Review of Giants of the Frost

August 28, 2009
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Giants of the Frost by Kim WilkinsGiants of the Frost
By Kim Wilkins; Read by Edwina Wren
13 CDs – 15 hrs 18 min [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Bolinda Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781740939676
Themes: / Fantasy / Norse gods / Weather science /

Fleeing a failed engagement and mother who makes life decisions based on a psychic’s predictions, skeptic Victoria Scott joins a weather team on a Scandinavian island. Harassed by insomnia and her unpredictable boss, she writes off her dreams of a breath-sucking hag and forest creature made of twigs as nightmares. Eventually, however, she discovers that these creatures are real and possibly the least of those she may encounter.

The island is actually Midgard, a gate between our world and that of the old Nordic god, Asgard. The book alternately tells Victoria’s story and that of Vidar, a son of Odin, who has been waiting a thousand years for Victoria to be born. In Vidar’s world we meet, among others, his bondmaid Aud, who tells much of the story, and his cousin Loki, trickster god of the Norse pantheon.

At first, Victoria is extremely shallow and self-absorbed, especially in her constant worries that any kind man has designs upon her. However, as the story unfolds and mythological elements gradually are incorporated, this feeling is lessened. My foreboding that this story was simply a typical romance was relieved completely when Aud’s and Vidar’s voices began to be heard. At that point the story became more intricate and took on weight and depth. By the last third of the book, I was on the edge of my seat wondering how the destiny of the two star-crossed lovers could possibly have the happy ending that I desired. Although such questions drive the story forward, much of the story’s true strength comes from Wilkins’ almost poetic incorporation of accurate Norse mythology and weather science.

Narrator Edwina Wren delivers the story in either English or Scandinavian accents as the story requires. Her performance is compelling, especially when depicting Aud and Vidar. Transitions from one section to another are indicated with music which is welcome in helping the listener make the necessary mental switch in a book that has many points of view. This is an extremely pleasing audio book overall and Wren is a narrator to seek out in the future.

I had never heard of Kim Wilkins’ before but this book was a great treat. Definitely recommended. I will be looking forward to future works from both her, hopefully featuring a variety of cultural mythologies which I found one of the most interesting aspects of the book. As well, kudos to this audio label which put together such a good listening experience.

Posted by Julie D.

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