Title: Liesmith (Book 1 of The Wyrd)
Author: Alis Franklin
Publisher: Hydra / Random House
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mythology, m/m romance
Release date: October 7, 2014
Story rating: 4.5 out of 5
Smex-o-meter: 1 out of 5
Blurb: At the intersection of the magical and the mundane, Alis Franklin’s thrilling debut novel reimagines mythology for a modern world—where gods and mortals walk side by side.
Working in low-level IT support for a company that’s the toast of the tech world, Sigmund Sussman finds himself content, if not particularly inspired. As compensation for telling people to restart their computer a few times a day, Sigmund earns enough disposable income to gorge on comics and has plenty of free time to devote to his gaming group.
Then in walks the new guy with the unpronounceable last name who immediately becomes IT’s most popular team member. Lain Laufeyjarson is charming and good-looking, with a story for any occasion; shy, awkward Sigmund is none of those things, which is why he finds it odd when Lain flirts with him. But Lain seems cool, even if he’s a little different—though Sigmund never suspects just how different he could be. After all, who would expect a Norse god to be doing server reboots?
As Sigmund gets to know his mysterious new boyfriend, fate—in the form of an ancient force known as the Wyrd—begins to reveal the threads that weave their lives together. Sigmund doesn’t have the first clue where this adventure will take him, but as Lain says, only fools mess with the Wyrd. Why? Because the Wyrd messes back.
Review: As an avid reader I’m always on the lookout for something new and different in my books. When you read as much as I do, sometimes the books just blur together because they have a plot, theme, and character make-up in common. This is not so with Liesmith. This book will definitely keep you guessing.
Liesmith is the story of Sigmund, your classical geek who works in IT and keeps to himself and his games, and the mysterious Lain. Their tale is told in a brilliant non-traditional story with twists and turns in every chapter. The story is filled with Norse mythology added with fantasy and even action and adventure. Nothing is as it seems in this book, so I’m not going to expound on the plot.
The characters were well developed and workout. They are not your average romance characters as Sigmund is most definitely the real deal image of a geek without the hard abs and handsome looks. This made the story more real to me. Sigmund can really be the guy working in your IT-department. He is smart, loveable but also a little naive and likes to live in his own world. He definitely doesn’t like to be out of his comfort zone. But there is more to Sigmund than meets the eye. Even if he doesn’t know it yet.
But Lain knows. From the first moment he lays eyes on Sigmund. Lain is mysterious. He is not what he appears to be. This added to the appeal of the story. Lain is beautiful, but not conventionally so, especially with the scars. He is charming and charismatic and there is a lot going on with him.
The world of Liesmith is extensive and well made up. It’s not like your typical fantasy world with mythology come to life. It was well done. The author gives us just enough to get a good grip and lets us find out the rest on our own. I’m aware this might not just be for everyone, especially those who get easily lost in mythology. I thought it was well done.
Liesmith does not have an easy to guess plot. Part of it is about the romance between Sigmund and Lain, but it’s subject to Sigmund finding out who and what Lain really is and action and adventure that ensues. The story also focusses beyond Sigmund and Lain and on Sigmund’s friends. What romance there is though is sweet and charming and it would have been nice to see a bit more, but this book 1, so it can be categorized as a slow build-up.
The writing is strong and well done. The author clearly has a way with words. What didn’t quite do it for me was the change in perspective. Sigmund’s POV is written third person, while that of Lain is written in present tense. This was most likely done to denote the difference between the two characters, but for me it took me out of the story.
All in all Liesmith was a story I enjoyed reading very much and I’ll be on the look-out for the next book.
Why you should read it: Liesmith is a delightful refreshing story with some unlikely characters and a plot filled with mythology and adventure that will keep you guessing.
- Note: This book was received by Netgalley