Is this Ragnarok, or just California The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god s army Given a sword and a new name, Mist s job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world and to kill those who refuse to fightBut as the twilight of the gods descends, Mist makes other plans Journeying across a chaotic American landscape already degenerating into violence and madness, Mist hopes to find her way to Helheim, the land of the dead, to rescue her murdered sister from death s clutches To do so, she ll need the help of Hermod, a Norse god bumming around Los Angeles with troubles of his own Together they find themselves drafted into a higher cause, trying to do what fate long ago deemed could not be done save the world of man For even if myths aren t made to be broken, it can t hurt to go down fighting can it I just finished another book that wove Norse mythology into a modern tale, so I was eager to try this one as well This book is a Ragnarok end of the world story I m not listing it as a paranormal story because it s not about people having special powers all of the magic in the story stems from the mythological aspects I have mixed emotions about the value of the book I quite liked the use of the Norse mythology There were characters used in new ways, characters that were less familiar to m I just finished another book that wove Norse mythology into a modern tale, so I was eager to try this one as well This book is a Ragnarok end of the world story I m not listing it as a paranormal story because it s not about people having special powers all of the magic in the story stems from the mythological aspects I have mixed emotions about the value of the book I quite liked the use of the Norse mythology There were characters used in new ways, characters that were less familiar to me, and an interesting take on fate vs free will The characters are somewhat intriguing, but never take on any depth And the story feels a lot like the main character, Hermod, drifting about from here to there, just happening to end up where needed The convenience of fate, or the Sybil, is a bit too convenient The role of Mist is just lacking She and her sister die at the same time, she becomes a Valkyrie, but she wants to rescue her sister from Hel The story about her sister should be interesting and add layers to the main story about trying to prevent Ragnarok, but it doesn t really It just feels added on and shallow And as much as I enjoy any book that has a dog in it, the dog in this book is pretty much a meaningless extra He s loyal and cute, but he doesn t do anything Maybe the author is as crazy about dogs as I am and just can t imagine a story that doesn t include one.This review isn t anycohesive than the story, I m afraid So overall I ll say that I liked it because it was a new take on Norse mythology, and I d recommend it to anyone who also likes that topic It s an enjoyable, light read but just not as good as it should have been Hold up.everyone who sees this book s cover and thinks it s just another PNR crowding the already bloated marketyou ve been maliciously led astray This novel is 100% Ragnarokian but with words and punctuation This story contains absolutely No sultry, come and hither me eyes No tumultuous, steam filled romances full of moist, frothy otherworld humping and No star crossed lovers fighting the odds to win other side of the track booty What this book does feature is a boat Hold up.everyone who sees this book s cover and thinks it s just another PNR crowding the already bloated marketyou ve been maliciously led astray This novel is 100% Ragnarokian but with words and punctuation This story contains absolutely No sultry, come and hither me eyes No tumultuous, steam filled romances full of moist, frothy otherworld humping and No star crossed lovers fighting the odds to win other side of the track booty What this book does feature is a boat load of all things accompanying the Norse mythological apocalypse You ve got 1 Pissed off, morally dubious deities jockeying for position 2 Squabbling, backstabbing immortals playing survivor and forming dissolving factions on a whim 3 Sibling gods throwing down on one another like a steel caged death match and 4 A fresh, modern retelling of the Ragnarok legend that foretells the end of days Plus giant, immortal WOLVES PLOT SUMMARY I think I pretty much covered it above but here goes a bitcolor Present day Americamurdered MBA student brought back to life to serve the Norse gods as a valkyrie aka uber bad ass flying warrior extraordinaire Incognito, prodigal son god wandering the Earth avoiding responsibility while trying to save his family from their predestined fate Throw in a large ration of myth folk living everyday lives ala American Gods until they realize the end is upon them and you have the makings of an interesting travelogue of the Ragnarok legend.THOUGHTS There is a lot to like about this book but it s also a bit of a mess Accentuating the positive, I am a fanboy of Norse mythology and Greg Van Eekhout clearly has a good grasp of both the story and symbolic meanings behind the Ragnarok legend I thought the references to myth were well done and the author was both playful and respectful of the material in its use There is certainly an American Gods element here, especially in the rather detached protagonist Hermod I like that There is also some beautiful imagery and a number of nice moments of dialogue that clue the reader in to the fact that Eekhout has some real talent I laughed out loud a few times and gaped, open jawed at places where the descriptions were particularly good However.On the minus side, the characters are barely even two dimensional and so it was hard to stake an emotional claim to the story Not caring about the characters really removed much of the tension and drama that might otherwise have been there Also, the plot itself is a dysfunctional mess and very hard to follow Now the Norse legends themselves are not straight forward narratives and so there is a bit of muddle built into the source material However, it wasthan that It s almost as if the author wanted the reader to experience the chaos of Armageddon as part of the reading exercise If so, it was a bit too murky and I think the execution was not all it could have been Overall, I thought the premise was very interesting and there are parts of this that are very good Enough for me to say I like it and recommend that you give it a shot This book has an awesome cover that is completely deceptive to what the book is about This is not a vaginal urban fantasy book where a girl you connect with kicks mythological ass, it s from the POV of several ppl,along the vein of American Gods by Neil Gaiman although I didn t enjoy it as much as that book.I know from personal experience that it s fun to write inside stuff, but sometimes that can leave ppl left out on the joke, and this book did that a bit for me I know SOME about N This book has an awesome cover that is completely deceptive to what the book is about This is not a vaginal urban fantasy book where a girl you connect with kicks mythological ass, it s from the POV of several ppl,along the vein of American Gods by Neil Gaiman although I didn t enjoy it as much as that book.I know from personal experience that it s fun to write inside stuff, but sometimes that can leave ppl left out on the joke, and this book did that a bit for me I know SOME about Norse mythology, but I think the people who would MOST enjoy it would be very educated in this area.There s a lot of really fun quippy dialogue in here, but the plot is very story driven The thing that it lacked for me is character stuff I didn t really get connected to the lead characters or understand why they were doing stuff sometimes except for the plot telling them to I found it hard to finish the last third of the book because I wasn t rooting for the characters like I d want to as much.That said I did enjoy the dialogue, it made me laugh out loud a few times, and I would definitely check this author out again.Recommended for Norse Mythology fans for sure I increased this rating by a star because I saw other stuff I gave 2 stars and this book is definitely better than them This book really deserves 4.5 stars From the cover and the blurb, I expected Norse Code to be a lot fluffier than it was, especially with the tagline Is this Ragnarok, or just California What I found was an ambitious re telling of Norse mythology that encompassed our 21st century world Greg van Eekhout manages to not only convey the complexity of Norse mythology, but he does it in a way that is completely comprehensible and entertaining He accomplishes this feat in less than 300 pages.Nor This book really deserves 4.5 stars From the cover and the blurb, I expected Norse Code to be a lot fluffier than it was, especially with the tagline Is this Ragnarok, or just California What I found was an ambitious re telling of Norse mythology that encompassed our 21st century world Greg van Eekhout manages to not only convey the complexity of Norse mythology, but he does it in a way that is completely comprehensible and entertaining He accomplishes this feat in less than 300 pages.Norse mythology seems to be an up and coming theme in fantasy literature these days Neil Gaiman s American Gods and Elizabeth Bear s All the Windwracked Stars are both based on Norse myth However, both seem to require a bitknowledge of the subject While knowing something about Norse mythology makes Norse Codeinteresting, I think one could learn quite a bit about it just by reading this novel Norse Code was thoroughly entertaining and quite exciting I just wish the publisher had come up with a less misleading cover and blurb I think I need to give this my mom rating too While it is violent, it s noviolent than any ancient mythology I wouldn t hesitate to give it to any teenager Despite the cover, I think teenage boys might really like it