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Valkyrie
by O'Hearn, Kate,
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Aladdin,, 2016.
344 pages ; 22 cm.
 
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"Freya is a Valkyrie, a reaper of souls. But she hates what she must do. She doesn't like humans and the pain they inflict on each other, and she never wants to visit another battlefield. But when a soldier begs her to help his family back in the human realm, she agrees and discovers a world of friends. Now she'll have to find a way to keep her promise to the soldier and prevent the wrath of Odin from destroying the world"--

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 9781481447379
Valkyrie
Valkyrie
by O'Hearn, Kate
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Kirkus Review

Valkyrie

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

As a Valkyrie, Freya is charged with bringing the chosen warriors to Valhalla, where they spend the afterlife drinking, feasting, and battling, but she finds violence horrifying and longs for a different life. In this regard she is unlike her mother and sisters, who find serving as Odin's shield maidens honorable. Freya's first reaping matches her with African-American soldier Tyrone, who likewise wants nothing to do with the festivities in Asgard. He elects to pass through the Gates of Ascension and enter heaven. But before he departs, he makes Freya promise to take care of the family he is leaving behind. Freya's only hope of leaving Asgard is Loki, Odin's trickster son. On Earth, Freya finds friendship, purpose, and some surprising allies. However, Loki is up to his old tricks. Soon Freya finds herself at the center of a battle between the forces of Asgard and the humans she has come to love. While this alternative look at Norse mythology is intriguing, the earthbound narrative is decidedly not. Freya is a confusing mix of mythological being and angst-riddled young girl. The repetitive plot lacks energy and originality, and the ending is similarly lackluster and predictable. An interesting premise that never comes together. (Fantasy. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 9781481447379
Valkyrie
Valkyrie
by O'Hearn, Kate
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BookList Review

Valkyrie

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From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

Fourteen-year-old Freya is restless and unwilling to join her Valkyrie sisters as they reap human men who have fallen in battle, bringing them to Valhalla to dwell in honor and glory for all time. She doesn't like humans, or so she thinks, until she defies Odin's wishes about visits to Midgard (Earth) in order to keep a promise to her first fallen soldier. She spends time in a Chicago suburb, where she makes friends and feels compelled to protect them from both corporate and middle-school bullies. Following on the heels of her Pegasus series, this new series opener explores familiar ground: humans and (in this case, Nordic) gods interacting with a feisty lead character. At times O'Hearn doesn't give her audience enough credit, lapsing into didactic and repetitive narrative, and there is no author's note to augment the great information about Nordic mythology woven throughout the book. Nevertheless, she writes a rousing final battle scene, and the plotline about dealing with bullies could be used with young discussion groups.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2016 Booklist

Syndetic Solutions - School Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 9781481447379
Valkyrie
Valkyrie
by O'Hearn, Kate
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School Library Journal Review

Valkyrie

School Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 5-9-O'Hearn sets her newest fantasy among the Valkyries of Norse mythology-the eternally beautiful winged women who routinely visit the battlefields of Midgard (Earth) in order to "reap" the souls of the bravest warriors and take them to Asgard. There, the great god Odin honors them as heroes, allowing them to live a life of feasting, dancing, and fighting in Valhalla-his "Great Heavenly Hall for the Heroic Dead." As this story begins, Freya, youngest and last of the Valkyries, is about to participate in her First Day Ceremony and her first reaping of a warrior on the battlefield. But proud and awed as she is by the pomp of the ceremony, she swears the Valkyrie oath reluctantly, uncertain of her capability to perform her assigned tasks. Freya's first reaping is Tyrone, a soldier whose concern for his endangered family in Chicago is so great that she promises to try to help them. On her illicit journey to Midgard seeking Tyrone's daughters, some very special teens and adults give her heightened respect for modern humanity. Featured characters are given sufficient depth and personality. Contemporary issues-gangs and neighborhood safety, bullying and self-protection, seniors raising grandkids-are addressed. VERDICT Freya's story, easy to envision as a movie, will surely please many young fantasy lovers, especially those looking for Rick Riordan read-alikes.-Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OH © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9781481447379
Valkyrie
Valkyrie
by O'Hearn, Kate
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Publishers Weekly Review

Valkyrie

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Freya has just sworn her oath as a Valkyrie, but she isn't looking forward to the duties that come with the role. Disgusted by war and disenchanted by humanity, Freya brings back a reluctant war hero from her first "reaping," and breaks her oath when she visits his family on Earth to ensure their safety. On Earth, Freya meets many people who need her help, and she finds a way to channel her restless energy into good as she works to address gentrification, school bullying, and child neglect in present-day Chicago. Trading the Greek myths of her Pegasus series for Norse themes, O'Hearn offers a strong balance of action-packed fantasy and contemporary realism that doesn't shy from real issues. The stakes are always high- capture and death stalk Freya and those she grows to care for, making for an engrossing, fast-paced read. Whether on the battlefield or city streets, Freya confronts what it means to do one's duty and be a true hero, in a smart, sharply written, and empathic story. Ages 9-13. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

 
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