But they have descendants.
Loki's Wolves, by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr (Little Brown, 2013), is the story Matt, a thirteen year old boy who's grown up in South Dakota knowing that he's descended from Thor. What he didn't expect was that he would have to play Thor's part in Ragnarok...and what is worse, the elders of his family are certain that he has no chance of winning.
Guided (cryptically) by the Norns, Matt is determined not to give up, and sets off to gather together descendants of all the gods. The first kids he meets, though, are descendants of Loki--a boy named Fen and his cousin Laurie, and they've never been friends with Matt. Far from it. But though Loki fought with the bad guys in the original story, if Matt can learn to trust these two unlikely allies, maybe they can work together in this new version of the story....
And so the three of them set out, on a quest to gather certain magical items and find the rest of the god-descended teenagers they need--Odin, Fri. But it's not a walk in the park--already the forces of darkness are beginning to work against them...and, as this first book comes to a close, the stakes are getting very high indeed...
Of course, it's hard not to compare this to the Percy Jackson series, and indeed, fans of those books will welcome this series--more mythological fun and mayhem! But Loki's Wolves is somewhat different in feel. For one thing, the focus of the book is on three distinct characters right from the beginning, so there is more character-driven tension, and less immediate mythological mayhem. And here we are immersed more gradually in the struggle at hand--this first book is more a gathering of characters, setting the stage for the Real Adventures to come (although it is not without excitements).
My own response--a fine start with a great premise, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.
I'm happy to be a stop on the Loki's Wolves Blog Tour, in which questions are asked and answers given by the authors. My assignment was to ask about two of the god-descended teenagers-- Reyna and Ray, descendants of Frey and Freya.
He launched into explaining the myths: “The twins are Frey and Freya. In the old stories, Freya is the goddess of love and beauty. Frey is the god of weather and fertility. We need to find their descendants, who are apparently also twins.” Matt paused. “Two for one. That’ll make it easier.”
- Loki's Wolves, page 148
Me: In this first book of the series, the twins Reyna and Ray are somewhat shadowy figures--Fen calls them "Goth Ken and Goth Barbie," with good reason--they aren't exactly bubbling over with rich, nuanced demonstrations of personality. Will we get a chance to know them as individuals later in the series? Will they get to play a more central role, bringing into the story the characteristic of their ancestral deities, Freya and Frey? And will we get more insight into their particular powers?
Kelley: Yes, we definitely don't get a full picture of Ray and Reyna in the first book. They're the most wary of the descendants, unwilling to commit fully to the group and so, unwilling to reveal more of themselves. In Loki's Wolves, the other characters don't have a chance to get to know the twins so, by extension, neither does the reader. Once they become a true part of the team, we'll get to see their real selves. At the same time, they'll learn more about themselves and their powers.
Me: And why did you decide to make them Goth? I'm having trouble imaging Freya and Frey, deities of love and procreation and warmth of all sorts, as it were, as morose Goths hanging around a cemetery! We haven't been told much about their backstory--just that their dad's a (relatively) rich casino owner, and I'm wondering if there's something that we haven't been told yet….
Kelley: Goth culture is known for its emphasis on morbidity and death, but also seeks to find light and happiness in the dark parts of life. Ray and Reyna are two kids struggling to come to terms with their past and their present--their heritage as gods of light and fertility combined with lives of commercialism and cynicism (as the children of casino owners) They've discovered their affinity for magic and without the proper background regarding their heritage, they associate those powers with the dark arts and have embraced that side of themselves. Like many very young goths, they feel alienated and confused, and they're seeking to find their way.
The other stops on the blog tour are:
Tuesday, May 7 – Bookalicious featuring Ragnarök
Wednesday, May 8 – Mundie Kids featuring Odin
Thursday, May 9 – Novel Thoughts featuring Thor
Saturday, May 11 – Bewitched Bookworms featuring Loki
(disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher)