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Loki's Wolves by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Percy Jackson fans have been asking for a similar series set in the Norse mythos. Rick Riordan has promised to get on that right after he finishes his current two projects, that will probably be in 2015. Until then we can enjoy the exploits of the modern-day kin of Odin, Loki, and Thor in this first volume of The Blackwell Pages.

Matt Thorsen knows he's a descendent of Thor, the god of Thunder and He-Man Action Stuff, but it's no big deal. In fact, nearly everybody in Blackwell, South Dakota can claim ancestory to either the bearer of the hammer Mjölnir or to Loki, his infamous rival, god of Fire and Dirty Tricks. The old gods died a long time ago through unspecified stupidity, but left behind mortal lineages who occasionally manifest pale glimmers of divine powers. Matt, like most of the townspeople, take this fantastic heritage for granted. He
is more worried about his science fair project than creaky old legends.

Then the town's elders proclaim that the runes show that Ragnarok, the End of The World, is coming. Matt has been chosen to stand in for the valiant warrior Thor. Matt would rather have a dirt bike. He realizes that according to lore, the gods are not supposed to win this Final Battle, he is being offered up as monster chow. With some prophecy out of left field he splits town with two school mates to search for other special Asgardian descendents to see if another fate is possible.

These two new companions are Fen and Laurie Brekke. Their family comes from mischiveous Loki and most of that clan has inherited sinister traits. The Brekkes are known for loose attitudes to the truth and property, often have rap sheets, and oh yeah, some of them turn into wolves. The Thorsens tend to be athletic, civic leaders. In fact Matt's dad is sherrif and soon has the whole state's law enforcement uot to bring the runaways home. With scarce information and resources the three embark on a mystic quest among the famous landmarks of South Dakota (yes, that region has more than one landmark, you cynics). Creatures from legend spring up left and right and
even the ones not actively trying to eat them may not be all that trustworthy. The heroes of this book are not nearly as cocky and entitlied as the protagonists of other, more famous children's lit franchises.

These kids are smart, resourceful, brave, and way out of their depths. This frightens them because, duh, they're smart. They are finding out things not just about ancient legends, but about the regular world, their families, and themselves the wish they didn't know. Once the plot picks up, the action thunders along and grows darker. There are laughs along the way and we get to know and feel for these kids. They are going to need all the help and friends they can get because a big storm is on the way.
--Reviewed by Chris of Compass Books