PJV Quickie: THE STRANGE MAID by Tessa Gratton is one of those books that was so much better experienced as an audiobook. I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading Tessa Gratton’s first novel in the series, THE LOST SON so I unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to get to know Soren better, but alas, I started here…and it was a great start. Even if I missed the first. The only thing I have to say about this audiobook – listen to this one! It’s a must listen.

Review: The United States of Asgard is a rather obvious interpretation of historical vs. fantasy, if you think about it hard enough. Genius. You always think about the past people, you know those savages that believe in gods and goddesses, raped and pillaged that sort of thing…well what if you bring that forward into present day? The gods and goddesses are still very active in ever day life, champions of the gods are treated like celebs and trolls still run amok. Trolls are especially pesky in THE STRANGE MAID. Signy Valborn is a Valkyrie and the chosen of Odin. She is on her riddle quest, with her target a troll mother that is waging war on humans. On her quest, Signy meets Ned the Spiritless, who’s information points her in a direction with riddles and tough training. But, she finds him captivating and learns to respect him only to lose him suddenly. She then continues her trek with bezerkers, who pledge their loyalty to her and her quest to kill the troll mother…it is quite epic.

The lyrical writing, the intense plot, poetic dialogue and larger then life characters would paint this novel as more of an Epic Adventure story then just your standard Young Adult novel. It was a dark tale, very complex and ridiculously engrossing. I wouldn’t even consider this a Young Adult novel because it was so different and the characters maturity was on a level with adults, not teens. I could see this novel sitting better with much more mature readers then younger readers.

What a fabulous world Gratton created! With strong characters that you don’t know whether to love or hate. It was truly a captivating tale and so original. I haven’t read anything like this before, well not from a contemporary author. Meticulous in execution and grand in its implementation.  A must read for sure.

Have I convinced you yet?

Narration was handled by Cynthia Holloway, who was a pleasure to listen to. She made this book into to something even more expressive and epic. I look forward to hearing more books narrated by Cynthia Holloway.

Recommendations: Mature readers that enjoy fantasy in a modern setting. There is implied sexual situations and violence, hence the mature reader warning. Enjoy, though. This is one you don’t want to miss. PG13 with the emphasis on 13+.