I hope more people to discover and read this book, because I thought it was fantastic. The world-building is fresh, the premise unique, and the writing polished. It stand above most mythology-based urban fantasy that I’ve read.
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
Published: June 25th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: library audiobook + purchased hardback from The Raven Bookstore
Genre: young adult fantasy, mythology, audiobooks
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis: 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.
I thoroughly enjoyed the inventive world-building of an alternative USA where Norse gods were celebrities and congressmen. But it was the characters, especially Soren, that really made me fall in love with this book.
Soren is a guy I think a lot of teenagers, especially teenage boys, can relate to. He is struggling with his father’s legacy, his identity, his emotions.
Roadtrip books are a staple in YA, but this is the only roadtrip book with a fantasy element that I can think of. The journey is fun, with settings familiar and fantastical.
Tessa Gratton has a wonderful way with words, and includes many poetic turns of phrase without the prose being overly flowery or ornate.
This is one of the best audiobooks I listened to this year. The narration was fantastic, and I think I enjoyed the story much more in this format. Especially because it includes Norse-influenced names and unfamiliar words, listening to the story minimized the distractions these can sometimes be while reading. I would definitely look for more audiobooks narrated by Robbie Daymond.
Recommended for fans of: Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff
The Nocturnal Library: “In her distinctive writing style, Tessa Gratton created a remarkable, fascinating and memorable story. Her worldbuilding is imaginative and bold and her sentences a beauty to behold. That’s not to say, however, that her book is without faults.”
YA Bibliophile: “The narration was spot on. I loved the pacing and the voices. It really added to the whole reading experience. Soren was such a fascinating character and Robbie Daymond did a fabulous job voicing him. The other characters voices were distinctive without drawing away from the flow of the story.”