A Valkyrie uncovers damage to the balance between mortals and immortals.
In a fantasy world that feels like modern America, all manner of mythological creatures roam. What holds the immortals in check are the Valkyries, whose supernatural powers are passed from mother to daughter. They are directed by the Vanir gods through their angelic Eralim intermediaries as to which immortal to kill and when. Valkyrie-in-training Malin’s perfect image of her Valkyrie mother is shattered when handsome Archer drops a bombshell: his mother was killed by an immortal that Malin’s mother had supposedly already killed. Malin must untangle the ramifications of her mother’s unheard-of compassion—failing a predestined assignment has catastrophic consequences—and grapples with the notion of free will. Helping Malin hunt the killer are: love interest Archer; Malin’s fellow Valkyrie and ex-girlfriend, Quinn (the obligatory love triangle’s other leg—despite physical passion, Malin felt she couldn’t give what Quinn wanted); and Malin’s best friend and roommate, Oona, a gorgeous sorceress-in-training. (Of these principals, only brown-skinned Oona is not white.) The setting’s a highly multicultural city with both pollution and ethnic cuisine—human races mean little in the face of multiple magical species. It is, alas, more interesting than the plot.
Though mythologically scattershot, the magical worldbuilding is a boon for an otherwise quick-reading but insubstantial story. (Fantasy. 13-adult)