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Well written, but...
on 14 March 2012
This is the sequel to Runemark and I strongly recommend that you read Runemark first. The story continues (a few years later) the fantasy based around Norse gods and their associated worlds and myths. It is the sort of thing I would expect to like and there were plenty of good things about it but somehow it just didn't quite draw me into its world or grip me with its story.
Joanne Harris writes very well. She has an easy, readable style and creates original characters. I liked the modern-day characterizations like the two dim, thuggish wolf-humans calling each other "dude," and her world is well painted. I find it hard to put my finger on why I didn't really respond to the book. One factor was that the writing, although good, seems a little one-paced. Around page 130, for example, a tremendous event occurs but the tone didn't really change and it didn't seem to excite me any more than the scene-setting before it. I found this throughout the book and ended up being a little unsatisfied by it.
Another problem for me was the sheer complexity of the world's make-up and of the relationships, friendships and enmities among its huge number of characters and peoples (I use the word loosely.) There is a very helpful diagram of the Worlds, a good map and a cast of characters (plus a good synopsis of Runemark for new readers) but even with this I found myself rather lost among who was at war with whom and why.
Plainly others have enjoyed this book enormously and I can see why so please don't let me put you off, but I'm afraid it didn't quite do it for me.