Published by Firetrail Publishing on 20 May 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Runes is the story of Raine Cooper, a seventeen-year-old girl who thinks her life is normal bordering on boring. When her father is missing after a plane crash and Torin moves in next door, she starts to realize that nothing is the way she thought it was before. She can lean on her best friend and fellow swim-team member Cora, and her childhood friend and maybe boyfriend Eirik.
*I received a free ARC of Runes from Firetail Publishing via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.*
Runes is the story of Raine, and how she deals with her life when everything she thought of as normal ends up not being all that normal after all. Runes is a descriptive title as well, as there is Norse mythology, seemingly young people using a knife-like instrument to make runes with, and Raine trying to figure out what it all means.
The readers are brought directly into the action in Runes, as it starts with Raine hearing that someone has moved into Eirik’s old house next door to hers. When Raine first meets Torin, she is mesmerized by his blue eyes and his good looks, but Eirik is the one she really wants, so she awkwardly talks with Torin and makes her escape as fast as she can. While Raine has to deal with the fact that her father has been missing for months, and a mother who stubbornly thinks he is still somehow alive, she gets ready for her 17th birthday. One day, she finds her mother speaking to a mirror, and feels sorry for her because of course, in Raine’s mind, her mother is talking to her father.
Raine has been in love with Eirik for as long as she can remember, and she wishes he would realize this and be more than just her best friend. At the same time, Torin makes her feel things she’s never felt before, but she fights the attraction with all she’s got. Everybody who knows me will say that I usually loathe love triangles – but in Runes it actually makes a lot of sense. Torin is new in town, good-looking with a little bit of bad-boy attitude going with his Harley. Eirik is the safe, well-known best friend, and it is easy to imagine that Raine would be in love with him.
Soon after Torin’s arrival, there are more new people showing up in town as well, and they all go to Raine’s school, and want to try out for the swim-team. The other newcomers are in two groups of three, and Raine gets to know them all. Andris, a blond guy surrounded by two girls at all times seems to be very interested in Raine, but she gets a weird vibe from him. Also, when Torin shows up, some strange tattoos show up on his face and arms, and Raine is stupefied that noone else seems to see them.
Raine soon realizes that the newcomers aren’t mortal, but as she is trying to figure out what they are, strange things start to happen, and the swim-team seems to be in the center of it all. During Raine’s birthday-party there is a stampede when there is a blackout, and a girl who looks a little bit like Raine is trampled and later dies. Raine knows that Meliina, Andris’ partner, is behind the death, jealousy seems to be even more potent among the immortals than the mortals.
I was so happy to get my hands on a book with Norse mythology, but the mythology aspect really wasn’t explored as much as I would like to. The characters were well done, and I could understand the choices they made – even Meliina made sense – and that’s a big plus for me. However, I would have liked Runes more if there was a little more about the Norse, and also if what was actually there was closer to the actual mythology as it were. Of course it is important for authors to be able to bend things so that it will fit with their world, their plot and their story, and in a way the tweaking made sense, in another though, I thought it was too bad that the mythology didn’t seem to be as important as I thought it would be when I read the blurb.
One thing I really liked was that even with Raine’s father missing, her mother was pretty present. I have read so many YA books were parents are almost non-existent, and it felt good to have a mother who talked to her daughter, understood what it’s like to be a teenager, and who was there for her. The writing is good, the story flows easily across the pages, and there is never a dull moment. There might be more books in the universe of Runes, and I know I’ll want to read them – I want to know what will happen with Raine in the future. Even if the ending felt a little bit rushed, and also changed how things will progress, I think it will be interesting to see if the mythology will be more present, and if Raine will continue her growth.
He was just like Andris, and immortal wizard, witch, or whatever magical term they used.
My heart pounded and i was lightheaded. Then I realized why. I was holding my breath.
He was sweet. Safe. Why then was I drawn to Torin? He wasn’t nice or even remotely safe.
I knew he didn’t leave, knew he felt my pain and confusion on some fundamental level that defied explanation. It was one of those truths I didn’t bother to question anymore.
I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without feeling like a fraud. How could I love Eirik and want Torin?