Book Review: Dead Radiance

Dead Radiance, A Valkyrie Novel #1 
Author: T.G. Ayer 
Publisher: ebook – Evolved Publishing LLC, paperback – CreateSpace Independent Publishing 
Publication Date: 2/28/2012 
Page Count: 376 
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: e-book purchased by reviewer 
Audience: Young Adult – Fantasy, Mythology 

   When I first started reading this book, and based on the description, I thought I would be reading yet another story about a person who can predict a person’s death, reminiscent of other teen paranormal books I have read. It certainly started out that way, but I soon realized, and was pleasantly surprised, that it went well beyond just death predictions. It delved right into the legends of Odin, Asgard, and Valkyries.   

The books starts out with Bryn Halbrook, a teenage girl, trying to make it in a new town with a new foster family. She can see auras around certain people, and soon realizes that it is because they will die soon. After one of her foster brothers dies, Bryn decides she needs to find out why she can see these auras and if there is a way for her to stop the deaths before they happen. She enlists the help of the newest member of her foster family, Aiden, and also love interest. Before she can find out much, Aiden betrays Bryn, sending her down a path she never even considered. It brought her to the mythical world of Asgard, the great god Odin, and all the legends surrounding it. Bryn is a Valkyrie, one of the legendary winged warriors of Asgard, and ferrier of the dead. One of her duties is to bring fallen warriors back to Asgard to be reborn and fight for Odin. Bryn is soon learning and training to be a better Valkyrie and taking on missions for the gods, Odin, Freya, and Loki. 
 I truly enjoyed reading this story and am eager to move on to the next book. The author, Ayer, has a very visually descriptive voice and it’s not hard to picture the people and places of this story, especially the beauty of Asgard. I loved the main characters, Bryn and Aiden; Ayer really made me care about them and what happened to them.  The other, secondary characters: friends, family, and enemies were also very fleshed out, I loved and hated them with the passion I hope the author was looking for, wanting to see more of most of them.  
 I did feel that certain parts seemed to happen too fast, like the spark between Aiden and Bryn exploding into a full on make out scene almost the day after he arrives. She also only seemed to train with armor and sword for a couple days before she was ready to go on missions for Asgard. To me it just seemed to happen way too quickly, no time for development in those areas. 
 I also love the modern twists the author added to the ancient tales of Asgard, and the history of the Valkyries and Warriors of Odin. I believe she did a fabulous job of blending the two worlds together, completely separate places in the book yes, but showing that if Asgard was real, the gods were able to adapt and grow with the changing of the modern world. 
 I give it high marks and would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the paranormal or mythology, or even to someone looking to read something just a bit different. 

Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras — Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead. 

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human. 

Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she’d never belonged? 

Other titles in the series: 

Dead Embers, A Valkyrie Novel Book 2 
Dead Chaos, A Valkyrie Novel Book 3