ARC Review: Thunderstruck by Brenda Drake

ThunderstruckThunderstruck by Brenda Drake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Stevie Moon is famous…at least to the subscribers on her comic review vlog. At school, she’s as plain as the gray painted walls in the cafeteria. So when Blake, the hot new guy at school, shows an interest in her, she knows trouble when she sees it. Been there. And never doing it again.

As the son of the god Thor, Blake Foster’s been given an important mission—to recover the Norse god Heimdall’s sacred and powerful horn before someone uses it to herald in the destruction of the entire universe. But while Blake is great in a fight, the battlefield that is a high school’s social scene is another matter.

Blake knows his only choice is to team up with the adorable Stevie, but she’s not willing to give him even the time of day. He’ll need to woo the girl and find the horn if he hopes to win this war. Who better to tackle Stevie’s defenses than the demi-god of thunder?

I don’t really know what else I expected with a book blurb that sounded it would be focused on romance, but I imagined the mythology plot would also have a good part in the plot. On that front, I was a bit disappointed with the book – there was so much potential in a story about two of Thor’s sons coming to Midgard, seeing what Thor comics is here versus their own life, and the threat of Ragnarok, but half of this book is taken up by a weird love quadrangle plot, with a lot of high school drama (the latter I get, because this IS set in high school, but in a cage match between high school drama and the fate of the nine worlds, I think Ragnarok wins).

Parts of the novel were interesting, like Blake and Kyle having to fend off creatures to protect the carrier of the horn, Stevie being a vlogger who does it for charitable purposes, the subversion of the expected sibling rivalry to fall into the pattern of Thor-Loki dynamic, but a lot of it was overshadowed by the will-they-won’t-they plot of romance going on. Blake trying to navigate a mortal high school would have been interesting if his only interaction wasn’t just with the other main characters, and Stevie’s almost-psychic doubts about him were unreal. Character motivations and relationship developments were also all over the place, not giving them much depth. There is also a weird timeline where things skip days in the next chapter, but they don’t connect well to the previous and it all feels very disjointed.

Shortly, great concept but messy execution.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Entangled: Crave , via Netgalley.

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