Title: Dead Radiance (Valkyrie #1) Author: T.G. Ayer Publisher: Evolved Publishing Published: February 25, 2012 Amazon |Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
That day I knew for sure. I'd lost control of my tears then. They fell in huge, mocking drops. I stared at Joshua through those bitter tears, my heart missing beats as I tried to remember to breathe.
I finally knew what the glow meant.
I was a freak and Joshua was going to die.
Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras — Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.
The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human.
Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she’d never belonged?
I’m not that familiar with Norse mythology, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, reading about Valkyries. I really enjoyed the beginning of the story and the introduction to Bryn. Her mother left her at a young age, and after her father’s death, she’s been bounced from foster home to foster home. Finally, she’s found a place where she might actually fit in. Her foster mother, Ms. Custer, is such a genuinely sweet and loving woman. She and the adorable younger foster siblings are head over heels for Bryn. School isn’t quite the heaven that home is, but for most of us, it rarely is. She’s coping pretty well… until she and her best friend Joshua are in a terrible car accident. She walks away with a bump on the head, but Joshua wasn’t so lucky. Not only is Bryn grieving the loss of Joshua, but she is consumed with guilt due to a uncanny feeling that she might have been able to prevent her friend’s death.
Bryn sees a golden aura around certain people. Once Bryn sees the glow, she knows that time is running out for those who possess the aura. But what can she do? If she tells anyone, they’ll commit her. Then he shows up - the ultimate bad boy, complete with motorcycle, smoldering eyes, black hair, and a smirk that makes her weak in the knees. Just what she needs. But there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye, and when she begins to see a golden glow around one of her foster siblings, Bryn knows she has to trust someone so she can prevent the death of a child she’s grown to love.
Not only is Aidan not ready to call the men in white coats after hearing her confession, but he also has some pretty incredible secrets himself. Secrets that involve Bryn and who she really is. But before Bryn can press Aidan for more answers… he’s gone…he’s disappeared without so much as a goodbye, leaving behind the only evidence that he was ever there: a very old and intriguing book, filled with an unusual ancient scribble… which, while unfamiliar, creates a sense of déjà vu. And in the midst of those ancient writings: a painting of a beautiful Valkyrie in chain mail, a red cloak, and a bronze helmet. And to her surprise, the detailed painting of the warrior is the spitting image of Bryn herself. And that life-changing discovery is only the beginning.
Poor Bryn. Just when happiness seems within her grasp, it’s quickly snatched away. She’s tough, though, and I admire her determination, and her strong will. Aidan is easy to love, as is Bryn’s foster family. The fast-paced and intense relationship between the two MC’s may be off-putting to some, but surprisingly for me, it just worked. They have instant chemistry. My only regret was that we didn’t get more Aidan, but that’s just me being greedy.
The world of Asgard is full of vivid details, and readers who live for intricate world-building will be very pleased with the imagery this author has created. I’m not really the target audience for fantasy or mythological reads, and I enjoyed the first part of the more modern day story as compared to the middle, but the conclusion of the book and the wonderfully written action scenes drew me in, much to my surprise! Gods; goddesses; wolves; eight-legged horses; dragons; and, of course, key characters in Asgard that fans of Norse mythology will revel in! Consider me a fan!
T.G. Ayer is a wonderfully talented writer, and I can’t wait to see what happens next for these characters in book two, Dead Embers.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.