Normally I avoid young adult at all costs because the ones written after the turn of the century tend to be drama prone. And they annoy the shit out of me with their incessant mean girls whining. I took a chance on this one because it is Ms. Armstrong. This is a solid start to an interesting series.
I tend to lean towards Greek mythos but now with more Norse mythos, I am intrigued. What I like about this series is how Matt Thorsen isn't hidden from his birthright or powers. Instead, he is immersed in it and he tries hard to control his powers. He fails at controlling it, but he tries his best and with his family's support. Or so he thought.
When events unfold and Matt realizes Ragnarok is upon them, he steps up in a way he didn't think he would ever be needed to step up. What pissed me off about this story is how Matt's family willingly uses him as a sacrificial lamb. I'm horrified by his parents and his elders. Terrible. What seems impossible becomes possible when he pairs up with troublemakers Fen and Laurie. The Brekke family have been at odds with the Thorsen for generations. This unlikely allyship takes twists and turns - bonding a group of kids into something more.
I like how the Norse mythology is woven into the lives of these kids. I also like how Matt is a kindhearted kid who doesn't take credit for other's contributions. He may be a good two shoes, but he is quickly learning street smarts after several hard lessons. Whilst the focus is on Matt as the protagonist, this story equally involves Fen. Fen is an antihero and I am rooting for him. He is the bad boy who is dealt a bad hand. He tries his best and he needs to keep things close to the chest for good reason. His loyalty to his cousin Laurie is admirable. My heart always goes out to children who are mistreated and misunderstood. At the end of this book, we are left with a better glimpse into the hearts of these children. It also hooks us into the next book in the series. Recommended for young adults who like adventure and can appreciate how not everyone is given a good home.