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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and enjoyable read.
I picked this book up while looking for something to read during my nightshift and was immediately hooked.A truly great fantasy story woven into the world of myth and legend of the Norse gods of old with modern,upbeat humour as a side dish.The characters are wonderfully believable and the author's treatment of the gods of the Aesir and Vanir is a tonic bringing them to...
Published on 11 Nov 2008 by Timoshenko

versus
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new direction but hopefully not for good
This is Harris' first attempt at a fantasy novel although all her books involve magic. Her writing style is as strong as ever and it is easy to get involved in the magical world she creates. It is all very tongue-in-cheek with humour that owes a lot to the influence of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.
Those who already have a knowledge of the world of Norse gods...
Published on 10 Oct 2007 by Hayles


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and enjoyable read., 11 Nov 2008
By 
Timoshenko (Dublin,Ireland.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
I picked this book up while looking for something to read during my nightshift and was immediately hooked.A truly great fantasy story woven into the world of myth and legend of the Norse gods of old with modern,upbeat humour as a side dish.The characters are wonderfully believable and the author's treatment of the gods of the Aesir and Vanir is a tonic bringing them to life showing their failings ,frailty and ,dare I say,humanity much denied them for centuries .A book I would highly recommend( I can't wait for a sequel.)
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Norse god go forth!, 17 Dec 2007
This review is from: Runemarks (Hardcover)
This is Joanne Harris's first novel for young adults. Its the story of maddy Smith a fourteen year old girl who lives in the distant future in a world entirely different to ours. Maddie is born with a mysterious rune mark on her hand which in her world is considered a very bad omen.
The novel which is quite long for a childrens novel relates Maddie's adventures as she crosses over into the different worlds. On her journey she encounters many colourful characters including norse gods. No-one is quite who they appear to be and who actually can Maddie really trust! There are lots of twists along the way. Joanne Harris in this book demonstates her ability as a storyteller. Although i did feel that she did not explore the character of Maddy strongly enough that said a very readable story.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and enchanting, 10 Nov 2008
By 
L. J. Tenzin-dolma (Bath, Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runemarks (Hardcover)
I absolutely loved 'Runemarks'. Although it's been marketed as a Young Adult book, I enjoyed reading it as much as my daughter and her friends did, and view it as a crossover book that any age group with a penchant for fantasy and magic will thoroughly enjoy. I found it engrossing from the first wonderful sentence: "Seven o'clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the End of the World, and goblins had been at the cellar again."

An outsider who has to discover and grow into her power, runes, magic, Norse gods, goblins, sharp humour, action and adventure, and an abundance of clever twists all combine to make this a high-voltage read that's hard to put down. I've read reviews that say you would need some knowledge of the Norse gods to understand this book, but I don't agree. Their characters are part of the story and it's not important to know their mythical backgrounds - though you may find you want to explore them, and the runes, further after reading 'Runemarks.' There's a list of characters and a brief description of the individual runes at the beginning of the book, which makes it easy to see who's who - the cast of characters made me laugh, because it swiftly becomes clear, before you even start to read the book, that Loki is Trouble with a capital T.

If you're expecting a novel along the lines of 'Chocolat', 'The Lollipop Shoes', 'Gentlemen and Players', 'Sleep, Pale Sister,' or any of Joanne's adult books, you'll find 'Runemarks' to be very, very different but just as well-written. As an author she has always admirably resisted being typecast, and 'Runemarks' reveals how extraordinarily versatile she is as a writer.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!, 29 May 2009
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This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of Joanne Harris, especially the more magical of her novels (Chocolat and The Lollipop shoes are my favourites) and I'm also a fan of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman so it's no surprise that I loved Runemarks. The tale of Maddy shunned by the ordinary Folk because of her imagination and magical tendancies is reminicent of Tiffany Aching in Pratchett's Wee Free Men books, and the Gods in all their flawed glory made me think of the characters in Gaiman's American Gods. I think it's the funniest of Joanne Harris's books - it had me laughing out loud, but it's also a gripping and well constructed adventure with a huge and satisfying conclusion. What versatile talent Joanne Harris has - hats off to her.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read, 9 Jun 2011
This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
I read this book some time ago absolutely loved it. The norse Gods dominate the book with their colourful personalities and I especially loved all the mythology involved. Although the main character, Maddie, does fade into the background with the introduction of the Gods more interesting personalities, overall the book is an amazing experience. I know I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope, if anyone does buy it, they do too :)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting tale, 30 Oct 2007
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runemarks (Hardcover)
A novel that will continue to stay with the reader long after it's been finished and demonstrates that Joanne's writing is going from strength to strength. I know Joanne more for her adult writing rather than YA and her talent clearly shows throughout the readers time with the novel. Gripping with interesting characters who will keep the reader guessing as to their motives with an additional touch to keep the reader glued to the pages through the use of dry humour many of us associate with Terry Pratchett. Highly enjoyable, addictive and something that may inspire the younger readers to want to know more about Norse myth.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastical!, 24 Oct 2007
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This review is from: Runemarks (Hardcover)
I thought this book was really great. Yes, it is a bit complex at times - but definitely not too much so. The story is really interwoven, full of suspense, intrigue and that makes it a real page turner. I bought it at the airport - as a frequent traveller I buy most books here and am frequently disappointed. However, even when I put this down (hard as it was) and returned to it a couple of days later, I got right back into the story immediately.

The characters are interesting, different and some really magical. I'm a fan of Joanne Harris anyway, particularly of '5 quarters of the orange' and the 'lollipop shoes', but this (in my humble opinion) is the best so far in terms of substance, storyline and excitement.

I would think it's appealing to such a range of people; men and women, young and old... it's very different.

And, what's more, the ending is left quite 'open', so let's hope there's another to follow..!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breathes life into Norse mythology, 8 Nov 2011
This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
This is not a book to be rushed. It is like a fine wine that needs time to mature, allowing your mind to fully appreciate the detailed world building that has gone into it. Joanne Harris has provided comprehensive lists and pictures to help you and I would suggest reading and studying them first before you embark on this epic tale as you may find yourself slightly lost with the huge cast of characters that appear in the story.

Within in this book, you need to tread carefully and keep your eyes open as all is not what it seems. You can never really trust anyone and someone who may have seemed nice, can easily turn out to be bad. Deception and trickery are lying in wait to catch you at every turn.

There are many humorous passages in the book which I haven't ever found before in books by this author. I found that in between all the high drama, I would found myself giggling uncontrollably at something one of the characters said.

The characters are extremely well written with detailed backgrounds which made you feel instantly that you had met them before. To begin with I was taken in by the Whisperer. I honestly wanted my own Whisperer to sit on my dressing table, casually predicting my future. He seemed to be delightfully obnoxious and a real know it all. However as I mentioned above, I soon learnt that this book is full of devious characters who are all out to get what they can purely for selfish reasons. Loki is just adorable and I am sure I am not supposed to feel that way about him but I do. Talk about a trickster! He could sweet talk his way into Buckingham Palace! Maddie is amazing. She takes all her new found abilities in her stride and basically kicks butt, leaving the old Gods trailing in her wind.

I love the way this book completely revolves around runes. I don't think I have read a story before that has featured them so heavily. I found it fascinating how each rune was used to create different things. As I was reading it, I found it reminded me a little of West Of The Moon by Kath Langrish. It has that old world feel to it, where the legends of the myths cause havoc in the world of today.

This is a fast paced book that will make you feel like you are riding a motorcycle at over 100 miles per hour. Maggie and Loki seem to spiral through their mission until they descend into Hell. When you look at the way the world is drawn at the beginning of the book, you come away imagining it like a nine floor multi-story car park with the dream world acting as the road linking each of the floors.

My only niggle with this book is one about myself. I really wish I had more personal knowledge on Norse myths to fully appreciate the amount of work the author has put into this book. You can tell that Joanne Harris has gone to great lengths within her research which has made this book the magical epic tale it is.

This is a complex book that takes you on a thrill ride. A bit like the Krypton Factor on a roller coaster. The use of magic was outstanding and original. Joanne Harris has managed to recreated the Norse Gods and make them hip and stylish, ready to take on the modern world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what you'd expect!, 6 Nov 2011
By 
Adrian Shaw - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
Not your usual Joanne Harris novel, but get it, read it and you are in for a real treat. Don't do what I did and read Runelight first - although a great story in its own right and 5 stars out of 5 as well! - as you will have a bit of a déjà vu moment! One of those rare novels that once you start to read it and get into it you won't want to put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy fiction at it's best!, 6 May 2010
By 
S. A. Mackenzie (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
You will be gripped and intrigued by this book from the opening sentence to the very last word. Having just galloped my way through Stephanie Meyer's vampire/werewolf quartet and her stand alone novel The Host (which is by far the better story) I was in need of something different. And boy was this it! You will be drawn into Maddy's weird and sometimes quite scary world of redundant Norse Gods, scheming Goblins and terrifying special effects that will make you read well into the night. I simply couldn't put it down and when I finally finished it, I can honestly say I felt quite bereft. I have always loved Joanne Harris's books and have read everyone of them more than once, but I originally thought this book might be aimed at more junior readers (like the Twilight series) but it is one of those books that will entrance anyone with an active imagination. This book takes Harris away from her usual genre and into the ranks of Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett especially their collaboration novel, Good Omens.
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Runemarks
Runemarks by Joanne Harris (Paperback - 4 Sep 2008)
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