Mist (Mist #1) by Susan Krinard
Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie Mist one of the only survivors.
Or so she thought.
When a snowy winter descends upon modern-day San Francisco in June, Mist’s quiet existence starts to feel all too familiar. In quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.
Loki has big plans for the modern world, and he’s been hanging around Mist for access to a staff that once belonged to the great god Odin. Mist is certain of one thing: Loki must be stopped if there is to be any hope for Earth. But the fight is even bigger than she knows….
Because Loki wasn’t the only god to survive.
Release Date: July 16, 2013
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The clientele in the second room was of a caliber far different from the kids in the public area. The dozen men and women were all mature, attractive, and reeking of wealth . . . the kind who dined every other night at French Laundry, had their clothes tailor- made in Paris, and lived in apartments and pent houses worth more than all Freya’s gold.
But there was something off about them, a strangeness that went beyond the fact that they didn’t belong in a place like this, especially early on a weekday morning. They stared at her as if she had crashed an exclusive wedding wearing nothing but her sword.
As if she was an enemy.
“Leave,” Dainn whispered at her back. “Leave now.”
Mist barely heard him. “Who are you?” she asked, looking at each hostile face in turn.
Glances were exchanged, but no one answered. Dainn gripped her arm. “There are too many,” he said.
And suddenly she knew. “Where is he?” she demanded of the crowd in the Old Tongue, loosening her knife. “Where is your master?”
Hard eyes fixed on hers. Several of the men began moving toward her, getting taller by the second. Faces blurred, becoming coarse and ugly with hate. Fists lifted. An unmistakable chill rose in the room.
Hrimgrimir emerged from the crowd, grinning with hideous delight. “So we meet again, halfling. Or should I call you cousin?” His pointed teeth were red in the dim light, as if they were already stained with blood. “You must be eager for death. We will be happy to oblige you.”
For a moment Mist couldn’t process his words. Halfling? Cousin? It made no sense. None of it did. Why were the Jotunar in Asbrew? Where in Hel was Vid?
Pulling her knife free, Mist chanted the Rune- spell of change. Dim light raced along Kettlingr’s blade. She felt Dainn’s touch on her shoulder.
“If you must fight,” he said, as if from very far away, “know that you have far more strength than you realize. Feel it, warrior. Let it come.”
She didn’t understand what in Baldr’s name he was talking about, but suddenly he was gone, and Hrimgrimir and his kin were upon her.
Kettlingr flew up to meet the attack. The blade skittered against a wall of ice that dissolved as soon as the sword completed its arc. She swung again, narrowly missing a giant’s arm.
Dainn had been right. There were too many, and she didn’t have the time or means to draw the physical symbols, the staves, that anchored her rudimentary magic and gave the Runes their power.
You can build them in your mind, she thought. She’d never even considered the possibility before this morning, but somehow she and Dainn had made it work.
Unfortunately, Dainn wasn’t here. She danced out of the way of a blow that would have flattened an elephant and tried to shape a repelling Bind- Rune out of her frantic thoughts.
I was excited by the premise for Mist. This novel, and the series by the same name, is set in a modern urban fantasy world interwoven with Norse mythology. At times this felt cumbersome, slowing down the action, but as a lover of mythology, I also enjoyed many of the references. The world building may be this novel's greatest strength and weakness, depending on the reader. I think the sheer quantity of Norse mythology may cause many readers to balk, but this initial world building sets things up nicely for book two. Mist shows promise for an intriguing urban fantasy series with a solid foundation in Norse mythology.
As much as I love world building, it's the characters who make a book truly enjoyable for me. My inability to connect with the main characters reduced the suspense of later chapters (which is why this book didn't receive a higher shadow rating), though the supporting characters helped to keep me reading. The main characters--Mist, Dainn, and Loki--were not very likeable. Loki is despicable, and not in a hot, bad boy kind of way. Loki can make himself sexy, sure, but it's hard to overlook his twisted personality. I sure as Hel wouldn't want to share his bed. Then there's the broody elf Dainn. Dainn is conflicted, a trait I usually enjoy in UF characters, but his wishy washy behavior often made me want to scream. Mist herself was a bit of a conundrum. As a fan of kick-butt women in urban fantasy, I expected to be more drawn to Mist's character, but there was something about her that was frustrating. Perhaps it was that Mist, our reluctant Valkyrie heroine, sometimes feels too weak and naive for an ancient, sword-wielding warrior. Instead, I found myself loving the side characters Ryan, Gabi, and Vali. Unfortunately, Mist wasn't really about them. I hope these characters return in future books and that Mist and Dainn get their act together to bring some serious hurt down on Loki. Because the trickster god? He is one sick dude.
Overall, this was an interesting spin on urban fantasy. I think the sheer quantity of Norse mythology may cause many readers to balk, but Mist shows promise for an intriguing series. I hope that future books shine more light on Ryan and Gabi, as well as a certain character who appears toward the end of Mist, and that the main characters continue to grow. There were some issues with Mist, but that's not unusual with the first book in a new series. I look forward to reading more in this series, but I won't be stalking my mailbox for it.
Recommended to fans of Norse mythology. Readers who enjoyed Hammered (The Iron Druid #3) by Kevin Hearne may enjoy this series.
Rating: 3.5 Shadows
Warning: Contains violence, adult situations, and attempted rape.
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
A huge thank you to Tor and Susan Krinard for providing an excerpt for us to share today. We also have some fabulous Mist bookmarks below. Click on the image, save, print, cut, enjoy!