The Lost Sun

(The United States of Asgard #1)

This book kept getting recommended to me..and it took me a long time to read it. Sigh. My excuse is that it was the stupid cover’s fault! It looked like a hastily thrown-together book about travel adventures and silly young love.
So…it is a book about travel adventures and young love…but much, much deeper and angstier than the cover portrays (it deserves a better cover).
The United States of Asgard reimagines a modern world with “interweave” and cars and a federal gov’t much like our current one– the only difference being the Norse gods Odin, Freya, Loki, and Thor, etc. walk amongst us.
There are caravans of Lokifollowers called Lokiskin, and there are berserkers who are warriors/militia.
We begin the story with Soren, the son of a famous berserker who went crazy in a mall and slaughtered some innocents. We  find him now at a boarding school trying desperately to suppress his fever/fire/rage.
A girl who is tells the future convinces him to go on a quest for Baldur the Beautiful, and most of the story is their road trip quest.
But that description doesn’t do this richly imagined and almost lyrical story justice at all. Soren and the  girl are magic/god-touched, and that brings with it pain and beauty.
And I could never resist a hero who must constantly be careful of his thoughts and actions because of inner rage that might rise up and destroy everything  (like a deliciously dangerous repressed Mr. Darcy).
The re-imagining of the modern world with Norse gods and the danger of hill/mountain trolls is so much fun. And the descriptions of the holmgangs (small one-on-one battles to decide disputes) is fun as well.
But really what makes this 5 star for me is the beautiful relationships of Soren’s found  family: all are broken, all are beautiful.
I already bought the second book in the series. Lovely writing, fun re-imagining, deliciously repressed and angsty characters who experience real consequences for their actions and choices.
Don’t judge it by the cover! (and it would be super interesting to read this version of Norse gods in modern times with its sweet, kissing-only romance in tandem with Shelly Laurentson’s PNR steamy Call of Crows Norse gods in modern world plus vikings series….)