Title: Echoes of the Gods
Author: Gaia Sol
Release Date: October 25, 2017
Genre(s): Fantasy Romance, Mythology
Page Count: 316 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Peace reigns in Midgard and with no wars to fight, Yngvi, soldier and fancy-free charmer, craves danger, excitement and adventure. He finds all that and more in a mysterious stranger whose arrival in Midgard coincides with an unexpected attack on Asgard’s pantheon by the fiendish armies of Loki, renegade god of the Underworld.
Shara has pursued a killer to Midgard and can’t afford to be distracted by the charismatic Yngvi, not when the fugitive has eluded him twice already. But Yngvi is like no one Shara’s ever met—annoyingly tenacious, but also brave, loyal and inconveniently attractive. A single night together shouldn’t change anything. But it changes everything, and Shara finds himself giving Yngvi his body, his trust and much more.
Caught in the riptide of Shara’s shocking secrets, Yngvi joins him on a quest for vengeance that takes them across the stars, onto new worlds and into battles with gods, monsters and their own unfamiliar, conflicting feelings. Disloyalty breeds distrust, threatening to destroy their new, fragile bond, but they must each choose between heart and life when they finally uncover the startling past that will change the future.
This title leaned heavily on Babylonian, Greek, and Norse mythology although the rest of the well-known pantheons are acknowledged if not explored. I enjoy mythology and especially enjoy it when it sneaks into a storyline like with Mia West’s serial saga Storm’s Edge (beginning with Thrust) and her related serial series Sons of Britain (beginning with Marked by Fire), which initially appear to be Roman-era historicals but ultimately and craftily begin to entwine with Arthurian legend. This one was a little more blatantly in-your-face with the mythological aspects, but I still enjoyed it.
I loved the cover, too. It tickled some sci-fi-ish art bone and reminds me, loosely, of the ‘aliens’ in the movie The Abyss in shape if not in color. Maybe that’s why it appealed to me. That was a fantastic movie wink. I just dated myself. Ha! That said, the MCs in this one were great, too. They were a little too physically perfect to be believed, but given what I know of mythology and who the gods generally selected to be their closest mortal companions, it was at least an accurate approach even though inhuman perfection in humans generally isn’t my thing. Real life is a lot more messy. Then again, this wasn’t really representative of real life, so …
The typical miscommunication or lack of communication theme is present here, definitely not my favorite, but the innocence of one of the MCs kept it from going over the line to infuriating. In a way, some of the relationship misadventures just served to reinforce and validate the true connection between the two, so while I spent a little time pissed off at the MCs, I got it.
The worlds-hopping adventure was fun. The plot was fun. I adored Shara and liked cluelessly earthbound Yngvi a great deal despite the idiocy he brought to the table sometimes. His character reminded me a little bit of TJ Klune’s knight character, Ryan Foxheart, from his Tales from Verania series (beginning with The Lighntning-Struck Heart), just without the buffoonery. I found Yngvi endearing, if infuriating at times.
The relationship development was believable given the mythological framework; things were theoretically different in that world when it came to love and relationships so I didn’t find it hard to scrap modern conventions on those aspects in this title. I notice a lot of reviewers sometimes have a hard time ditching modern ideas of love and relationships when reading titles that don’t fit a contemporary mold and it tends to color their opinions. I tried not to do that here. For example, insta-love/lust tends to grate on my nerves unless we’re talking about shifters, but in this title, in this world, it was forgivable.
Despite Yngvi’s constant state of denial and one MF scene—yuck—I thought the book was pretty damn hot when taken in sum total, regardless of the fact that not all the sex involved was between the MCs. I think the author did a good job of conveying the intimacy of their relationship which, quite frankly, saved this title from DNF after certain events I won’t spoil any further here.
The pacing was great even though I would have liked to spend a little more time delving into the different worlds, the taste we got of the ones represented seemed authentic enough. I would have liked a better idea of what Yngvi and Shara will do going forward or if there are any more adventures in their future, but we didn’t get that. I also would have liked to see what happened with Yngvi’s particular pantheon when he returned home as in, if there was any reaction at all, if he was missed by his patron Thor, if there was any repercussions to Asgard from events that occurred in the beginning of the story or to the quest he and Shara completed, but we didn’t get any of that either.
Maybe more is forthcoming, maybe not, but even as a standalone this title was entertaining, fascinating, and heartwarming in many ways. I enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what the author comes up with next.
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