Title: Time Magic
(The Portal Sagas: Valkyrie's Gift #1)
Author: Kelly N. Jane
Genre: YA Nordic Urban Fantasy
Length: 284 pages
Publisher: Avenue Press
Publish Date: June 18, 2019
Repeated Deaths, Violence
TBR Readathon: eBook
ATLA Readathon: Give a Book/Author a Second Chance
Hogwarts House Battle: Read a Book you Previously Put Down
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to For Love of a Book and Avenue Press for this free copy.
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Niasa is our main Valkyrie in this novel. She’s very quick to do what she wants to do, and she feels like it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. Since she was born a Valkyrie – her mother ran off to Midgard and ended up getting pregnant with her, then died in childbirth – rather than being made a Valkyrie, she is already different from the rest of them.
Gertie is the only Valkyrie that is remotely friends with Niasa. Although she doesn’t like to break the rules like Niasa does. I would say that she’s a pretty good character, and while I feel like Niasa may be more strategic in her fighting skills than Gertie, I can see them being equally matched in strength.
Toril has a personal vendetta against Niasa. She wants to have a trial in front of Odin, claiming that Niasa is a traitor and is purposely bringing back einherjar that are weak and not prepared for battle. She would do anything to get Niasa banished from Valhalla, and I don’t like her.
Gus is the latest einherjar that Niasa ends up claiming on her latest trip to Earth – although not an Earth that she’s completely familiar with. He takes his death and Niasa’s claiming him in such a calm and understanding matter that it pretty much freaks her out. It kind of freaks me out too, but I guess he’s been preparing to be an einherjar for all of his life.
For some reason Niasa is the only that has been able to see Earth progress in their technology, cities, battle strategies, and all of that. Whenever her fellow Valkyries go to pick up more warriors for Odin’s Army, it’s always the same type of brute strength soldier with the same types of weapons from way back when.
So not only is Niasa not bringing einherjar that are more strategic in their battle skills more than being physically strong, but it seems like her marks are being targeted even before she knows who she’s supposed to go after. Something is definitely wrong here, and Niasa and Gus need to find out if there’s a traitor in Valhalla framing her.
I kind of like that Niasa is pretty sarcastic and she tries her hardest to not feel attraction towards Gus for absolutely no reason. I’m also glad that there are no romance tendencies being pushed in this novel. They just seem to work well together, and he seems to be a true warrior.
Other than that, I guess that’s kind of it. It was okay.
One of the reasons – actually the main reason – why Niasa is different from everyone is that her mother was an Valkyrie, and she was born in Valhalla. While her mother died giving birth to her, she still is the first ever Valkyrie that was born, rather than made. This is also the only reason why the rest of the Valkyries don’t seem to like her, or don’t trust her. I don’t feel like it’s a good enough reason to not like her.
I also hated that Niasa was so self-deprecating throughout the book. Like… I know I do the same because I have super low self-esteem and stuff, but she really puts herself down compared to the other Valkyries that I don’t even get it. She knows that she’s a good warrior but… idk. I didn’t like it at all. It bothered me.
I also personally hate girl-on-girl hate for no reason but plot devices or just to cause drama, and I really think that Toril hating Niasa was weak. Well, actually all of the Valkyrie. Show some emotion besides hating on your sister.
I also feel like the ending explanation of where Niasa went when she met Gus for the first time was so rushed. The whole time she kept saying “something’s wrong.” “Something feels off.” Something’s wrong.” But then they don’t explain it until like the final two chapters, and it was so… not explained well at all! I felt so underwhelmed and it was such a disappointment.
This one really stood with me because it so reminded me of Diana of Themyscira. She was born an Amazon, and honestly the Amazons and the Valkyrie are very similar on the surface. Well, I mean the Amazons don’t answer to Odin or create an army for Ragnarok or anything, but you know, some similarities on the surface like I mentioned.
That was honestly the most romantic friend thing I’ve ever heard! Niasa would talk about how her curls would get in the way when she was fighting, and he thought about that during one of her final battles. I mean, how intuitive is that though?
I added this section in my reviews because sometimes I find certain passages or quotes that really speak to me. Not necessarily about the book itself, but in general. This made me think about the current political climate and the perception is about being in power. Is it really like that? Sometimes I feel like it is. What do you feel like this quote is saying about people wanting to gain power, or stay in power? Does it only stick to political regimes, or can it apply elsewhere?
I feel like this book could have had a lot of potential, and I think I would have liked it better if it didn’t rely on a sequel to make sense. I know that there needs to be some sort of cliffhanger or something to make the reader want to read the next one in the series – which I personally don’t because I felt let down already – but sometimes there needs to be a little bit more… feeling of closure. I’m sure there’s a better way to say it, but that’s all my brain can think of right now.
It was just okay.