Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Loki: Where Mischief Lies

Loki: Where Mischief Lies. Mackenzi Lee. 2019. 408 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: The Royal Feast of Gullveig, like all Asgardian feast days, was enjoyable for those who were fond of listening to overly long speeches......

Premise/plot: Loki stars in this YA prequel. Loki and Thor are still vying for position of heir to the throne. Still competing for Odin’s attention, approval, love. Loki can’t help but feel it’s a losing battle. Thor is a warrior. Loki is a magician. Warriors are valuable and trusted. Magicians are dangerous, potentially untrustworthy. The kingdom expects the ruler to be a warrior. Loki can’t beat Thor so long as he plays by the rules. Is it Loki’s destiny to betray Asgard, to betray his family? Perhaps. Odin receives a vision showing just that...but can Loki change his destiny?

Much of this one is set on earth and not Asgard. Loki is sent to investigate a series of murders. Loki knows his father is punishing him. Odin doesn’t actually care about a handful of human victims. What will Loki learn about himself and his destiny as he explores Victorian London under the watchful eye of SHARP?!

My thoughts: I don’t know why I had high hopes for this one. Perhaps because I love Loki and find his banter particularly delightful and enjoyable. He also reminds me a bit of Jack Sparrow. “I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly … stupid.”

Anyway. I was super disappointed with this one. I disliked that the mystery that takes him to Earth in the first place is inconsequential to the plot. I disliked that the whole point of the book seems to be this “relationship” with Theo. How Theo’s unhappiness mirrors his own. Loki is unwelcome on his world because he’s potentially super evil or destined to be so. Theo is “unwelcome” because he’s gay. He can’t be truly himself—must hide his preference from all but the most trusted friends. Loki must hide his magic. Warriors are what is “needed” not enchanters, sorcerers, witches. Theo wants Loki to take him back to Asgard a world so advanced and enlightened that no one cares about sexuality and love is love is love.

I liked their friendship. I did. But Loki is Loki is Loki. He’s never going to give up his dreams—ruling/conquering a kingdom, proving himself. Letting anyone or anything be a distraction...not going to happen.

I said that this almost almost experience with Theo was the point of the book. But I might have stretched the truth a bit. Destiny. Does Loki have one set destiny locked into place? Can he rewrite his destiny? Can he actually choose who he wants to be? The book “struggles” to answer this question. But really there is no tension because there is really only one answer. The ending is—dare I say it?—inevitable.

A prequel that showed the ups and downs, the mischievous moments between Thor and Loki...the tension, the love/hate relationship. I would have embraced that prequel. I wouldn’t have minded a prequel that was actually an action-packed mystery with suspense and tension. Or if instead of being sent to earth as punishment, Loki was sneaking off and being mischievous on earth. Loki in disguise as a Victorian criminal mastermind...I could have gone there.

I also thought the writing was confusing/clumsy. Mainly about the timeline. Amora is banished to earth...one chapter later...perhaps two...without any textual or visual clues...years have passed. If you’re going to jump ahead that much....it’s good to take your readers with you.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Lark said...

Sorry this one was so disappointing!