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Runelight Runelight is a rather convoluted seuel to Runemarks so it’s definitely a good idea to read the first book which I did not lesson learnt Simply put the story of Runelight follows two magical girls six hundred miles apart who both have a runemark on their skin a symbol of the Old Days when the Worlds were ruled by the gods from their sky citadel Asgard However the famed citadel of Asgard now lies in ruins and the gods’ power has been destroyed Or so everyone thinksThe most complicated things about Runelight are the characters There are many different characters all with different personalities and motives and it’s often hard to keep track of what everyone’s doing The best thing about this novel is the construction of the worlds The Map Of The Nine Worlds at the beginning is simply incredible to behold and every location in the novel is well thought out imaginative and filled with colour The inclusion of the Norse gods is excellent and the character of Thor is surprisingly amusing what with him constantly wanting to fight everyone and getting into trouble often than the son of Odin really should be However the downside of this book is that it never really seems to get going It stops and starts along for the first hundred pages and then settles down to a pace that probably won’t hold the interest younger readersIt's a pretty good read and I'd recommend it to lovers of fantasy or the Norse gods You know from my review yesterday that I enjoyed the first book in this series Runemarks but this one really blew me away I LOVED Runelight This book totally absorbed me like a Venus fly trap then spat me out at the end after controlling my mind for the whole journey After reading it I couldn't help but feel that with Runemarks the author was testing the waters but with Runelight she swam the Channel unaided We find ourselves returning to World's End which has basically taken a noise dive in the most beautiful places to live guide No one seems to be able to forget the events that occurred at the end of Runemarks and the clearing up operations seems to still be going onIt was lovely to be reacuainted with some friendly old faces and it was interesting to see how they had developed in the three years since the previous events Many alliances and friendships were in need of rebuilding which resulted in a group of argumentative and nit picking Norse Gods who were still having issues with past misdemeanours The humour in this book really has gone up a notch and it really reminded me of the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett where humour is carefully hidden within the high drama Just to show you what I mean here is a scene that could have come straight out of a comedy'So protecting me was just a ruse to ensure I survived to cement your deal' Loki appealed to the party of gods 'You're really going along with this? You're going to watch them sacrifice me? Sif we've had our differences but'The goddess of grace and plenty smiled 'You bet I'm going to watch' she said ' I only wish we had popcorn'Fabulous Now imagine 572 pages with humour like thisI absolutely adored Loki He is like the Derek Trotter of the Nine Worlds wheeling and dealing his way out of ever death threat he can My favourite scenes in the book revolved around the freak show they labelled a circus In order for the gods to travel unnoticed he creates a travelling show that will be noticed but won't be believed Always fond of the weird and wonderful I couldn't help but become attached to Jormundgand the World Serpent who could only think with his stomach Some interesting new characters join the cast of many and some of the secondary characters from the previous book step forward to take their moments in the spot light I found it much easier to keep track of all the characters in this book which I believe is due to the detailed descriptions provided by the authorThe book goes from strength to strength finishing with an epic battle where the End of the World is at stake Again An apocalyptic climax via a kaleidoscope of varying powers Asgard well I am lost for words as to describe how beautiful and wonderful it sounds You will just have to read it sigh in wonder with me Joanne Harris is one of the most versatile authors I have ever come across With each book she writes it is like hopping on a magical mystery tour where you never know where you will end up She has such a uniueness to her writing voice that each book is like a surprise gift This author cannot be labelled or categorised to fit into one genre She has the ability to take any subject or genre and make it her own marking it with her individuality This is a tale of epic proportion that will bring to life the Norse myths which so often get over overlooked The suabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back And there's a feisty new heroine on the scene Maggie a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart literally in World's End the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised Now the Order is destroyed Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind and is breaching the everyday worldA chilling prophecy from the Oracle A conflict between two girls And with just twelve days to stave off the Apocalypse carnage is about to be unleashed You'd think Joanne Harris Norse myth would automatically shoot to the head of my list I did uite enjoy the previous book Runemarks and I have uite a lot of love for the character of Loki in pretty much anything Super extra points for Sassafrass' Loki in My Brother My Enemy though not this Loki at all perhaps justified and so expressively sung But I don't know I did enjoy Runelight once I settled down to read it and I think this is maybe her most likeable set of characters after Vianne tribeBut I hesitated too much It took me too long to get into it I liked the extrapolation from Norse myth; the New Runes the unexpected identities of Magni and Móði I love Loki I think I said that already But even with a recent look through the previous book there seemed to be too much built on the Norse base that no longer felt rightIt may not help of course that I soaked up Norse legends and mythology during my BA and thus have a big frame of reference to compare all this to And I do think Joanne Harris does some pretty good world building in terms of creating her own take on Norse mythology I'm just apparently too much of a purist I guess I've got to say this book was good but not as good as Runemark I felt it left behind a myriad of uestions and was a little too filled with unnecessary characters who were shoved it not because they were needed for the plot but just for the sake of doing it Allow me to explain spoilers headFirstly the plot overall was all right Prophecy end of the world etc all this was well and good I like how the situation in this book followed naturally from the first book However I felt there were some big holes left behind which were avoided as well as a lack of explaination in many other fields For instance a good part of this book emphasized how much bad stuff had come from Hel breaking her word and unleashing Dreamchaos on the world Yet it happens again Essentially the climax in this book was the same as the last They ended up facing Chaos and battling it this time by building Asgard I'm assuming that now that Asgard's built and the gods are in their Aspects they can maintain the balance between Chaos and KONTROL or whatever but I'm not entirely positive A little explaination would have been nice rather than just vague hints and nursery rhymes So I'm assuming that the gods are now going to control the world like before? If so how are they going to get people to follow them now in the aftermath of Chaos and Order? And doesn't that kinda cancel out Ragnarok? I thought the new gods were going to rule not the old gods in new form I'd prefer a new regimeAlso Hel broke her word again So aren't the rift in Dream and the conseuences from it now going to be much worse?Secondly I didn't find Maggie an especially interesting character and I didn't buy her motivations She seemed to keep switching sides She'd talk to Odin be swayed and then next thing you know she's back on Mimir's side Seriously make up your mind And did Adam actually love her? Or was he just being a creepcontrolled by Mimir? I felt she was a little too trusting of some people and then incredibly suspicious of others Sure she had grounds for hating the Firefolk her roots Mimir's lies but once she found out who Mimir was why didn't she react to him the way she did towards the other Firefolk? Simply because he had Adam in him?Thirdly I also thought this book was too spread out the cast was getting too large and some people had no purpose This resulted in a lack of character development and many unresolved plot threads For example the Sugar and SackTyr thing wasn't so much resolved as completely abandoned So much for the god of war I'm guessing he's permanently dead now ? Then Skadi why was she there? That's never really established And she doesn't really do anything except unnerve Loki The author could've saved her for another plot not just pushed her in thereThe wolves also seemed unnecessary I mean at least Jorgi and Angie had purpose The wolves seemed to be there just for kicks They did very little Jolly as well Sure it was kind of due to him that the gods teamed up with Angie but after that what did he do? Initially it was implied that with Mjolnir they could rebuild Asgard But in the end he wasn't really that crucial However there were things I liked or at least appreciated I feel like Loki and Maddy got some good character development I wonder if Loki will eventually settle down I know it's in his nature and he's got a bit of a bad reputation but it's after Ragnarok now Who says he can't change? I feel like the author left a good amount of room for the characters to develop further in the next bookEspecially Maddy I like how her relationships with her new family have changed She has a place in the ring of gods I'm especially excited to see how she deals with a reversed runemark I believe this makes her the only one in the Middle Worlds with a reversed mark That'll be interesting to read about now she's left out again I'd like to see how she deals with that as well as with her sister and nephewSo overall I'm looking forward to the next book but I hope it will be focused Streamlining the plot and characters would help a lot Hopefully it will conclude everything that began in this one and leave room for stories I used to be a fan of Joanne Harris Now I'm not even sure why I wanted to read this book I read the first book of this series in 2008 and barely remember the story; still I felt like I had to read this one too Which proved to be a rather bad ideaThe thing is I couldn't understand much of the story and it seemed somewhat pointless Loki my favourite Norse god isn't the central character and doesn't show up for some time in the story Then Maggie's story didn't make much sense what with falling blindly in love with Adam I understand why Maddy has a twin sister but Maggie's role in the story felt empty; it seemed she was only there for the Adam businessAnd also what's with the similar names? Maddy Maggie Mandy Gosh I really had to pay attention to see if I was ready about Maddy her twin sister or one of Odin's ravensTalking about Mandy her and Hughie's scenes were funny I even had a laugh with Jormugand's He was even funnier than LokiOverall and I feel sorry for saying it this book was a bore I liked the theme and was curious about it But I felt like I wasted my time in these last few days My heart is breaking right now because I wanted to love this book I loved Runemarks I loved The Gospel of Loki I will read any other seuelspreuelswhatever released in this series because let's get one thing straight here I did not dislike the book I liked it just fine just not as much as I wanted toI'll start with the things I loved First off LOKI I'm sorry Thor fans you may think Marvel has the best version of Loki but you're wrong The best version of Loki is Joanne Harris's Then obviously Maddy She's still an awesome heroine I would've liked to see her and Loki interact because they seem to be friends and Loki doesn't have many of those but this was essentially a three plot book It followed Maddy Loki and Maggie seperately and brought them all together at the end I liked Perth too he was a lot like Loki but I still liked him As usual for this series it's brilliantly uotable tooMy main issue I think was Maggie and her entire relationship with Adam but I'll get to that in a minute She's been brought up in World's End which appears to be rather sexist and we're told several times that she values puritymodestyother stereotypically female virtues All of this so far is fine and I was actually impressed at how different she was to Maddyon paper You see I'm not sure when exactly it happened but she'd kind of turned into Maddy by the middle This annoyed me Not to mention the fact that this girl who has been brought up in an area that seems to value virginity allows Adam to pull her into bed before they've known one another for a full week I know she put up a small amount of resistance butsorry I wasn't convinced Their whole relationship developed from meeting to marriage within a week and this justI know it was fake okay? I know that he didn't really love her but I still can't see what she saw in him Now that I'm writing this down it occurs to me that she'd been lonely for the last three years and then suddenly there was Adam Maybe that was where the attraction truly lay? Overall I'm the tiniest bit sad This was on my to read pile for over a year and when I finally had the time to pick up a book that's almost 600 pages long I was really excited about it I liked the book and I'd still reccomend this series to anyone who's interested in Norse mythology or just likes books with strong heroines This book in two sentences I love LokiI hate Maggie Final rating 35 starsFinal rating for the whole series 355 stars ‘So how do I know this isn’t a trick?’Hughie looked offended ‘A trick? Now who in the Worlds would do that?’‘Oh let me see now ’ Maddy said ‘Order Chaos old gods new gods demons Ice People Tunnel Folk ephemera flying snakes goblins escapees from Netherworld magical artefacts with a will of their own – or anyone else with an axe to grind The Worlds are full of our enemies Did you want the full list?’There was a rather lengthy pause The ravens exchanged glances Well this is a problem I spent few hours trying to decide how to rate it Considering how many split opinions I have I think it's best to give it the middle rating 3 stars I don't think it deserves to be than that I loved first book Runemarks so damn much I even read it twice from the beginning to the end without skipping But this book was not what I expected and not what I wanted I really don't know what I think about this book except that I'm disappointed it wasn't in my opinion as good as first one ► STORY Three years have passed since the events of the first book Order is gone everything is in shambles and people get out of control In the meantime Loki is attacked by the ephemera Gods are reluctant to help him of course and Loki gets kidnapped by none other but his ex wife and their son Fenris No not Sigyn but Angrboda And they have a proposal for the gods if the gods decide to listen and don't kill Loki first just for existing and carrying the message The Chaos party has a bargaining chip Mjølnir the lost hammer of Thor Maggie Rede who grew up believing in the order recently lost her family to the chaos that happened when Order fell and after it But then she meets Adam Scattergood and naively trusts him But then again Adam Scattergood possessed by the Whisperer Mimir the Wise who is bent on revenge plan to use Maggie for their own purposes On the other side of the world Maddy finally got accustomed to being a daughter of a god And now she wants to find her sister before it's too late Even if it means betraying the trust of Loki And Perth an entrepreneur and dealer in other people’s property aka a thief doesn't know his life will drastically change ► CHARACTERS While Maddy was still loveable character and who was still herself after all these years she didn't change much She doesn't think of herself and can't stand to leave people to suffer unless it's Loki cause she knows he can get out of any situation She is still capable and she feels regret and remorse but does what she believes is right and tries to helpHer twin sister Maggie is feeling than alone She feels abandoned with no one who understands her But then she meets Adam and falls in love almost in few seconds She finally has someone who needs her But she doesn't know that Adam doesn't care about her and only sees her as a way to be free of the Whisperer who possessed him three years ago He on the other hand only cares about himself But will he change by being near Maggie? The answer is view spoilerNo Big no Until the end he is selfish jerk who doesn't even care how far Maggie is willing to go to have him safe and free Actually all his chapters just tell how much Maggie means to him Which is close to 0% hide spoiler I wanted this book to be the Maddy and Loki Show I really really did Instead it's the Maggie Maddy and Loki Show and I am so okay with that it hurts Though I was hesitant about the character of Maggie I trusted Joanne to do her justice and oh did she Maggie is prickly clever stubborn and powerful sound familiar? but instead of being a Maddy clone with a coat of pious paint thrown on she's her own fully realized independent character A product of her environment she has been raised to believe in the Nameless and follow all the commands of the Good Book but she thinks for herself and still she dreams and Dreams which is very important She also is pretty naive and makes some terrible decisions as only seventeen year olds can do but I found that realistic and coupled with her belief that she knows how to do everything right only adds to the complexity and contradictoriness of her character tl;dr Maggie is awesomeAs usual Maddy and Odin were spot on as well as the rest of the supporting cast especially Frigg that sneaky Seeress And of course there is Loki whose chapters are always a joy to read and holds the dubious honor of being the first fictional character I've had a crush on in years And the plot Yeah that's amazing too Can you tell I'm a character centric person?Basically read this You won't be disappointed