This is the first book of a two book series called Valkyrie. Obviously it is a series that is supposed to be inspired off of the Norse Myths. I mean Valkyrie gives it away. While one could argue that this story is loosely based off of the Norse Myths. Loosely being the key word. I am going to argue that this book verges so radically from who Valkyries are in the Norse Myths, that to say that this book is inspired by the Norse Myths is stretching. Sure, Amanda Hocking uses the name Valkyries, But her Valkyries are radically different from the Valkyries of the Norse Myths. This is because Valkyries in the Norse Myths were an all women squad who had the ability to bring those who died a heroic and brave death, and bring them to Valhalla.
Also, according to this website, https://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/valkyries/:
The meaning of their name, “choosers of the slain,” refers not only to their choosing who gains admittance to Valhalla, but also to their choosing who dies in battle and using malicious magic to ensure that their preferences in this regard are brought to fruition.
Now what is Amanda Hocking’s Valkyries: Women Assassins who kill demons in order to return them to the afterlife. They receive there orders from the Eralim. Who are the Eralim you may be asking I will use the words of the Author who states:
The other gods cried out, saying that Odin was playing favorites if the human could kill the immortals at will. So an intermediary was put in place–the Eralim, angelic beings who would take orders from the gods about what immortal should be slain and when. The Eralim would give the orders to the Valkyries, so that the humans never interacted directly with the gods.
So there are humans and there are immortals (cyclopes, demons that sort of thing and yes there is a cyclops in the book). The Valkyries in Amanda Hocking’s story have now become Women Assassins who kill immortals and return them back to where they came from. These Women Assassins might as well be called Angelic beings who fight the demonic Hordes of Satan. I mean seriously I could tie this book into Christianity, or Greek and Roman Mythology with that Cyclops. If my memory serves me right there are no cyclops in Norse Mythology. This is a story that doesn’t just use Norse Mythology, but rather all myths. Gorgons, which there was one in this book, are not Norse Mythology. They are part of the Greek and Roman Myths. Like I’ve said this is a book that is just a mish-mash of different myths through in a couple of events and a couple of main characters and look that you have yourself a story.
No longer are Valkyries these women who through magic, allow a human warrior die in battle. No longer are Valkyries responsible to ferry the heroic warriors to Valhalla. Valkyries now are Women Assassins in this Young Adult novel.
However, while this story is clearly not like Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy by Rick Riordan, which is actually based on and holds true to the Norse Myths for the most part, Amanda Hocking has certainly created a very interesting world and story.
Our main Heroine is Malin Krigare, who is a Valkyrie and is about to receive her license so she can go off on her own and not be monitored by her mother when she goes out on assignments, which she receives from Samuel one of the Eralim. Yet she stumbles upon a secret that could lead to dreadful repercussions. So Malin, with the help of her ex-girlfriend, and best friend must decide where their loyalties lie. Malin must also decide whether to help Asher and if doing so is worth it.
However, it does get better halfway into it. It had this Blade Runner feel to it that was interesting. It was set in this city that seemed run down, and almost dystopian but not quite, but close.