Format: E-Galley, 271 pages
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Genre: Urban Fantasy
When Phoebe Meadows gets struck by a strange light in the stockroom of Macy’s, life as she knows it flies out the window. As if being hit by lightning isn’t bad enough, she’s accosted in the subway by a man with a missing hand, arrives home to find a raven on her kitchen counter, and her neighbor, Ingrid, shows up dressed like a gladiator hell-bent on protecting her.
Before Ingrid can shuttle her to safety, Phoebe is kidnapped and tossed into one of the Nine Worlds where she’s quickly forced to come to terms with what she is: A valkyrie. The only problem is, she has no idea what that means.
After a narrow escape, she finds an unlikely ally in Loki’s son, Fenrir. Together the valkyrie and the wolf must battle their way back to New York City and reach the valkyrie stronghold where Ingrid is waiting for her. But with danger and obstacles at every turn, she might not live long enough to learn the full truth about who and what she really is
Struck is the first installment in author Amanda Carlson's Phoebe Meadows series. 24-year old Phoebe Meadows is working at work at a NYC Macy's department store when she is struck by a bolt of electricity that temporarily knocks her unconscious. By the time the day is over, Phoebe's world has been fundamentally changed. In sequential events, Phoebe becomes more energized, and then she encounters a strange man with scars on his face and no hand telling her that New York is no longer safe for her.
But the strangest things haven't even begun to happen yet! From her neighbor Ingrid showing up in her apartment wearing battle gear saying she's supposed to protect her, to being dragged into a strange world where Norms Vervandi, Skuld, and Ord want to see her dead and are mad as hell that she somehow escaped their radar all these years. To top things off, she ends up escaping to a demon infested world where the one and only Fenrir Wolf has been exiled to.
If you're a fan of Carlson's previous series featuring Jessica McClain, then you know she has a tendency to throw her characters into situations where they fight for their lives right up until the final page of the story. You should know that Phoebe is NOT Jessica. While Jessica grew up in a world where she knew that the paranormal existed before becoming who she is today, Phoebe grew up in Wisconsin unaware of the Norse Mythology which now includes her or who her real parents are.
Carlson continues her use of romantic situations to take away the levity and danger of what her characters are going through. With Fen, Phoebe finds someone who, even though he really hates Valkyries with a passion and wants to escape, ends up being more than a lover. He becomes her backbone, her bodyguard, and her guide into the new and strange world that she wakes up into.
As for important characters outside of the Norns, and Ingrid, you should keep an eye open for Samantha (Sam) Reed, and Tyr, the God of War who just happens to be Phoebe's brother. Secondary characters are an important part of any story. In this case, Tyr and Sam are important cogs to Phoebe's chances at survival and ending up with her new sister
Valkyries and learning about who she really is. I especially loved Sam's reaction to Phoebe's new reality. She's a keeper!
Struck is a story that you really can't skip over pages just because you might be bored with certain aspects of the story. (Like with me and the sex scenes which I am labeling New Adult-risque). Struck flows from one realm, to another pushing Phoebe into accepting who she has become now that she's been exposed as a Valkyrie. I am definitely eager to see if Phoebe travels to the other non-Midgard realms over the course of this series.
The second installment in Phoebe's series is called Freed. The book is set to release in the fall of this year.