June 6, 2013

Runes - Ednah Walters

Runes - Ednah Walters
Runes by Ednah Walters
Publisher: Firetrail Publishing
Publication Date: May 20, 2013
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thanks!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.

Let me start this review by honestly saying that I normally skip paranormal books. There was something about Runes that really drew me in though, a combination of the title and the (minor) mention of mythology. The book wasn’t a hit with me, nor was it especially memorable. But there is something special in Runes and the potential it has as a YA series. It was a lukewarm novel, at least up until it reached the last third where it became slightly more interesting to me. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to leave me feeling strongly invested in this series.

Raine Cooper felt like a typical heroine. She’s independent, a homebody and graced with the gift of athleticism that she uses as a member of the swim team at her school. She was intelligent, but she often did reckless, impulsive things. I do understand that her reactions are all predicated on the fact that she’s dealing with the disappearance of her father, as well as the mystery of her new next door neighbor and her attraction to him, and the regular teenager stuff (like love, friendship and academics). But she was forgettable, blending into the crowd of other YA heroines that I’ve encountered.

Torin St. James, Raine’s mysterious new neighbor, falls into the stereotypical love interest mold. He’s good-looking and dangerous, extra strong and mysterious, which is your basic formula for the bad boy alpha male. He is constantly near Raine in order to protect her, and despite the odds, he is, at his core, a good guy. While I questioned the believability of their relationship, I didn’t question the fact that Raine would be attracted to him – I know I was!

While I was reading Runes, it kind of felt like nothing was happening and so much was happening all at once. The story was told in fits and starts, which just didn’t work for me. There were times when I felt like nothing significant was going on, and ended up skimming the page. And then there were times when Raine (and the reader) are practically tossed into the action-packed scenes (which were intense and fantastical and pretty entertaining to read), which I actually liked best. My reading experience was fitful, and definitely influenced my overall enjoyment of the novel.

One thing I did appreciate, however, was the fact that Walters chose to integrate Norse mythology into the story. This mythology seems to be a rarity in YA fiction (in my experience, anyway), so it was refreshing to encounter something a bit different from the typical, beloved Greek or Roman mythology.

Runes is a book that just didn’t live up to the potential I saw in it. The author’s strengths lay in the type of mythology she used, and in writing action scenes that really stood out. But the story and characters pretty much fell flat otherwise, and left me feeling let down.


  1. This sounds quite mediocre overall. I have seen it around before, but it hasn't ever really caught my attention. I'm pretty certain now that it'll be better for me to skip it. Thanks for the helpful review, Alexa!

  2. I haven't seen too many positive reviews of this one sadly. Which stinks because there really aren't a lot of Norse mythology books out there. Oh well...

  3. That's too bad this one was just so-so for you. The characters do sound a little too cookie-cutter molded.

  4. Oh, dear. I saw this on NetGalley, I think, and passed on it. Sorry it didn't turn out the way you hoped....

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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