TITLE: Giants of the Frost
AUTHOR: Kim Wilkins
PUBLICATION: 2006 by Warner Books
Vidar has waited almost one thousand years for his mortal lover to be reincarnated in Midgard. In the present day she is Victoria Scott, a skeptic working at a weather station on Odin’s Island. With the help of the trickster Loki, Vidar will risk his father’s wrath to be with the woman he loves. Will there finally be a happy ending for Vidar and Victoria?
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT . . .
I found this while browsing for books featuring Loki and I confess the summary had me a bit wary, but the library had a copy and I was willing to take a chance on it. I read a review for it on a blog although I fail to remember where I stumbled upon it. So I went into this book with a few expectations. I tend to write out my thoughts of things I encounter while reading a book in these review posts and I can see how much my opinion changed once I reached about the middle of this particular book.
Giants of the Frost is divided between two narrative styles. The episodes on Midgard are told through first person in Victoria’s perspective and when the story moves to Asgard events are related through the third person point of view. I don’t love this form of telling a story, but I can live with it. I’m thinking I would probably be annoyed hearing the entire 500+ pages from Victoria so it’s a good thing. I rather enjoyed the irony of fate delved out at the end, but I suppose it would be too good to be true and actually last as it should. Although it doesn’t end all neat and tidy either.
The portions of this novel which seemed like a horror story were good, and I liked the idea of a romance between a mortal and one of the “gods”. It’s the inner mythology fan speaking I am sure. Most of what we are given about the residents of Asgard is filtered through Vidar’s own bias. It’s almost the similar problem I had with the novel Ice Land. Some of the brief appearances or anecdotes that we get of the Asgardians even sound like really bad fanfiction. Is it truly necessary to make everyone else except your main characters so vile just so that we the readers would like them as the lesser of two evils?
I like the notion of reincarnation, but I wasn’t sure that I liked Victoria’s immediate acceptance of Vidar and her instant attraction to him. She’s supposed to be a skeptic and a level-headed individual so shouldn’t she at least try to show a token resistance? I didn’t really like the rapidness of her growing affections for him. She’s alone on an island and fawning over a man that showed up out of nowhere? She has an easy budding friendship with a co-worker that she can’t think about being involved with romantically, but she’s practically drooling over a stranger she just met? She treats Gunner with the indifference that Vidar treats Aud, and Aud is the one whom apologizes to Vidar for treating him badly on the last page!
There is a lot of Loki showing up in this book. And I like his character in this author’s perspective for the most part. I think Loki himself sums up his character rather well with the following statement in reply to Aud’s question about what payment he would extract from the Norns when he collects their debt: “Oh, I could think of a hundred things. It would depend on what presses me as being the most important when I find them. Something wicked, perhaps. Something that would annoy everybody.” I did find myself laughing at his constant flirting. Although the final decision he made of the Norns was predictable.
I entertained the idea about getting this book from Amazon should it prove to be an exciting read, but I would have searched third party sellers rather than pay that nearly twenty-five dollars price for a mass market paperback. Now that I know what I would have gotten? I am so glad that there was a library with a copy out there and I could save myself the money for something more worthwhile. It started out promising, but ultimately fell flat for me in a big way. Fans of paranormal romance or Norse mythology would do well to look elsewhere for something good to read. Were it not for Loki I probably would have abandoned it and given it a lower score. I keep telling myself I am going to quit reading books that don’t grip me, but the eternal optimist holds out for some redeeming aspect. Maybe someday I will learn my lesson.