The Road to Hel by Eric Tanafon

2016-standout-award-badge-smallIn this action-packed MG book, Sean discovers he and his twin sister are actually chosen by the Norse gods to help fulfill a prophecy – right as Ragnarok begins to lurk around every corner.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Road to HelTitleThe Road to Hel
Author:  Eric Tanafon
Series: Sean’s Saga Book 01
Publish Date:  February 24, 2016
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: From where you got the book

Publisher’s Description: Sean here. When wolf-riding trolls attack our house, my sister Fiona and I find out the hard way that we’re destined to be heroes. That goes for our friends Arturo and Parvati, too. Next thing we know, we’re all enrolled in the last hero school on Midgard (that’s hero speak for ‘Earth’). In fact, we’re the entire final freshman class.

It’s not all bad. We get to go to school on an enchanted island. The girls get to ride flying horses, Arturo gets to go berserk, and I get to learn more about sword fighting than I ever wanted to know. We also get our own personal bard who sings our praises in deathless…well, verse that you wish would die, but it won’t.

You’d think we’d also get to save the world. But as it turns out, there are about a million prophecies guaranteeing that Ragnarok is right around the corner and the world is literally toast, so all we get to do is die (heroically, of course).

In the meantime, our mom winds up in Hel while trying to rescue our dad from, believe it or not, an even worse place. And for some reason even Odin won’t explain, we’re the only ones who can bring them back.

Well, that takes care of summer vacation. I can’t wait for the school year to start.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

At fourteen, Sean is a video game master with a wicked sense of humor. Though his comical voice doesn’t disappear, his version of real life does. After a pack of monsters attack him and his sister at home, he’s whisked away by Norse warriors and teachers who reveal he’s got a Norse patron and a very shiny destiny – that is if he manages to survive the quest.

Now he’s gotta rescue his mom from Hel and his father from the frost giants. He’s not alone – his sister is a Valkyrie, his best friend is a berserker, and his other friend Parvati is also a Valkyrie. Together, they’re trained to sword fight and use magic. They’ve got to go up against frost giants, wargs, and a traitor in their midst in the process, not to mention be the first ones to escape from Hel and all her minions.

Along the way, Sean discovers he’s got more up his sleeve than just badly timed jokes. His inner dialogue often has him being a little afraid, even when he’s needed to step up – which he does, but not without some fear. For me, that was very real. You can’t always be brave after all, especially when you’re facing a destiny in which no one ever thinks you’ll make it out alive.

This is a cute middle-grade story I really enjoyed. The flow was nice, the writing was excellent, and the plot just hit the spot for me. I loved the jokes and the interaction between the families and friends. The bad guys aren’t always bad and the good guys aren’t always good. The history was well researched, too, giving a nice twist while maintaining the Norse lore.

The only thing I really had an issue with was the lack of real surprise Sean and the others had when they found out they were backed by Norse gods and had real prophecies written about them and their lives were basically about to change forever. There wasn’t much of a freak out – in fact, Sean was just like “Oh, I got this because I’ve read Percy Jackson and I play a video game based on Norse mythology” – which was cool and all, but this is kind of a monumental point in his life and yeah, even though he was surprised and shocked for two minutes before training started, I still kind of figured there would be some personal debate about his destiny later. All the characters took it in stride. That was the only thing that really struck me as odd.

badge5v4But either way, I loved it. Five shiny stars.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

If you like MG heroes with destinies and awesome fight scenes, check out Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase & The Gods of Asgard, not to mention The Blackwell Pages by K.L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Kat Mandu

I'm an urban fantasy and young-adult paranormal writer. I love to cook, rock out to music, and read as much as I can get my hands on. Always believe in your dreams and pursue them no matter what the cost. If you believe in it, it's worth every chance you take.

Posted on January 1, 2017, in All Reviews, Standout Award and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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