From the Earth to the Shadows By Amanda Hocking
Publication Date: April 24, 2018 (US)
Summary from NetGalley:
The epic conclusion to the thrilling Valkyrie duology by New York Times bestselling YA author Amanda Hocking, From the Earth to the Shadows.
While dealing with dark revelations about her life and her world, Malin finds herself with new allies–and new enemies. Her quest for the truth leads her to places she never thought possible, and she’s never been one to shy away from a fight. But for all her strength and determination, will it be enough to save the world before it’s too late?
ARC provided by St Martin’s Press via Netgalley for an Honest review.
I read and wrote a review on the first book, Between the Blade and the Heart, back in December, so it hasn’t been a super long time between books which was good. This book pretty much picks up right where the last one left off without a lot of rehashing. If you hadn’t read the first for a long time, you might be a little lost. I had a little trouble connecting to this book and the characters again, but I don’t think it was the book’s fault, this one was totally on me. I don’t think I was in the right mind set as I was reading it. But it was still a good read and a satisfying ending to the story.
Malin is still an interesting character, who really struggles with believing in herself and trusting others. She does get a bit better as this story goes on, but it is still a struggle for her. She goes through a lot in this part of the story, but she manages it for the most part with the help of her friends and others.
All of the characters from the first book are back, at least the ones who didn’t die. I still really like Malin’s roommate Oona, she is just so amazing and friendly but doesn’t let anyone get away with anything. I love her simple magic as well, with a nice mixture of potions and spells. Asher, Malin’s sort of boyfriend (her words not mine) is also here, and even though he has some issues that are hard to take, you still have to love how he stands by Malin even when she is being difficult. A new member joins the group, Valeska, an Alkonost, which means she had wings, basically and could fly. I found her to be a bit prickly at first, but she does grow on you.
The plot is well done, although there are some slow spots that are hard to get past because they also end up being important parts. Mal and her friends travel to the underworld which was fascinating and dangerous. But that was a small part of the story. Things really start to pick up towards the end when the immortals from the underworld start to break through to the world. The story really starts to get interesting and all of the bits and pieces of the story start to come together which becomes somewhat complicated, but it all works out. The central theme of the story continues to be about free-will and whether or not there is someone determining the choices we make in our lives. The ending was not what I was expecting at all, but made a lot of sense in the grand scheme of things.
I still really enjoyed the world created here, with a mixture of mythical, immortal creatures, their mixed blood offsprings and humans. I really want a pet wolpertinger, a rabbit with little antlers basically, he just sounds so cute and a fun pet. The urban Chicago setting was great as well as the South American cities and jungles they visited. A solid vision of the norse and other mythologies in a human setting.