Review: Liesmith by Alis Franklin


Book 1 of The Wyrd

Alis Franklin


Random House Publishing Group – Hydra
7th October2014

Price: 2.99USD
Edition: Other Format


At the intersection of the magical and the mundane, Alis Franklin’s thrilling debut novel reimagines mythology for a modern world—where gods and mortals walk side by side.
Working in low-level IT support for a company that’s the toast of the tech world, Sigmund Sussman finds himself content, if not particularly inspired. As compensation for telling people to restart their computer a few times a day, Sigmund earns enough disposable income to gorge on comics and has plenty of free time to devote to his gaming group.
Then in walks the new guy with the unpronounceable last name who immediately becomes IT’s most popular team member. Lain Laufeyjarson is charming and good-looking, with a story for any occasion; shy, awkward Sigmund is none of those things, which is why he finds it odd when Lain flirts with him. But Lain seems cool, even if he’s a little different—though Sigmund never suspects just how different he could be. After all, who would expect a Norse god to be doing server reboots?


Loki’s getting out and about a bit these days, and in this incarnation he’s taken himself off to Australia and built a technology company in the town of Pandemonium. The company is called Lokabrenna. Subtle.

This urban fantasy with a hint of horror and romance is entertaining and the twist is unexpected yet in character for Loki. The author clearly has a good understanding of the Edda’s, and puts it to use to craft a fast-paced modern twist on the old tales.

I liked this book because it’s different from the usual Norse saga based novels; the modern, urban setting is unusual. It works well though, essentially staying within ‘canon’ and yet giving an old story a new dimension.

The characters were realistic, although some could benefit from further development, especially David, Wayne and Em, the supporting cast. The narrative makes clear that they are important to the story line but they receive little attention or development. Sigmund and Loki are better developed.

The narrator is unreliable, at the best of times, but the story flows well. It’s a fun ride. The language is very colloquial, and reminded me of fanfic to a certain extent. That’s not necessarily an insult; the tone and language suit the narrative. But there are a small number of grammatical errors that made me stumble as I read. It’s possible that the sentence structure represents informal Australian English, but I’m reading it in British English, and the difference between the two comes across as editing errors. Or the occasional bad grammar is the result of editing errors. Either way, the odd aberration barely interrupts the narrative; it’s more obvious when it does, though.



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