Runes by Ednah Walters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
***** 5 Cranky Stars *****
If I could give Runes more than five stars, I would. Recommended for young readers (around the seventh grade level based on vocabulary and content), the characters are well developed and the main character, Raine, has to deal with many changes in her life, including magical events.
Raine shows a strength of character at seventeen that many adults don't.
It also delves into the Norse mythology, which might be a great introduction to a person’s heritage. It has action and romance, lots of twists and turns to keep even the most reluctant reader turning pages.
Raine, the main character, must deal with the disappearance of her father, her mother’s weirdness, her friends possibly moving away and the mysterious handsome boy next door, who seems to know more about her than she does herself.
If his handsome good looks and motorcycle aren’t enough to turn a girl’s head, Torin, the hottie next door, saves her life using strange markings which intrigues and frightens her.
Raine and Torin share a heritage filled with gods and warriors and runes that can heal, predict the future, etc. He drives a motorcycle and speaks more like a sage than a handsome teenager.
Torin’s past is not really developed in this book but I am hoping that is part of the plan for future stores. We do learn he is definitely not seventeen. I found myself in love with this character even though at first I thought he was going to be the villain that leads Raine astray.
Raine’s other friends Erik and Cora are will developed characters not just thrown in to move the story along, which is a challenge in a young adult book. The author maintains a great balance of developing characters, settings, and plot development without being too wordy. Raine and Eirk seemed to have that fickle young girl and male friend relationship going on (you're my brother, Erik who? And do I want him as a boyfriend). It made Raine real to me.
I enjoyed the romance which was steamy without being smutting. Love triangles always make for great conflict in a story and this is no expectation.
The story’s plot is so wonderfully rich with snippets of information about Valkyries, and other such discovers that to do more than exclaim “read this book” would give it all away.
I will say for a young girl bent on revenge she is very logical in her allies. The story is filled with page turning action and mystery. Raine must choose a side and fight for this way of life she was flung into head first when Torin moved next door.
The series seems to hold a lot of potential and I think once I read the next book I will understand even more about the characters and the mythology as well.
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