Release Date: May 24, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
When Phoebe Meadows gets struck by a strange light in the stockroom of Macy’s, life as she knows it flies out the window. As if being hit by lightning isn’t bad enough, she’s accosted in the subway by a man with a missing hand, arrives home to find a raven on her kitchen counter, and her neighbor, Ingrid, shows up dressed like a gladiator hell-bent on protecting her.
Before Ingrid can shuttle her to safety, Phoebe is kidnapped and tossed into one of the Nine Worlds where she’s quickly forced to come to terms with what she is: A valkyrie. The only problem is, she has no idea what that means.
After a narrow escape, she finds an unlikely ally in Loki’s son, Fenrir. Together the valkyrie and the wolf must battle their way back to New York City and reach the valkyrie stronghold where Ingrid is waiting for her. But with danger and obstacles at every turn, she might not live long enough to learn the full truth about who and what she really is…
In true Amanda Carlson style, prepare to be dazzled by heroic feats and hair raising adventures featuring the newest Valkyrie on the block, Phoebe Meadows. You won't meet Thor (just yet) but Fenrir, the wolf Odin is supposed to go head to head come Ragnarok, plays Phoebe's guide as they battle evil hags, fire demons, dark elves, and other Norse creatures, both in Midgard and other worlds/dimensions.
Phoebe Meadows, how do I describe thee? Well, Phoebe have this deer-in-headlights condition for most of STRUCK. Not surprising considering she got warped into Yggdrasil in a snap and is on the defense for the most part. The girl didn't even have time to digest what's happening to her as she's swarmed by things that want her dead. It's a good thing that Phoebe is a quick study and has great instincts for a newborn Valkyrie.
I love the world ACarlson created for Phoebe. There's a solid base of Norse myth and the cast of characters isn't the "usual". Also, I find it cool that The Wolf, Fenrir, is Phoebe's love interest. I haven't read a fantasy with Odin's sworn nemesis as the hero and as Phoebe is Odin's daughter, there's a forbidden love plot device at play here. I wonder if Odin is going to make an appearance at some point to break these lovers apart.
STRUCK is a plot and action driven novel and there's not a dull moment here as Phoebe & Co. are always on the defense running away from something or someones. That said, I feel neurtral about all the characters, Phoebe's in a constant knee-jerk-reaction to everything that's happening to her versus having a profound realization that she's NOT who she thought she is and she's now thrust in this weird world as some sort of prize or prey. And hello! Your dad is Odin, Thor is your bro, how she's not fazed by all this is more surprising than dark elves knocking at her door.
I also found a few conveniences here like Phoebe and Fenrir's "romance". There's no swoony build-up, instead they just paired up to survive, to feed, and because it's expected maybe? Anyway, Fenrir didn't give me hot flashes the way Thor or even Loki did. Then there's the human friend who's very literate in Norse myth and at the end we find out she has diluted Asgardian blood so she's now part of the party. And like Phoebe, she's not fazed by all of these either. Eh!
STRUCK may be a flawed read for me, but it's still a good introduction to a new series and an enjoyable and entertaining one at that. I love all the ass-kicking that went around and it's high time someone uses and applies some serious Norse myth into an urban fantasy. Nice to meet you, Phoebe Meadows, I hope to run into you again sometime soon.