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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Shades of Valhalla is the first book in the Inner Origins series, written by Ellis Logan. Seventeen-year-old Siri Alvarsson is about to start her senior year at Union High School in Vermont. Having just moved from Arizona, she takes time out from her extreme martial arts training to catch up on her school work, studying with her irresistible new boyfriend, Rowan Carey, and new best friend, Rose David. Terrifying dreams penetrate Siri’s sleep, causing her to question her own sanity. When she discovers that she is descended from the Norse gods themselves, Siri starts to understand her dreams and unique powers. Trapped within an age-old war of good versus evil, learning that nothing and nobody is what they had seemed to be, trusting others becomes a risk Siri can no longer afford. After being delivered an ultimatum, Siri realizes that she alone is the key to destroying the Shades (the Dark Fae), whose thirst for destruction can never be quenched.
This exciting introduction to the Inner Origins series dove immediately into Viking lore, much to the delight of this Pagan reader. Ellis Logan’s tale of a young girl who’d thought she was just like any other teenager at school, only to find out she is the most important ingredient in determining whether or not darkness prevails in bringing about the end of the world, touches on almost every single emotion in the telling of this magical teenage romance. Each character in the book is introduced slowly and with depth, ensuring that their purpose is made clear. Whilst I do enjoy books which portray female heroines, Shades of Valhalla brings about so much more, showing strong family values, the mystery of Siri’s parentage and origins, and touches on sensitive social issues such as bullying and abuse. It also introduces a world filled with Valkyries, Faes and the complexity of the Norse Gods, showing how they play a major role in the past, present and future. I enjoyed Shades of Valhalla immensely and plan on seeking out the rest of the books in the series. I recommend it to readers over the age of 15 who enjoy adrenaline-pumping action, mixed in with the mystery of paranormal legend, romance and drama.