Storm Guardian (Viking Soul #3) by Rachel Medhurst
Read: 7th – 11th June 2018
My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
So what’s this book about?
Storm Guardian is the third book (approx 294 pages) in Rachel Medhurst’s urban fantasy series – Viking Soul. Although the series is set in modern day London, Ms Medhurst has created a paranormal world taking inspiration from Norse Mythology, including some of its deities, with a new series featuring Fallen Ones, Dark Crawlers, magic wielders and other paranormal species living and thriving among us regular humans.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers or reveal plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
My mission is my soul, my soul is my mission.
It’s time for me to leave the city of London, but before I go, there’s one thing I have to do: Destroy the cult named Hagalaz. The leaders may think they’re helping their ancestor, Odin. Yet, their very existence is a threat to me. In order for me to move on to find the next Fallen One, I have to end the war before it begins.
Contains mature content.
So before I move on, what or who are Fallen Ones and Dark Crawlers?
Those Vikings souls who are deemed brave enough by the gods and have died in combat go to the god Odin in Valhalla to spend eternity with the gods but the dark souls (those belonging to the dishonourable dead, thieves, murderers and evil humans) are sent to the goddess Hel in Helheim but Freya kept some of the most powerful evil spirits in Fólkvangr to make a fearsome army. Two hundred of these souls escaped her meadow and sought refuge here on earth, these are the Fallen Ones that our hero, Trygger “Thunder Hunter” Odinson, must find and kill.
Dark Crawlers are minions of the Fallen Ones. Lesser evil than their masters, their spirits somehow managed to stay on earth instead of being taken to Helheim. They jump from human to human, possessing them until the flesh decays to the point where the human body can no longer exist.
Although Ms Medhurst weaves the main points about the continuing story-lines into this one, in all honestly, I don’t think Storm Guardian can be read and enjoyed until you’ve read the previous books in the series; you’d miss the nuances of knowing the existing characters, understanding the dynamics of relationships and be familiar with the adventures to date.
So, what did I like about it?
I have read a lot of books by Rachel Medhurst; I find her writing style easy to read, her plots well paced and her tales full of action with well placed banter. My Kindle edition of this book has a different cover than the one shown on Goodreads; I much prefer my one and have used it with my blog’s review.
Storm Guardian kicks off a week after book 2 – Lightning Seeker – left off and the first chapter reintroduces our main characters and gives us a brief recap of the events from the previous book, however, unless you’ve read those books I think you’d get lost.
This series is written in the first person, from the point of view of our hero, Trygger Odinson who is the grandson of the Norse God of Thunder, Thor. I like characters that take personal responsibility for any consequences resulting from their actions and Trygger certainly does that in this book.
Chloe was one of my favourite characters in the previous books because I liked her humour and I could see her potential. I love it when characters grow and develop; Chloe continues to train, improving her skills and has really grown into a great female lead – a true Viking warrior. I also liked how Trygger and Jack are still both affected by Chloe’s presence; we see more glimmers of humanity throughout this story in both of them, although Trygger stubbornly resists.
I enjoyed that Trygger’s mission wasn’t the only plot line in this book; I felt the Viking Soul’s paranormal world was expanded and built on brilliantly with tenuous alliances of old acquaintances and foes, blatant threats and hidden agendas.
I enjoyed the action in this book; there are a few fight scenes to get your adrenalin pumping, one of which is against a group of Dark Crawlers that is particularly gruesome but it threw a new theory into the mix about these demonic parasites which really got my little grey cells working.
I loved meeting Devon – a powerful witch who uses warlock magic – and hope she continues to feature in future books. (n.b. Ms Medhurst has created a new series around Devon called Hunted Witch Agency.)
Storm Guardian is full of surprises; I was never sure where the story would take me next. There are revelations, new threats, new enemies, new friends and new Fallen Ones to vanquish.
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
Ok, so here’s where I have to be honest; although I did enjoy this book there are few niggles that took the shine off for me.
So my main gripe with Storm Guardian is character based and was significant enough to affect my rating from loved it (5 stars) to really liked (4 stars); once again I found it hard to really like our hero, Trygger. Where do I begin?
I’m not sure why Trygger does the things he does and I don’t understand his thought patterns sometimes; he seems to be going to do one thing then, oh perhaps not. I don’t get his seemly continual “need to work off tension” with sex – he’s still a man-whore. I know he’s indestructible (almost) but his strategic intelligence doesn’t feel as though it’s based on a thousand of years of experience.
On an emotional front, Trygger still has the bad habit of turning off his emotions. Chloe has been in his life for a year, Jack a lot longer; just when I think he’s opening up and regaining his humanity *poof* it’s gone!
In short, during these books he hasn’t exhibited enough of the traits (actions or thoughts) that I like in my broody kickass alpha type heroes and although these books are written from his perspective (in the first person) the inner dialogue that we do get doesn’t always help me to like him better. I am getting very frustrated as he doesn’t seem to be growing as a character although I have seen glimmers of potential again during this book and I am hoping that in the next instalment he will finally become my wet dream alpha hero. Lol!
Finally, I’m very frustrated with the revelation cliffhanger, I know it’s not a life-or-death situation but it still grates on me especially as book 4 isn’t out yet. I was left feeling oh, is that it? It’s what snatched another star taking my rating from really liked (4 star) to good (3 star).
Having said that, I do understand that Storm Guardian is only book three in a potentially five book series and as such I expect to be left with more questions unanswered and mysteries unsolved than you can shake a Viking sword at, I just wish this ending to this book had been different and not so abrupt.
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I enjoyed reading this book; it’s got a good mix of personalities in our main cast of characters and in the villains they fight, the plot is well paced with a good balance of mystery and action that kept me guessing.
Due to the nature of some of the more violent scenes, the sexual “depravity” inferred and language used, I’d recommend this book to adults who are not offended by content of this nature who are fans of urban fantasy, action adventures with story-lines edging towards the darker side.
So, has my review of STORM GUARDIAN (VIKING SOUL #3) encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author. To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See STORM GUARDIAN on Goodreads.com
Buy STORM GUARDIAN in print and eBook formats through the usual sources, including Amazon
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