Nicola, Pagan and herbalist, is living an almost normal life with her young daughter, Ella, when best friend Joseph arrives at her door with the disturbing news that Nicola’s half-sister, Muriel, is missing. Leaving Ella with her grandparents, Nicola and Joseph set off to rescue Muriel, only to find themselves caught up in a plan to start the war to end the world.
Running from both detectives and demons and aided by Valkyrie Mercy, Nicola must find the essential Runespells in order to save the world from destruction. A reluctant hero, Nicola is torn between her desire for a calm and quiet life and the needs of others.
Theme of the Book
While the use of magic is important in the story, what is more important in Too Wyrd is the loyalty and love friends show one another. From the rescue of Muriel to the demands of an apocalyptic battle, it is loyalty and friendship that prove the strongest elements.
What I Liked About the Story
Too Wyrd is told in the first person, narrated by Nicola. This has its advantages and disadvantages. One strong point about first person narration is that the action, decisions, threats, and dangers are immediate. The reader, like Nicola, has no idea what is coming next or what is hiding around the next corner. There is not much of a break from the tension in the story except for the few times the characters discuss the theory of magic or the Norse myths.
The author’s treatment of magic is unique. Instead of wands, potions, and wizardry, the magic in this book is based on emotions, experience and energy. It is almost as if the author is telling readers that anyone can practice magic. It takes only experience with the ups and downs of life and an ability to tap into emotional energy. Blending the characters’ magical abilities with Norse mythology is a refreshing change of viewpoint. Readers unfamiliar with the details of Norse gods and goddesses will, as I did, have to resort to Google at times, but the searches will be worth the effort.
Despite being a book that is mainly concerned with magic and the supernatural, Too Wyrd also touches on more difficult topics. Muriel’s near conversion to Keith’s cult is a clear description of the way many lost young people find themselves in cult-like organizations. The author’s treatment of the homeless, especially of the young homeless, is sensitive and caring. These were two unexpected but appreciated elements of the plot.
What I Didn’t Like About the Story
The first person narration can be a bit of a problem when a story is so full of action. In the case of Too Wyrd, the reader knows what Nicola knows about the current situation but can get completely lost in the mythology and the secondary characters. Readers learn very little about Nicola herself, about why she left Keith, why she moved from Indianapolis, how she learned of her powers. Essentially, the reader only knows what Nicola herself wants to tell us. It is hard to identify or sympathize with Nicola as a character.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the story itself is that it feels uneven. Nicola solves the problem of Muriel with little difficulty but then finds herself in life-or-death situations. She is followed and questioned by the police for a reason that is never made clear. The roles of Theo and Rowan are also unclear – unless the author is setting the stage for a second book.
To be honest, I had to read this novel twice. I got lost in the middle when the focus shifted from Muriel to the Runespells. I wish the author had made the transition a bit clearer.
For an unusual blend of urban adventure, magic and mythology, Too Wyrd stands out as a prime example. Fans of the supernatural will enjoy this novel very much.