Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: Macmillan, Imprint
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Freya is myth. She is legend. And she’s about to make one hell of a comeback.
Sara Vanadi is more than she appears to be. In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. Now all that’s left of her legacy is herself. Her power comes from belief, and for an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers are hard to come by.
She’s been lying low for a few decades, when all of a sudden a shadowy corporation extends an offer: join them and receive unlimited strength and believers—or refuse and be destroyed. Sara chooses neither; she flees with the help of a new friend named Nathan.
With a modern power rising that wishes to bend the divine to its will, Sara decides to fight back—but first she needs some new clothes.
Freya is the first installment, I think, in author Matthew Laurence's Freya series. I say I think, because the ending leaves me with the impression that this is not, nor should it be, a standalone. There is a book called Slay: A Freya Novel listed on Goodreads. So, one can presume that this would be the sequel to Freya.
Protagonist Sara Vanadi has spent the past 27 years hiding out in a mental hospital called Inward Care Center. She’s basically check out from the real world. She no longer has huge followers, but unlike others before her, she is still alive even though her powers are not what they should be. Sara is a God you see, and she’s 1,000 years old. Sara’s real name just happens to be Freya of the Vanir, one of the preeminent Goddesses in Norse Mythology.
Freya is also said to be the goddess of love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold & seiðr (Magic). In this world, God’s survive on Man’s belief’s. (Author actually uses Jesus Christ as an example of someone who grew out of mankind's belief that he exists.) The more humans dream of her and believe in her, the more strength she gathers. "Faith is one of the few things in the world that's harder to destroy than create."
Then one day, she receives a visitor. A visitor who seems to know exactly who she is. Mr. Garen, it seems, represents an organization that deals with deities. Sara finds help in the form of Nathan Kence, a new intern at Inward who she talks in to helping her escape. The two find themselves intertwined throughout this story from being on the run at Walt Disney World, to being captured by Garen and given a choice. Join us, or die.
While at the Orlando facility of Finemdi, Sara learns of a world spanning conspiracy with deep implications for her kind. The company's goal is to eliminate every single deity on the planet whether they be dangerous, or whether they have faded from the public eye like Sara. Sara finds a few allies in Hawaiian deities Hi'iaka, Namalea, & Pele (Fire Goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes and the creator of the Hawaiian Islands.) She also encounters
someone from her own past, Sekhmet.
Sara is a curious character. She is powerful, after all, who could stay alive for a thousand years if she was weak? But, she's Ok with letting the world get on without her. She's Ok with just being herself. She is also willing to use her powers of persuasion to get what she wants, including clothes, driver licenses, money, and a job at Disney World where she becomes someone people believe in. I didn't care for that version of Sara.
I did care for the one who united friendly Gods to her cause, and took action to save others from being enslaved by the evil corporation with long reaches everywhere. I would never dare presume anything when it comes to Sara and Nathan's relationship. Is it sexual in nature? No. It is God/Priest? Yes. Is it one where Nathan is her side kick and she is the overlord? One can only guess.