I received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of Fenris & Mott by Greg Van Eekhout. Since this version is just a proof and not the final version, I won’t quote directly and will keep my comments general.
In Fenris & Mott, Mott is trying to have a normal summer vacation—despite having moved across the country and being cut off from her old life and old friends. Then, when she finds a stray puppy, she decides to take it to the local animal shelter. There she learns that it isn’t a puppy, but a baby wolf, and when a man dressed something like a Viking appears in an attempt to get his hands on the wolf, she learns that this creature is Fenris. And Fenris is destined to have a key part in Ragnarok, the apocalypse foretold in Norse legends. But he’s so adorable, and Mott promised to protect him… surely that can’t be true…
This book was a fun romp!
Mott is a wonderful protagonist. She’s kind and also stubborn, fiercely loyal to those she cares about. I also really liked Thrudi, the serious and skilled fighter who teams up with Mott. Their friendship was delightful, and I liked that they found common ground despite wildly different upbringings and worldviews. And Fenris was, of course, adorable. He’s just a goofy little ball of fluff. Sure, his mouth is an endless blackhole and he’s fated to swallow the moon, but I want to pet him!
I further enjoyed the brief cameos from other Norse figures, especially Loki and Odin. These two being so important to the mythology I wasn’t surprised to see them, but I liked seeing the twist Van Eekhout gave to their appearances and personalities.
The themes of friendship and fidelity are also great. Mott is determined to keep her promise to keep Fenris safe, but she has to face tough decisions when she realizes that the fate of the world is at stake. Some of the near-apocalypse moments, where she has to grapple with the terrible effects of climate change, are well written and give the reader a sense of reality in this otherwise rather fantastical storyline. It’s a sobering thing to see how close our world can be to something like Ragnarok, but Van Eekhout is careful to show the power people have to change things, and ultimately, this book has a lot of hope.
In the end, Fenris & Mott is an excellent book. I liked the characters, the pacing, the action. It’s a very quick read that is perfect for fans of the Magnus Chase series, and of course anything by the Rick Riordan Presents imprint.
Fenris & Mott will be published on August 2nd, 2022!