Book Review: The Lost Sun
By: Tessa Gratton
Published By: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Page Count: 368
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy, Norse Mythology
I love Tessa Gratton's writing, but this novel truly blew me away. It's beautiful, haunting, and thrilling. The Lost Sun is by far Tessa's best work. I think it's safe to say that I am in love with this book. I want to curl up in its pages and remain there with Soren and Astrid.
This story has all of the elements of a great adventure: a missing God, a mission, a guy who has pure rage running through his veins, and a beautiful girl who can see the future and death. Norse mythology adds an additional mystical layer to this story. I love how Gratton has turned the USA I know into a foreign place ruled by the Norse Gods. Everything is eerily similar yet entirely different to the country I know and love. I found the setting to be creative and unique. I also felt like this would be a great story to follow alongside Greek myths that feature a hero on a quest. At its heart, that's what this story is - Soren's quest.
In addition to captivating lore and an amazing setting, I loved these characters. Soren is difficult to love at times. He puts far too much blame upon his own shoulders and can't truly embrace what he is. He's scared that deep down if he lets the rage free, he will be nothing more than his father - an angry murderer. Soren's fight against destiny isn't always easy to watch, but I did find myself rooting for him from the beginning. He wants desperately to be the good guy, but keeps fearing that he is the villain; this creates a delicious complexity that makes him all the more real.
Likewise, Astrid is fighting her own destiny. I won't say too much about her or her role in this story because it could spoil things, but I loved her. She's so strong and powerful. In addition, I really enjoyed Baldur and Vider as well. All of the characters in this one are compelling.
The best thing about this story is that it will appeal to both male and female readers. There is enough magic, fighting, tension, and romance to appeal to all. The mythology is rich and vibrant, but still has plenty of Gratton's own personal spin to it. While I love Norse mythology, I am not as familiar with it as I am with Greek mythology. I enjoyed getting to see a new focus. This novel feels entirely different from anything I've read lately - it was a welcome breath of fresh air. I'm only sad that I finished it so quickly; I wanted to savor it, but I couldn't stop reading. I can only hope the next book will come out soon.
One Last Gripe: I want more answers about what caused Soren's dad to lose it that day in the mall.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: the Norse mythology
First Sentence: My mom used to say that in the United States of Asgard, you can feel the moments when the threads of destiny knot together, to push you or pull you or crush you.
Favorite Character: Astrid
Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one.
Fans of Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Holly Black's The Curse Workers will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard.
Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities.
When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be.