A good and solid start to Livingston's new mythology-based trilogy, which intertwines Nordic, Greek and Egyptian mythology with fey folklore and legends, all staged in present-day New York City.
Mason Starling is a young woman born to privilege and tragedy. Her mother dies giving birth to her. Her father is a shipping magnate and a very successful businessman from a long and proud line of shipping tycoons. Gunnar Starling has high expectations of his children and is a distant, authoritative figure in Mason's life. As a child, six-year old Mason was locked in an abandoned garden-shed during a game of hide and seek with her brother Rory. She was in that shed for over two-days. Eventually her other brother Rothgar found her, by which time she was unconscious and near death after two days in the summer heat without food or water. Consequently, she developed severe claustrophobia as a result of the harrowing experience. Rory, in turn, out of guilt or anger, grows to hate Mason. He ignores her, taunts her and makes it very clear he wants nothing to do with her.
So, Mason is a bit of a loner, attending the prestigious Gosforth Academy, as all her family have for generations, where she excels at fencing and has high hopes of making the national team. Then one evening during practice, danger comes literally crashing into her safe, stolid little world and with it comes the mysterious and intriguing Fennrys Wolf. He saves her and her classmates from death, and then leaves them to pick up the pieces of a life that suddenly did not make sense. The world is all at once bigger and more frightening, filled with nightmare creatures and powers beyond reckoning and yet they have all agreed to say nothing lest they be thought mad.
Fennrys, meanwhile, though familiar to readers of Livinston's WONDROUS STRANGE trilogy, is a complete stranger to himself. He has no memory of who he was or how he has ended up in this city. He cannot remember what happened to him 24 hours ago.
Of course, Fennrys and Mason find their way back into each other lives and begin to fall in love. The romance happened a bit quick for my taste, as it so frequently does, but I liked Mason and Fenn enough to go along with it.
The blending of faery and mythology worked very well and i am eager to see where the story leads. I have high hopes that we will get more development for Rothgar and Rory as characters in their own right (since we got snippet of POV) and especially in relation to their sister, Mason. I love sibling stories and I would love to see these three really get a good one! A bit more on Gunnar, Rafe. Any cameos from Fenn's friends would be fantastic. More Heather (which family is she from?) and Gwen Littlefield has a much larger role to play I would guess. I could do without Cal - he annoyed me and seemed very spoilt.
And that ending? Is her mom actually Hel (which is what my first thought was) or simply down there? Severely confused. Where is book two?