Published by HarperTeen on August 28th 2012
Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name—the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason's world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn's identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason's family—with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods—is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.
Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston's epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.
It started with a broken window, a hoard of black-bluish beasties and a *hot* naked guy with a case of amnesia. Needless to say, I was hooked from the beginning.
Starling caught my attention right away but unfortunately it couldn’t hold it. I may have started out with a high opinion but towards the end my happy feelings tapered off leaving me very let down. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot to love about Starling, but there was also a lot to dislike.
Mason Starling is extremely likable as the main heroine. She’s very gentle yet totally kick-ass. Mason can basically be your best friend or your worst enemy. When paired with a sword, you best hope that she’s your friend because she can be downright deadly. Heather was also a great female character. She starts out as Mason’s frenemy then quickly become one strong, loyal and protective “true” friend. Two other standout characters were Rory and Roth… two Starling brothers and two complete opposites. I REALLY hated Rory. (We’re totally meant to… at least I hope). He’s entirely self-absorbed, petty, and downright homicidal. If it would help advance his status, Rory would literally kill his own sister. As far as I know it there’s nothing reputable about Rory. Then there’s Roth, edgy and mysterious and regarded as the “golden” Starling child. He basically can do no wrong. Especially compared to Rory, Roth is placed on an extremely high pedestal. And finally the fifth character that I found rises above the rest is Fennrys Wolf a.k.a. Mr. Amnesia. It was hard getting to know him mostly because he doesn’t know himself (LOL). But his protective and sweet-natured ways do shine through the confusion and memory loss, especially around Mason.
There’s also quite a few other characters but I don’t feel they’re entirely worth mentioning. Many times I actually asked myself – Why do we need to meet this character or what purpose do they play?
Starling featured 3rd person multiple POVS. “Oi vey.” I don’t know if it’s because I don’t read many 3rd person POVS or it was Livingston’s style but half the time I was utterly confused, not knowing who was saying or doing what. I had a very hard time keeping track and distinguishing between multiple characters. Many times I had to re-read a section. I also found the sheer number of POVS overwhelming. Just about every character introduced was spotlighted either frequently or periodically. There was just too many people to keep up with.
The mythology aspect was pretty interesting and entirely unique. Before Starling I’d never read any book featuring Norse gods or myths. From the synopsis I figured we’d just be dealing with Norse, but surprisingly we also get some Egyptian and Greek god(s) interfering in the story. I personally love whenever an author features multiple mythological beliefs and paths because I’m a firm believer that all gods stand on equal footing.
I know very little of Norse mythology so luckily Livingston provides us with the inside scoop to get u
s familiar with the Norse “tales of old”. There was also a downside to these scoops. The majority of the time I found myself waist-deep in information overload. As a newbie I was fed a bunch information regarding Ragnarok (Norse version of “the end of the world”). Many times I was confused when a character would act a certain way because of Ragnarok, especially when it came to the other gods. I felt like I was given a lot of information but couldn’t actually utilize it fully.
Overall Starling was a decent book. It was an entertaining yet difficult to read. Although the story and characters we’re imaginative and detailed; I just found too much fault when it came to the mechanics.