“Hermod watched mournfully as she plucked away at his muffin.” (p. 105) Before you pick up Greg van Eekhout‘s Norse Code and read about a Valkyrie and a NorseGod’s attempt to change fate and save the world, pick up some muffins and tea to eat while you read the story.
Favorite Lines: “In the center of the hut sat a giant, with a round spongy head like a mushroom and two dark little eyes, filmed over like those of an old fish. An irregular welt of a nose spread across her face, and, below that, thin, wet lips formed a ventlike mouth. Her flesh gleamed, clammy as wet clay.
Hermod counted five wolf pups clutched to her chest, suckling on floppy teats as long as his fingers. The pups pawed and nipped at one another for better access, and the giant stroked their coats of white and gray.” (p. 30)
Kathy Castillo was with her sister when she was killed. As her sister walked away to Hell, she was held back and transformed into a Valkrie by Radgrid. Renamed Mist, she works for the NorseCODE genome project searching for descendants of Odin and attempting to build Odin’s army for the final battle between heaven and hell.
Unsatisfied with her mission of converting or killing, Mist decides to rescue her sister from hell and embarks on a crusade with a Norse God, Hermod, who wanders the earth like a bum.
With an old prophesy on the brink of being fulfilled, the duo decide to create a new fate for the world…if they can survive the machinations of the world they’re in.
I was undecided about Greg van Eekhout‘s novel, “Norse Code.” I’m not a big fan of mythology and when a bunch of similar sounding names are added I usually throw the book at the wall. It was close at times, but I restrained myself. The names that bothered me the most were the Valkrie Radgrid who is Mist’s boss, and Ragnarock, the creature destined to tear the world apart.
On a positive note, I enjoyed the times when Mist’s humanity clashed with her Valkrie-self. Having only been around for three and a half months, she hasn’t become hardened by time and her humanity is more a part of her than the role she plays for the Norse God, Odin. She struggles with right and wrong with the mind of a human, and even her attempt to free her sister is undertaken with the emotions of a human.
Hermod is a God determined to avoid responsibility. He went to hell to get his brothers back, but made it back with neither one. Refusing to think about his failure he fails to acknowledge the fact that he is the only person to ever leave hell.
The story moves at a quick pace, so fast that I was a little perturbed at the moment Mist decides to rescue her sister. It seems a little off and opposite to what was happening in the story. Overall, the urban fantasy story, Norse Code, was interesting, but it was a tad bit choppy because the whenever a story line ended it felt forced and abrupt.