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FREYA by Matthew Laurence Kirkus Star


by Matthew Laurence

Age Range: 15 - 18

Pub Date: March 14th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-250-08817-8
Publisher: Imprint

The sinister Finemdi Corp. accumulates deities, securing their cooperation by promising them worshipers; the Norse goddess of love, war, and magic wants to know why.

For several restful decades, Freya’s kept a low profile as Sara Vanadi, Florida mental hospital inmate, until she’s tracked down and outed by a Finemdi recruiter. A healthy white teen in appearance, Sara has weakened over the past millennium (human belief created deities; as it diminishes, so do they). Aided by Nathan, a human bystander (also white) and soon her willing worshiper, she evades capture. The two rent an apartment, Nathan assuming housekeeping duties while Sara finds employment as Cinderella in the Magic Kingdom, where little princess wannabes strengthen her with the power of their belief. Hounded by Finemdi, she agrees to work for them, hoping to learn more, and is horrified: “hybridizing” (think human-immortal GMO) produces demigods; deity powers are brutally extracted. Determined to fight back, Sara recruits three Hawaiian goddesses to help. Sara’s funny and smart, with a curvy hourglass figure that necessitates alterations to her waif-sized princess attire. Unapologetically fond of fashion and hearty of appetite, she’s a poster child for self-acceptance—proud of her strengths, acknowledging her weaknesses, and moving on.

Like a Rick Riordan–Terry Pratchett mashup, this series debut blends philosophy (free will, destiny, faith), humor, multidimensional characters, and a fast-moving, well-constructed plot into a compulsively entertaining read. (Fantasy. 15-18)