Mist by Susan Krinard
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: July 16, 2013
Reviewed by: Tynga
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.
Mist turned out to be a very original urban fantasy read and while I did not dislike it, I’m afraid to say there are more ‘checks’ in my figurative negative column than in my positive one. My biggest obstacle, one that almost made me stop reading, is the Lore. You’re gonna ask me what’s wrong with it? Well there isn’t anything wrong with it per see, but it felt so very confusing and overwhelming that it impaired my appreciation of the story. I don’t know much about Norse mythology (except the very big lines) and Susan added her own twist on it (while this is cool, it made things that much harder for me to follow). In brief, I’m sure the majority of readers will appreciate the originality is this lore, but it simply didn’t work for me.
I started appreciating the novel when I stopped trying to understand the details of the lore. I decided to instead focus on the action and I finally enjoyed the ride. Mist was an interesting character, and I liked her determination and passion, but she was very naive for someone that old. Dainn, the elf who started Ragnarok and is now somewhat looking for redemption, had his perks ( I loved his battle against his inner beast, and his conflicting emotions), but I didn’t connect with him either. Really, Loki, the bad guy, was the highlight for me in this novel. I loved his spunk and his mischievous ways and his point of view was my favourite, but he does tend to talk too much.
Extremely slow paced at first, the rhythm thankfully picked up when the jotunns started attacking Mist. While the actual battles were somewhat exciting, the story telling made little sense most of the time. Dainn is suppose to ready Mist for Freya to possess her and she is totally oblivious to it all, while Loki and Freya are having some kind of Game we have no idea what it’s all about. There’s also two homeless kids who were ‘drawn’ to Mist via her semi-goddess powers but they bring very little to the story.
The one aspect I liked about the novel is the Magic. I like how the characters use visualization and staves to summon their powers and that it’s taxing. I also appreciated that Mist had a learning curve ( a bit too fast for my taste, but still) and didn’t become all-mighty powerful overnight.
The end proved to be a frustrating experience because I feel like nothing happens. There is a battle between Loki, Dainn & Mist but no one really wins and in the end, we are no closer to this Ragnarok or whatever game the Gods are playing. The whole novel felt like an information packed entree simply setting the table for what’s to come and didn’t fill my appetite for answers.
I’m afraid I won’t continue on with this series. I feel like the series has potential but its very flawed beginning just didn’t bring enough to the table to convince me to keep on reading. You might want to give it a try (maybe borrow it?) because the elements I disliked might not bother you as much as it did me.