikely foes, including a Ping-Pong-playing sea monster with a wicked backhand, and a dark Valkyrie with a fondness for bingo. Abby quickly realizes that someone at the school is trying to stop her progress and destroy the Aesir for good. And only she can unravel the sinister plot before it’s too late.
Norse mythology is by far my favorite mythology and one of my favorite courses in college was definitely my Viking Mythology course. Subity’s rich story about Abby and her friends on a dangerous mission to save the only family she has left was extraordinarily written and remarkable. I loved the pacing of the story as well as the friendship that forms between our main characters. The pacing is perfect and I didn’t want to put this book down at all. Our heroes face very real, dark issues in their quest and this is tackled really well by Subity. This Beowulf inspired middle grade fantasy will certainly not disappoint any prospective readers. If you loved the Percy Jackson series, you will definitely want to pick this book up.
“Most people spend their lives collecting secrets.”Chapter 1, The Shadow Darker Than Night
“…I knew that whatever the future held, I had my dad, … and new friends to help me find the answers.Chapter 29, An Unexpected Visitor
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Meet the Author
Sam Subity loves writing stories that explore the magic and wonder of being a kid and is thrilled to share his writing with readers everywhere—both the young in age and the young at heart.
When he’s not writing, you might find him running the trails of northern California where the endless, winding miles past fog and ocean inspire stories of adventure and mystery.
Or he might be mowing his lawn. Because that’s what adults sometimes have to do.
But in either case, Sam Subity is very likely imagining himself fighting mythical creatures or at the prow of a dragon ship feeling the wind and sea spray on his face alongside his own Viking queen and their two Vikelets. His greatest hope is that in reading his books, you too may be transported to another place where, for a little while, you can exchange the ordinary for the extraordinary.
Check out my other blog posts here!
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