Ragnarok Unwound

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

Good storyline.
Great, relatable characters.
Interesting plot.
Cannot wait to see more from this author.
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Although a fun and inventive read (I especially enjoy how diverse our usage of mythology is becoming! No more just Greek mythology in YA novels), Kristin Jacques might have done well with a little bit more time spent deciphering her own plot and characters. Ragnarok Unwound is a good read, but forgettable.

The problems are that, although the writing is solid, the plot is unforgivingly boring. Our main character, Ikepela Ives, is thrust into the mess of a millennium when she and her friends (fae folk!) are forced into helping a young Valkyrie stop the impending doom of Ragnarok. After all, Ives is the "Fate Cipher" - although whatever that means is still a mystery to me. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable book. The beginning started off strongly (and comedically) and the ending did its fair share of tying up loose ends and whatnots while still leaving Ives and her merry band of mythological friends free and open for any future end-of-the-world parties to stop in future novels.

(Quite honestly though, the Fate Cipher is oddly reminiscent of the Greek Fates, but who am I to judge?)

2.5 stars.
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Ikepela Ives is a mortal, but her immortal mother had the ability to unbind fate. That ability was passed to Ives when she turned eighteen, and she had done her best to avoid dealing with the power as best as she could out of anger at her mother for disappearing. The problem is, a very determined Valkyrie needs her help to stop Ragnarok.

This is a wonderful premise that involves Norse mythology. Ives (do not use her first name, she really doesn't like it) would rather spend time with her father, who is a mortal descendant of the Goddess Pele's mortal sibling, as well as the lost fae Jules that she had found and is her best friend. She lives in Hawaii and adores her home and the life she has; trying to be a Fate Cipher would rather get in the way of that. The Valkyrie is very determined to get her help, and the other Norse gods are starting to get involved. That means there is an almost constant stream of action, from when the Jotun arrive at Ives' father's home to look for her, to journeying to Hel, to Vegas, to New York and the in between of the Fates themselves. We also see the mystery surrounding Ives' mother and why she had to disappear when Ives was a baby.

The legends here are not what people might think of thanks to the Marvel comics and the Cinematic Universe. This follows the traditional Norse legends more closely, with Loki being called the Father of Lies, having red hair, and a series of monstrous children that are also caught up in the prophecy of Ragnarok. He's a mostly absent kind of figure in the beginning of the novel, as he is trying to escape his fate as best as he can while it winds even tighter around him, but the flashes of personality we see of him as the novel progresses are definitely fun and interesting. I adored the idea of Hel being a geeky gamer, and was just as sad about Ives being the first one to truly hug her since Loki's imprisonment.

All in all, this is a wonderful start to a new series of novels exploring Ives' abilities and mythology, which are some of my favorite things in magical realism books.
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Loved reading this! I wasn't sure what to expect, but this book is so much more than I first thought! So good!
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The idea of this novel is really cool, the cover is nice too and I always love a mix of mythology and modernity in books, so I was very excited for the book.
The book is mostly focused on the adventure and the 'quest' or 'hero journey' with some modern bits, some magic, some strange creatures, gods, giants, family issues, intrigue and mischief and Las Vegas.

I love the concept and I liked some of the characters, like the Valkyrie and Loki's children, especially Hel. 

But still it took me ages to read it. At first it bothered me that the point of views changed without warning. I feel like it could have been resolved with just stating the perspective in the beginning of a chapter and such a small detail can change the reading experience drastically. For me personally it would have been better if I didn't have to question whose perspective I was witnessing from chapter to chapter when the story was new to me anyways.
Then the descriptions also didn't draw me in and the plot didn't keep me focused as much as I thought it would. There is a lot going on and partly I felt like it was too much to keep straight what exactly was happening and what it meant.
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I personally really enjoyed this book and expect it is the first of a series. Her take on Asatru and the Gods of such is both fanciful and has an element of truth to those of us that have read translations and attempted original of various texts where many things didn't quite add up. The flowing boisterous poetic form of the Nords of old was intentionally told in ways of things having double meanings as well as hidden ones so always there is speculation. There are some very serious and definite elements to Ragnarok [the apocalypse, end of times] which has always chilled me to the bones as they describe roughly  the types of weapons now at the disposal of idiots but this delves into what causes it and how to try and stop or lessen it and the reluctant adventures  of a girl that is a bit more than the average girl whether she likes it or not!
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Ragnarok is not an unfamiliar event. In Norse mythology, it signals the end of the world as the gods would fight each other, thus having an effect towards the other realms. As an avid reader of Rick Riordan's mythology books, those had helped me understand where the gods and goddesses of this book came from. What I love most about this book is that it does have Norse myth but Hawaiian/Oceania mythology was also added to the plot. The overall story was interesting enough. The characters have distinct strengths and personalities that are of advantage to the main character. There were a lot of emotions discussed, grudges and spontaneous reactions that were a bit much. Although I had high hopes for the book, I was underwhelmed by it. To be honest, I got bored in the middle and I thought that the story was trying too hard to have a happy ending and that there were many bends that were distasteful for me. In the end, everything just seemed too good to be true, it was way too happy for me. 
I gave this book a 3-star rating because I love the concept of the role of the Fate Cipher, but I do think the author should work on more details. Whenever Ikepela would work on someone's fate, I didn't feel the intensity of the moment. I wanted to read something like in the lines of she was sweating and confused and how the threads looked all tangled up. I suppose the narration lacked those small details that make me imagine and immerse myself in the scene. The book was not bad, but needed improvement. I hope the next book would be better!
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A fascinating story with a lovely look at the gods that doesn't immediately make the mind wander off to comic books. I really enjoyed Loki. :) A good read!
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This was a really fun read! A fun cast, a likable main character, action adventure- there wasn't a dull moment. The beginning was a bit confusing to read, it gives no run down on things and jumps straight into it, but after a while it was fine and it found it's flow.
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Written by Kristin Jacques, this novel follows Ives, the Fate Cipher who, since she turned 18, has been avoiding her duties. Now she has to try and stop Ragnarok.

I really enjoyed this novel! Well  written and fast paced, this story reminded me of the Dresden Files in its pacing and style. Which is to say very urban fantasy and very quick witted with a lot of mystery. 

The other great thing that Jacques did with this novel is how she handled the myths. I adore what little we know of the Norse Gods, and I really like that she didn't go with the Marvel version but the traditional. We get to see Loki! (And I want to see him in future novels.) But, the Fate Cipher doesn't only work in one mythology, but in all of them. King Arthur mythology is mentioned right at the beginning of the book and is hinted that the next could deal with that.

This author has created an excellent book that can stand on its own, but is also a wonderful start to a (hopefully) wonderful series. Highly recommend to any fan of action, adventure, or urban fantasy.
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I've been having trouble understanding some of the book, so it's been a slow read for me. I have been enjoying it, even if it's not exactly what I had been expecting.
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Ragnarok Unwound by Kristin Jacques
Rating: 5

Main protagonist: Ikepela Ives A.k.a the Fate Cipher.
Mission (seems impossible but it’s not): stop Ragnarok unwound
Other characters: Jules (fae), Hildr (valkyrie), Hel (goddess of death) and the boys (considering the title is Ragnarok Unwound I’m not gonna spoil it for you if I say that Loki is one of them) but the others should be a surprise.

Fate Ciphers should be immortal but Ives is a mortal girl so she has to handle this mess with that disadvantage. She doesn’t want anything to do with this whole business but she doesn’t have a choice when Hildr finds her and asks her to stop Ragnarok. But since Ives is not a conventional Fate Cipher, her solutions aren’t either. But you have to love her because she is your ordinary girl who is willing to go through hell (literary) to save her friends from their fates. She goes through some serious changes in her character.

Hel is one hell of a goddess of death. She is everything I didn’t expect her to be: funny, witty, strong, loyal. Oh I adore her horse.

Loki...hmm...what should I say about him without spoilers...he is my favourite God ever. If he is in a book I read it. It’s a rule I don’t break.. Ever.

So all in all this is the best book I’ve read so far in 2019. Can’t wait for the sequel.

I received a copy of this book from Broad Universe and Kristin Jacques through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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3.5 ☆
ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for a review. All of my opinions are my own, and are in no way affected by the exchange. 

This had a decent premise but ultimately I did not find it particularly engaging. I enjoyed the characters but it just felt like a bunch of other books I have read before. I had trouble getting into the book for the first 120ish pages which really left me Meh about the entire thing. I really enjoyed the melding of Hawaiian and Norse mythology however. I dont know much about Hawaiian culture and seeing some of its mythos portrayed was very interesting.
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Firstly, a huge thank you to Netgalley, Kristin Jacques, and the publishers, Broad Universe, for an advance copy of Ragnarok Unwound.

Ragnarok Unwound is a compelling clash between mythology and urban fantasy. 

Ikepela Ives, known simply as Ives, is drinking away her sorrows in a bar one evening when a Valkyrie straight out of legend approaches her and asks for her help in stopping Ragnarok - the twilight of the gods, the apocalypse, whatever you want to call it. As the Fate Cipher, a role passed down from her mother, Ives is the only one with the power to stop it, but it's a power she doesn't - and doesn't want to - understand.

Ragnarok Unwound is honestly just tremendous fun, from the characters, such as Jules, a brownie who is also Ives' best friend, to Hel, the Norse goddess of death who loves video games and was such a badass, to the mythology itself - it seems that in this world, all mythologies are real, though this novel focuses on Norse and Hawaiian mythology. I found that Jacques' version of Norse mythology, while simplified and updated, was actually more accurate than most (eg Marvel) and it was awesome to learn about Hawaiian mythology.

The characters and their relationships with one another, as well as Ives' eventual acceptance of her powers, were strong points for me. We had strong female friendships aplenty, which is something I always like to see, and I loved how close Ives and her father were. The third-person POV dotted from character to character, but rather than being a hindrance or annoyance, it actually helped to see how Ragnarok was progressing (or otherwise!) from different perspectives.

I would definitely recommend Ragnarok Unwound to any fans of mythology and/or urban fantasy, as there is much to love in both genres. 

In the end I gave Ragnarok Unwound 3.5 stars, because to me the pacing was a little off, but overall I really did enjoy it!
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I'm not much into Norse mythology, so I didn't enjoy Ragnarok Unwound. I tried but the story didn't intrest me enough to keep reading. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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I  started reading the book but personally was not hooked into the plot.  I did not finish reading the book itself. Thank you for providing the eArc copy!
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Ragnarok Unwound (Ikepela Ives Book 1) Kindle Edition
by Kristin Jacques
I received a review copy from NetGalley and am choosing to leave a fair and honest review.

A book for fans of Neill Gaiman's American Gods and Norse Mythology, RU drags you into a sassy, funny world of Gods and Immortals.

Ives, as Ikepela Ives prefers to be called, has a secret fated role in the Ragnarok!  It is a role passed down from her Goddess mother.  Ives can stop the Norse version of the Apocalypse, Ragnarok, if only she can get control of her power before the world falls out.

With an amazingly well-researched book, Ms Jacques leads us into a world were Hel speaks like a Millennial and Loki gambles in Las Vegas.  Her characters are both funny and compelling.  The bad guy?  Well, thank goodness for Wiki!  I used it to guess the bad guy and why!

This book is filled with word-games.  Tons of some of the best metaphors and similes I've ever encountered!  Plus glorious lines like “Apparently, fae chicks dug scars” and chapter titles like “Lady Death is a Level-60 Mage.

It is nice to read Norse mythology after years of Celt-influenced stories... And the author reaches past the Marvel Cinematic Universe!  Her use of real mythology reminds me of Amy Sumida's amazing Godhunter series (my own personal literary crack)!

All in all, a fun read, if you are a fan of Gaiman.  Even Terry Pratchett fans might find something to love!

This looks like the birth of a fun series.

4 out of 5 stars

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This book starts with exactly the right balance between giving information and leaving you in the dark to guess what is happening. And when the information is given it is done in a really good way, no info dump, but just exactly the right amount of information to understand what is going on, but not enough to be able to guess what is going to happen. 

After all the needed information was given it went a bit downward in my opinion.. There were a lot of characters introduced, of which many were not that important to the story. 

Either the book should have longer, or things should have been left out. There was so much happening, all after each other, and sometimes even at the same time. This made the story really hard to read. I kept having to go back, because something happened that I missed.

I did really like the ending of this book, and I’m definitely interested in a sequel to see if the writing improves (not saying this one is bad!).

I loved the Norse mythology, I need more books with Norse mythology! I liked the main character, she was interesting and trying to figure out life. 

Final judgement: This is an okay book, I think it could have been improved if the book would have been a bit longer so that all the action could have been explained better.
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Ikepela Ives is the first mortal Fate Cipher—an individual with the power not only to see a person’s fate, but to manipulate the threads and change their destiny. Ives never wanted the power and hasn’t learned to use it. Plus, every time she uses her power, she risks death. When a Valkyrie begs her to help stop Ragnorak, the end of everything, she’s sure she will fail, but she has to try. Her journey to save the world and all the gods takes the reader on a roller coaster ride. 

I enjoyed reading Jaques’ novel. The story hooks you and draws you in. Anyone who enjoys myths and legends will love it. The characters are three dimensional and relatable and the plot has a maze of twists and turns that leave the reader guessing until the end. Although this is the first in a series, it has a satisfying ending that answers the important story questions while also leaving room for the next book. 

My only criticism is that this book has too many typos, missing words and other small errors that a good line edit would have eliminated. I don’t expect perfection, but this could have been improved.

I’m looking forward to Ikepela Ives’ next adventure and you will too after you read Ragnorak Unwound.
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Thank you NetGalley for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

While I’m not well versed in Norse mythology, this story follows the journey of Ikepela Ives, who is mortal but possesses the supernatural ability of seeing and changing fates. She is approached by a Valkyrie in a bar who needs Ives’ powers in order to ward off Ragnarok, which is the Norse apocalypse. 

Overall, the story was a good read. It was fun to watch Ives’ and the other characters go through this fantasy world of gods and goddesses from both Norse and Hawaiian mythology. I think this story is a fresh take on mythology. 

My recommendation: 3.5/5 stars.
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