Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking!

Title: Between the Blade and the Heart

Series: Valkyrie #1

Author: Amanda Hocking

Pub. Date: January 2, 2018

About the Book:

When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested

Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin's Valkyries, Malin's greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.

Get It Here:

BAM | Powells | IndieBound | Amazon | B&N

About the Author:

Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Blog | Website | Twitter | Facebook



I was beyond excited to get the chance to read this book. Amanda Hocking's book, Switched, was one of the very first books that I ever reviewed. It's cool to me that I still get to read her work, some five-ish years later. In addition to liking Hocking's work previously, I was also drawn in by the promise of Norse mythology. I wasn't left disappointed.

I really liked the characters in this book. Even the ones that I wasn't cheering for, I appreciated their development and had opinions on them. In particular, I really liked the relationship between Malin and her mother. It was complicated and frustrating, loving and hateful. In my opinion, there's not a lot of books that (successfully) portray how you can resent a parent but still feel love and warmth from them. I felt it was well done here. I liked her best friend, Oona, who is a crafty (pun absolutely intended) sorceress. And, I liked Quinn, the Valkyrie ex-girlfriend.

Which brings me to something else that I really liked: Malin's bisexuality is represented without it being the point of the plot/book. She just is and it has almost nothing to do with the book's outcome, save for a tiny bit of a love triangle type dilemma. It's not a big deal. It's never explained or explicitly stated. And in that same vein, I appreciated that neither love interest was a "first". There's no moony-eyed dilemma of having feelings for a girl for the first time. She point blank says hey, I've dated boys and girls before. And to me that's almost as bad ass as the whole sword-wielding contracted immortal killer thing.

Which, I also loved about her. I loved that there was never a moment where she's thinking poor me, I'm so average, whatever will I do? She is talented, albeit flawed, and confident and I appreciated it.

The world building was cool, but a bit confusing at times. The beings and gods and whatnot are timeless, so it has an old vibe to it. But then they're talking about technologies like eye scanners that are contemporary. But then there are some devices that certainly don't exist in our day and age, so it's also kind of futuristic. It's cool, but I wish it was flushed out a little more.

Similarly, I absolutely adore the fact that there are so many types of creatures and myths at play here; it's far more than just Norse. There's Lamia and demi-gods, and beings I had never even heard of. On the one hand, learning about all these creatures was super cool... But on the other hand, it's overwhelming because not all of them are explained. A lot of these words/beings are from mythos I know nothing about. I had to look up quite a few, because only some of them are explained or elaborated upon. It was a bit frustrating.

I think this book is like a Percy Jackson if it grew up and got a little more intense and steamy. There's profanity. There's sex. There's drinking. There's decapitating spider-women. But it's all balanced and not there for the sake of being there.

If you're a fan of young adult mythology or strong female characters, I'd recommend checking this book out. There's a mild cliff hanger and a slight love triangle situation, but neither really bothered me in this case. I read this book in one sitting despite my few grievances, and I'll definitely want to read the next book in the series.


- One (1) winner will receive a finished paperback copy of BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART, U.S. entries only.

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  1. I have so many favorite myths, it's so hard to choose just one! But I think my favorite mythical creature is probably the dragon, they're always so majestic, fierce, and wise. Some are destructive, hunt fair maidens and hoard treasure, and some bring good fortune and protection to those who seek them. I love how diverse their legends can be.

    1. That's true. I think it's interesting that every culture has their own version of a dragon.