- Freya by Matthew Laurence
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-250-08817-8 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-250-08818-5 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-10
Contemporary secularization has been hard on the ancient gods, but Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death, has found respite and sustaining belief from fellow inmates in a mental hospital. After she encounters a shady organization with even shadier plans for neglected deities she goes on the run, accompanied by a handsome young psych tech. After she’s captured by the bad guys, she finds herself in an underground facility full of gods and goddesses who have somehow been lulled into complacency by their new handlers, and Freya must foment an effective rebellion. Freya is an engaging heroine, fully aware of both her powers and the moral dilemmas they bring in the wake of their use. Caught between godlike insouciance and a near-human conscience, with no small taste for revenge and an even healthier appetite for bloodlust, she struggles to make choices that would never have occurred to this goddess of love and war in her heyday and yet, to a smaller extent, plague mere mortals every day. Boatloads of action, villains who are at once familiar and original in their quests for world domination, and a savvy team of multireligious goddesses make for a kick-ass adventure situated between science and belief—just right for a generation reared on superhero films that have somehow left the goddesses on the sidelines.