Fenris and Mott, by Greg van Eekhout (with interview!)

When my kids were little, we would talk about little baby Fenwis [sic] and how what he really needed was a Mama who loved him very much and gave good scritches....so it was rather delightful to see that flight of fancy come to life in Greg van Eekhout's newest book, Fenris and Mott (August 2, 2022, Harper Collins).

When Mott finds a scared little pup mweeping sadly in a recycling bin, her heart melts...dog's aren't allowed in her new apartment, but she can't just leave him.  But it turns out this isn't a puppy, but a wolf cub, who will need to be taken to live in the wild.  

The cub does not want to be leashed and taken into the wild, breaks free, and starts to bring about Ragnarok, the destruction of the world in Norse mythology.  The little mweeper is in fact Fenris, the fabled wolf who is fated to devour the sun and the moon....

And suddenly Mott's life becomes filled with Norse gods wanting to encourage Fenris, because prophesies are meant to come true. Fenris can't help the fact that the rune of annihilation is in his gut, and starts devouring on a (relatively) small scale--bits of city infrastructure and a famous actor disappear down his bottomless maw....Fortunately Mott and Fenris are found by Trudi, a Valkarie who is Fenris's protector, and the two of them join forces to try to stave off Ragnarok and save little Fenris.

It's an exciting story full of mythological mayhem crashing into the real world, balanced by the more quotidian story of a middle school kid in a new town with an absent father who doesn't' keep his promises and a best friend far away who's moving on without her.  It's also a fable of climate change (things can get plenty bad without a rune of annihilation on the loose) and so is extremely topical. The ending packs a zinger of a punch leaving my mind racing.....(nb-Fenris is fine in the end, and one hopes the moon will survive being slightly gnawed....). It's also sweet and funny and has an adorable puppy, so should be a huge hit with young fans of cute animals!  It's easy to imagine this one getting lots of love from its target audience.

And now it's my pleasure to welcome Greg here to my blog! I've been a fan of his since his very first book for young readers, Kid Vs Squid, which I reviewed back in 2010....


How did the idea for Fenris and Mott first come to you?

I thought it'd be fun to write a story about a kid who has to take care of some kind of cute and destructive creature. I didn't know if the creature would be an ordinary pet or an alien or a dinosaur or some kind of genetically modified beast or something else, but that was one of the seeds of an idea I first came up with. 

Was there anything that surprised you in the writing of it?

I didn't know the book was going to be in part about climate change, but you can't write about Ragnarök without writing about extreme weather, and to write about extreme weather without writing about climate change would have been weird and dishonest. 


This is your second Ragnorak book, the first being Norse Code, written for adults and published back in 2009.  Very different books, very different audiences….but as you were writing Fenris and Mott, did you have intrusive Norse Code flashbacks?

Not really. Norse Code and Fenris & Mott are such different books that it really wasn't hard to keep them completely separate in my head. Even when they have characters in common, like Loki and Odin and Hermod, they're very different versions of those characters. 


Will there be a sequel?  I can’t stop thinking about what Mott might do with her own pocket Ragnorak—nuclear waste cleanup, perhaps…..and will little Fenris be a good domesticated pet?

Oh, I would love to write a sequel! I had so much fun writing Fenris & Mott, and it'd be a blast to visit those characters again. As for Fenris as a pet, he'd be destructive and disruptive and a little bit horrible, just like my dogs!

And finally, what are you working on now?

I'm putting the final touches on a new middle-grade, The Ghost Job. It's about a crew of ghosts who do heists, and it's scheduled to come out next year.

Thank you Greg!  I will now proceed to start looking forward to The Ghost Job!


Greg van Eekhout is also the author of Voyage of the Dogs, Cog, and Weird Kid. He lives in San Diego, CA, with his astronomy/physics professor wife and two dogs. He’s worked as an educational software developer, ice cream scooper, part-time college instructor, and telemarketer. Being a writer is the only job he's ever actually liked. You can find more about Greg at his website: www.writingandsnacks.com.



  1. Yeah, Fenris & Mott! Such a fun book. And Ghost Job, can't wait.

  2. Okay, I have FENRIS AND MOTT on my TBR but THE GHOST JOB sounds like something I would love!


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