Don’t you hate when you sit down for a drink at a bar and a Valkyrie approaches you to ask a favor? Ikepela Ives can relate. Ever since her parents dropped the bombshell that Ives is the world’s designated Fate Cipher–whatever that means–Ives has been trying to keep off the radar of everything supernatural. Unfortunately, Ragnarok is about to kick off and Ives might be the only one who can stop it.
Ives starts to track down Loki and his children (the central characters in getting Ragna-rocking and rolling), but the deeper she digs, the more something just doesn’t seem right. Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungandr don’t seem out for revenge. And Loki appears to be fighting it altogether. So who exactly wants this?
Ragnarok Unwound is a first entry in a fantasy series centered around a young woman of color. The writing and flow are a little rough around the edges, but it reminds me a lot of The Iron Druid Chronicles in that it’s a fun take on mythology-heavy fantasy. It’s less polished, though.
I struggled with some of the elements of the book. The author doesn’t spend a lot of time in exposition, which means that I am unsure if I completely grasp what, exactly, a “fate cipher” is supposed to be in the context of the story. Ives (never Ikepela!) seems to be able to undo the threads of Fate? She’s supposed to be a balancing force in opposition to the Fates, though it’s not clear if she’s attached to a particular belief system in this role–she seems like a free agent?
The pacing doesn’t quite work. The scenes often change to other characters just after I’d forgotten that there was other action. Terribly jarring. And I think I was supposed to care more about the mystery of the best friend character, but I wasn’t interested in her at all.
So, three thumbs up. The things that I didn’t care for aren’t insurmountable. I look forward to seeing where it goes.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley to facilitate this review.