Friday, December 29, 2017

Blog Tour: Between the Blade and the Heart

Between the Blade and the Heart
Amanda Hocking
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first ever blog tour and I'm so honored to be on it! I thought before I reviewed the book I'd share a bit about why I wanted to participate and the other books I've read and enjoyed by Amanda Hocking. First of all, when offered the chance to participate I hadn't read the book yet but I had pretty high expectations to enjoy it. I'd seen mixed reviews but the description was really up my alley and I hadn't read a good urban fantasy in a while. Plus I've enjoyed Amanda Hocking's books in the past so I was eager to read something new of hers! A long time ago (in a bookstore far away) when I was first getting into YA I picked up Switched, the first book in the Trylle series and the only reason I never read the other two was because my friend spoiled everything (I'm not mad... any more :) ) but I really loved book one. That actually led me to reading Hollowland and Hollowmen (aka the Hollows series) which I really recommend because they're pretty good zombie apocalypse books and that's high praise since I tend to dislike both zombie books and apocalypse books. Other than that her books have more or less always sat at the top of that "I plan to read it soon" TBR pile that I never get around to. Most of them are still up there.

But the book review is what you're really interested in and I was lucky enough to get an early copy and be able to share with you all how much I enjoyed it!

Like most urban fantasy the star of this book was the world building. There's something about the gritty, near-future world filled with both technology and magic that I really loved (think along the lines of Netflix's Bright). Bonus points since this was an urban fantasy where magic and Valkyries and Immortals were acknowledged and known about by everyone and it's not a secret second world. It worked really well and felt both like our world and unlike it. I also really liked that it was mostly focused on Norse mythology, a mythos I personally enjoy more than Greek sometimes (yes, yes, I know I need to read the Magnus Chase series; I promise I will... someday). It's a more unique spin on things and even though there's a mix of pretty much every mythology you can think of it was never overpowered by any of the others.

Just as the world building was very cool, so were the characters. Malin is a badass, bisexual (and with pretty good representation here, too!) Valkyrie in training and even though she's still young and has questions and insecurities about life she's also a functioning young adult actually living, and in a way, thriving. Her friends are all just as awesome in different ways and every single person felt real. I will say I was a bit annoyed at Malin's romantic relationships throughout the book, or at least the two major ones. I wasn't really convinced she was in love (or, in one case, not in love) with either of the people. They just kind of felt like they were her friends a lot of the time and nothing more, though it wasn't an in your face trying to be romantic when there was none since it wasn't really the focal point of the series at all.

As much as I liked the plot and thought it was a smart way for the story to go, and as much as it read very cinematic and had a nice TV show quality, I wasn't in love with it. I was more interested in exploring the world and the characters than I was watching them deal with a supernatural baddie who wasn't all that interesting. I will say, the setup at the end does leave me very intrigued to see more of the villain and what they have in store for the characters and the world, but as it stood while reading I just kinda wanted to continue enjoying everything being built up.

TL;DR? A book featuring badass women doing badass things in a uniquely situated urban fantasy. It fits better in the New Adult category, but any fan of stellar world building will really enjoy this take on Norse Mythology.

When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested
Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.
As one of Odin's Valkyries, Malin's greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart. 
Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.
Twitter: @Amanda_Hocking
Facebook: @AmandaHockingFans

Check out some earlier tour stops!
Literary Meanderings has an Excerpt and Giveaway
The Northern Witch's Book Blog has a Q&A and an Excerpt

Book cover, description, author photo, and info received from publisher.
I am an affiliate of Book Depository; using my link helps support the blog, particularly the giveaways run here.


  1. This sounds really cool - Great review! :)

    1. Thank you! It was a lot better than I expected which is always a good thing!

    2. I've only read one book by this author, but I have a couple of her books on my shelf (the Kanin Chronicles). Glad to see you enjoyed the characters in this one even if the story wasn't as fulfulling as you'd hoped.

    3. Yeah it was overall a better choice to read than not. I've seen the Kanin Chronicles in stores quite a bit but I've never picked them up. If you do I hope you enjoy them!


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