Thursday, March 6, 2014
Odin's Ravens by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr
Odin's Ravens by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr. (The Blackwell Pages #2) 342 p. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, May 13, 2014. 9780316204989. (Review from arc courtesy of the publisher)
Book 2 picks up right where, Loki's Wolves, left off. Matt, Laurie and Fen have traveled to Hel to rescue Baldwin. The action begins immediately as the trio, who are descendants of the Norse gods, must confront a two-headed giant. The road through Hel is not paved with good intentions (sorry, couldn't resist) but fraught with menacing guard dogs, zombie warriors and Fen and Laurie's Aunt Helen. Will she allow Baldwin to leave with them? Will she help them stand against the giant serpent and prevent Ragnarok, an apocalypse that will destroy mankind and plunge the world into perpetual winter? And, what's with those creepy black birds that seem to follow them everywhere?
The story hurdles along apace, answering some questions and raising others. Intermittent black and white art highlight monsters, human characters, and some key scenes. Of course, the cliffhanger-of-sorts ending will leave readers panting for the third and final volume, Thor's Serpent due in spring of 2015. I also love the cover art. It promises action and suspense and pairs well with Loki's Wolves.
I love, love, love having this series to hand to kids who ask for another book like the Rick Riordan juggernaut. Students that I've given Loki's Wolves to are eagerly awaiting Odin's Ravens. In fact, one eagle-eyed sixth grader spotted my arc and begged me for it. There's enough backstory woven into this installment for readers to skip book one, but why would you want to miss the set-up?
You can read chapter one of Odin's Ravens at the Blackwell Pages website. And teachers, there's a curriculum guide for Loki's Wolves there as well.