Mist by Susan Krinard – review

By on July 15, 2013


Publisher’s Description:  Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie Mist one of the only survivors.
Or so she thought.
When a snowy winter descends upon modern-day San Francisco in June, Mist’s quiet existence starts to feel all too familiar. In quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.
Loki has big plans for the modern world, and he’s been hanging around Mist for access to a staff that once belonged to the great god Odin. Mist is certain of one thing: Loki must be stopped if there is to be any hope for Earth. But the fight is even bigger than she knows….
Because Loki wasn’t the only god to survive.

What I Expected:  I expected an urban fantasy in a similar vein to Rob Thurman’s Trick of the Light but with more of a Harry Dresden feel to it.  Basically I expected a do-good heroine working with and against Norse gods in some sort of struggle over humanity.

What I Got:  I got a Norse mythology-based urban fantasy struggle over humanity with an unlikeable heroine, a muddy and incomprehensible past, and a bunch of self-serving gods and unusual magical creatures.  The story is very much like a snowball, rolling fast downhill, picking up new characters willy-nilly.  As the start of the series, this isn’t too much out of the way, but everything went so fast that nearly all the characters were still new to each other as well as the reader, and it all felt a bit rushed.

What I Liked:  I liked a couple of the secondary characters, though I felt that they all could have used a bit of fleshing out.

What I Did Not:  I really disliked the main character.  She seemed to have her heart in the right place but was either a maudlin fool or a rampaging idiot; she also tended to bend her own rules more often than following them.  And then it felt as if the narrative was being changed to fit the plot – completely normal but the reader shouldn’t be aware of the author behind the curtain.

Cover Talk:  I don’t have anything against the cover – it is rather descriptive of the broad outlines of the story, but is really rather boring to my mind – although the way she’s holding her weapon seems very odd to me even as I applaud her wearing normal clothes and sensible shoes instead of skimpy miniskirts, breast-baring blouses, stilettos and leather.  Generic woman in power pose in front of the Golden Gate bridge.  Ho hum.

Recommend?  I think only those who truly enjoy stories about Norse mythology will get good enjoyment out of it, but it may appeal to other urban fantasy fans; I think it will depend.  I’m very much a character-driven reader.  I want good, easily cheered-on and happy to support characters that also seem to be good people to hang around.  I never got any of those vibes from Mist.  Perhaps because she is a Valkyrie, her motivations and characteristics are different than humans, but I just could not connect enough with her to care all that much.

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