I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Freya by Matthew Laurence
Published by Imprint on March 14th, 2017
Genres: Mythology, Urban Fantasy, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
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Freya is myth. She is legend. And she’s about to make one hell of a comeback.
Sara Vanadi is more than she appears to be.
In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. Now all that’s left of her legacy is herself. Her power comes from belief, and for an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers are hard to come by.
She’s been lying low for a few decades, when all of a sudden a shadowy corporation extends an offer: join them and receive unlimited strength and believers—or refuse and be destroyed. Sara chooses neither; she flees with the help of a new friend named Nathan.
With a modern power rising that wishes to bend the divine to its will, Sara decides to fight back—but first she needs some new clothes.
I feel pretty let down by Freya? The question mark is there because I am not even entirely sure how I feel, just that Freya wasn’t what I wanted it to be when I was looking for a book with norse myth in it. I love books that are set in the modern world and feature heavy doses of mythology and yet, while Freya-the book-was absolutely adorable at times, Freya as a character was kind of annoying. She was obnoxious and while it sometimes made sense since she was a goddess, it could also get really annoying.
I like the contrast the author attempts with her being badass and feminine at the same time, but I also feel like he wasn’t entirely successful with crafting Freya’s character as a blend of those characteristics. She read as being too special snowflake-y at times when she wasn’t even the most powerful god in town and honestly, even though she was a goddess, I didn’t buy all the convenient things that just ~happened~ to her.
The plot, while fun and engaging, was too much of a stretch sometimes. No one questioned Freya except for the big bad human corporation but even they didn’t do much to her. Even though there was a villain in the book, the villain was more of an idea than an actual concrete thing (which is good in some books but the book really seemed to be going for a concrete villain as opposed to an idea.)
I do like that the world the author has created acknowledges the existence of other religions and their gods because we don’t see that as much in (western) myth based books. I also really liked the friendships Freya formed. She has one important relationship with a human boy (also her new BFF) AND IT ISN’T A ROMANCE. I WAS SO HAPPY because it wouldn’t have made sense for the story being told. There are also some other goddesses Freya becomes friends with and I liked that Freya was able to forge important friendships with other females. I was worried her character could fall into the trope of ~not like the other girls~ and was glad she didn’t turn out like that.
Overall, Freya was a fun book to read but not really memorable in many ways. There are lots of people that will love this book because it is absolutely enjoyable as a brain candy novel but I needed more structure and I needed it to be a little bit more grounded in reality to have bought the plot and the characters. I wish there were a lot less conveniences and a lot more hurdles to jump over the course of the book but given how Freya ends, I am definitely expecting to see more of that in a sequel (and there better BE one because a book cannot just end like that.)
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