Book Review: Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer

Dead Radiance is the first book in the Valkyrie series by T.G. Ayer . This young adult novel is about foster child Bryn Halbrook. She had always seen a glow around certain people, but she did not know what it meant until a girl from school and then her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras. The glow is the sign of coming death. She struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead. The new foster kid, Aidan, seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Soon Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human. Bryn is on the threshold of a great adventure and discovery. 

In Dead Radiance we meet Bryn, a loner that has learned from experience that it is better to keep to herself, since she rarely stays anywhere long. Lost in the foster care system she trusts almost no one and cares for very few- but those she does care about are extremely important to her. She is strong, smart, and able to take care of herself. It is only when Aidan joins the foster home that Bryn’s defense crack, only to feel betrayed. Secrets about her conception and Aidan’s work lead Bryn to understand that she is not quite human, and a startling night show her just how right she is. As a valkyrie Bryn discovers that some of her lessons in foster care hold true in Asgard too- and it is up to her to save the people that are most important to her.

Dead Radiance is an interesting romp, and I enjoyed the use of mythology and science intertwined rather than at war. The story was very well written, with a great concept and solid characters. The fights were exciting and occasionally epic. I enjoyed the story, there were just a couple moment when I felt it was a bit too long, but the adventure and action moments typically came and fixed that in short order.

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