Young Adult author Brenda Drake is back on the Chronicles today with a brand new book from Entangled Crave: Thunderstruck. At the end of this post, look for information on a special giveaway to celebrate Thunderstruck’s birthday week. Please let us know if anyone wins!
We were provided with an advanced copy of this YA fantasy novel, steeped in myth and lore, and can’t wait for you to read it too.
All about Thunderstruck:
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?
Thunderstruck is a fun, fast ride with twists and turns and plenty for teens to love. Young readers will enjoy the plot, quest, and mythical beings. I craved even more information about the physical link between the mythical/fictional Norse god-ruled Asgard and Milgard (earth.)
The half-brotherly relationship between Blake and Kyle is banter-filled and just prickly enough to be quite interesting. I enjoyed the way they play off one another and work together. Blake trying to navigate high school lingo and ways is funny and charming. Kyle dons the role of stereotypical “player” and “jock” and does it well! Many cute moments and laughs here.
Protagonist Stevie is a lovely, endearing character. I wish we’d gotten an even deeper glimpse into her motivations and how she became Comic Cam. What we do get of Stevie shows a girl who is authentic and selfless. This really comes out toward the midpoint of the novel. Her friendship with Amira is positive and supportive––a great look for teen friendships. Stevie’s character blossoms at the book’s climax and she finds courage and strength of “heart” despite her physical heart weakening.
This book hits its stride in the final third of the story. I found myself turning pages to see what was going to happen next.
Although Thunderstruck will appeal to many teens, there is a clear sweet-spot readership for this novel: readers who are just beginning to move from middle-grade books into young adult. Drake does a fantastic job setting up and describing battle scenes and interludes with mythical creatures. The level of peril and tension is exciting, but it’s not as intense as we see in many YA fantasy or science fiction offerings. If your teen reader isn’t ready for more emotionally intense portrayals, Thunderstruck is a perfect choice.
This is also true of the narrative. The author keeps the pace quick, the interactions light, and the emotions real and sweet, but not too heavy or tension-filled. Descriptions are simple, clean, and easy to digest––again, perfect for the reader new to young adult.