For the sixty-sixth book in the challenge, I read Dark Currents, the first book in the Agents of Hel series by Jacqueline Carey.
I immediately liked this book. I liked the characters. I liked the world-building. I liked the tone and the sassy dialogue. I liked the entire premise, although the half-demon thing gave me pause. I kept waiting for the other shoes of stereotype and cliché to drop…but they didn’t. I liked the main character, Daisy Johanssen, and her singular ability to be a voice of reason in terrible situations (unlike so, so many other main characters in this genre), and to also be a rounded person with flaws and baggage and needs. At the same time! Together and simultaneously!
You know what else happens? There are other women.
Other women WHO ARE NOT CARDBOARD CUT-OUTS WITH NO OTHER PURPOSE THAN ARTIFICIAL AND INEXPLICABLE COMPETITION!
I know! I know. A supportive parent! Another helpful and supportive older woman! A best friend who isn’t just there to illustrate how awkward/unattractive/unsuccessful/inferior the heroine is by comparison, but is an actual character in her own right, with her own issues and stuff going on.
It’s heavy with Norse mythology, but I don’t think that’s the only mythology going on. I think there are other mythologies hanging about in the world, but we just haven’t really seen them yet because this is Hel’s territory. I love a good mythos-mixup in a world. It makes everything so much more complex and textured.
I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars.