Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton (Review)

The Lost Sun (The United States of Asgard, #1)
Young Adult, Mythology
Publication.Date  June 25th, 2013
Published By:  Random House Books for Young Readers
WebsiteTessa Gratton

The Lost Sun on Goodreads
My review copy:A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Where to get:

Fans of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and Holly Black's "The Curse Workers" will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard. Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities. 

When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be.

She begins to smile, then stops, leaving only the promise of it in the corners of her lips. I wish suddenly that she would give me that smile.
She smiles. "I'm not that delicate."
"Everyone has weak days."
"I feel weak every day."
Astrid tilts her face up and the moonlight spreads silver into her hair and eyes. I could almost imagine she mirrors the night sky the way Baldur mirrored the sun. That's who they are to me: my sun and my moon.
Astrid appears, and I open my coat. She slips in against my bare chest, uncaring that I have been bloodied so recently. I wrap the cloak around both of us, and we breathe in slow unison, heating all the crevices and shadows between us.

I'm not entirely certain what I expected when I picked this book up, but I know I was expecting the world to be top notch. I also hoped for the things that personally make stories great for me--including romance. Now that I've read it, I don't think my expectations were too far off the mark, but I definitely did not get what I was expecting within these pages. The extremely interesting premise of this book is what drew me in, and that premise is the same reason why the story ended up working for me. Such an elaborate, imaginative world Tessa Gratton has created in The Lost Sun, and it truly made up for the aspect of the novel that I felt were missing.

The characters were well developed and I did feel a connection to them. Soren was such a positive guy, even though he didn't always have a very positive view of himself. Seeing the world and the story through his eyes felt deep and real. Astrid was quite interesting, but she wasn't overly odd. She was more just...HER. And she was cool with that. I liked seeing her do her thing, and being in Soren's head observing. However, while I liked the characters, I never really felt like I could relate to them. Probably because their world and situation are way out of the realm of anything I see in real life, but still. I would have liked to have related on some level.

The romance was there. I can't deny that. There are feelings and there is some sweetness, and I very much liked that. I would have liked there to be MORE, though. I feel like a big part of this problem for me is because we spent this book inside Soren's head. Soren's affections weren't very sweeping and obvious most of the time. Now, I like the little, cute things bunches. But it didn't feel as easy to pick them out. So yes, there was some romance that made me smile a bit, but there wasn't a large amount of romance. 

Tessa Gratton's writing was so beautiful. She has crafted this story so elegantly, it made my heart feel so many things. The world building was done excellently, without info-dumps, and dropped in when needed in a way that didn't treat us like children. The information was there and we were trusted to pick it up ourselves and store it in our brains. Then there is the general premise of this book, which was so different from other books I've read. An alternate world is created here, and it was explained and depicted so well I kind of felt like it might be real. Like it actually COULD be an alternate reality.

Overall, The Lost Sun is a elegantly crafted story with an interesting, unique premise. Tessa Gratton did such a great job turning this story into something that could truly be an alternate world. I liked the characters, and cared about what they were doing, what might happen to them. I definitely plan on picking up the sequel to see just what happens next.

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