A book about a different sort of creature

I’ve been reading part 2 in Siri Pettersen’s Ravneringene (English: Raven rings) Röta.

I love this book. A few reasons why:

It opens by quoting a NIN song I’ve been listening to on repeat. Ruiner. (Mentioned here.) This is undoubtedly a dangerous game to play because if you don’t already know and love the song, it’s going to be an annoyance, or at best meaningless. But for those of us who do…we’ll basically love this book by default.

There are other reasons though, completely unrelated to NIN. What I mean is, in the end, the NIN quoting is of no importance. It’s just a bonus.

I love the surprise setting; the previous book was set in some sort of fictive Viking age, Scandinavian woodlands, in this one, we start out in present day England. I.e. we’re dealing with parallel worlds, main character Hirka has moved from her world into ours. And it works beautifully. Unless you’re offended by our world described from the POV of someone who just got here, and who is kinda disappointed with what she sees.

Our world described as a hell, a place to send criminals, it just seem so right.

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“Do you like it here? Do you think it’s a good place to be?” […] so they sent him here. It was his punishment.”
While I struggled with the tailed creatures Pettersen created in the first part of the series, I love the creepy creatures she’s created in this one. The man born out of a crow, with claws and un-seeing eyes – it’s pure myth. I love mythology.

Pettersen also quite successfully keeps us in the dark as to whether he’s one of the good guys or bad guys. I love the not knowing. I’m hoping that by the end of the series he’s both/neither. It’d be very Norse.

Sometimes, I find the switching between different narrators, or different POVs is just annoying. More often than not one of the multiple POVs is just plain boring. Not so here! The switching between the different perspectives works beautifully, Pettersen keeps it interesting no matter what the angle.

And the characters. I basically want to know more about all of them. They’re far more interesting than they need to be.

There might be a couple of things that sort of makes me love it slightly less:

  1. The love story. I am in no way convinced that it’s a. necessary, and b. that Hirka and Rime are in love. I lack evidence.
  2. The final fight. First of all, I don’t buy it that Naiell is actually evil. He’s been hanging out in a crow for centuries, and his one claim to evil is calling Hirks Sulni and a blood bag? Come on! I need more than that. He needs to do something evil, not just say things that are insulting/lies. That being said, the final fight reminds me so much of Twilight. The fight reads more like a slight commotion, brush the dust away, and carry on, than a fight. Not convinced the two sides really hate each other enough to start a war, which they kind of need to. You don’t start a war with people who’re slightly annoying.

 

Now! Best to throw myself at Kraften immediately or save for a later time?

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