Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review: Liesmith by Alis Franklin

Author: Alis Franklin
Series: The Wyrd (Book 1)
Publication: Hydra (October 7, 2014)

Description: At the intersection of the magical and the mundane, Alis Franklin’s thrilling debut novel reimagines mythology for a modern world—where gods and mortals walk side by side.

Working in low-level IT support for a company that’s the toast of the tech world, Sigmund Sussman finds himself content, if not particularly inspired. As compensation for telling people to restart their computer a few times a day, Sigmund earns enough disposable income to gorge on comics and has plenty of free time to devote to his gaming group.

Then in walks the new guy with the unpronounceable last name who immediately becomes IT’s most popular team member. Lain Laufeyjarson is charming and good-looking, with a story for any occasion; shy, awkward Sigmund is none of those things, which is why he finds it odd when Lain flirts with him. But Lain seems cool, even if he’s a little different—though Sigmund never suspects just how different he could be. After all, who would expect a Norse god to be doing server reboots?

As Sigmund gets to know his mysterious new boyfriend, fate—in the form of an ancient force known as the Wyrd—begins to reveal the threads that weave their lives together. Sigmund doesn’t have the first clue where this adventure will take him, but as Lain says, only fools mess with the Wyrd. Why? Because the Wyrd messes back.

My Thoughts: This story was exciting and filled with danger - and a little confusing for me. I like urban fantasy, and Norse mythology is an area that isn't as mined as many other mythologies (though it is currently popular). This story takes place in a town called Pandemonium in Australia. It has become a tech center and our hero, Sigmund, works as an IT specialist. He is twenty-two, overweight, lives at home with his father and is a major nerd. He and his best friends Em and Wayne (also a girl) spend a lot of time playing role playing games. Sigmund meets the head of the company (though Sigmund doesn't recognize him) and the two hit it off. Soon a new guy comes to IT and Sigmund is assigned at Lain's mentor.

Unbeknownst to Sigmund, the head of the company and Lain are one and the same and also the Norse god Loki. Turns out Sigmund is a reincarnation of Loki's wife. Sigmund and Lain have a romantic relationship that is woven into the mythological plot. It seems Baldur has returned from the dead and wants his revenge on Loki who is the one who killed him (sort of).

The story is told from both Lain's point of view and Sigmund's. It has all sorts of details about Norse mythology. It is this convoluted plot that caused most of my confusion as I tried to figure out who was who and what each of the characters wanted. More knowledge of Norse mythology would have definitely been helpful.

I did like the way the Really Real World was intertwined with the various worlds from Norse mythology. I also like the relationships between the characters. Sigmund has a close relationship with his father. He has strong friendships with Em and Wayne. I liked the way Sigmund accepted and love Lain despite his physical appearance. Lain spends quite a bit of the story with horns, feathers and a tail.

Fans of mythology will enjoy this urban fantasy story.

Favorite Quote:
Sigmund wondered, if he concentrated hard enough, if he could manage to sink through the tiles and die.

Five minutes later he had to admit that plan just wasn't working. So he poked his head out from under the covers, blinking at the blur beyond.
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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