Fenris and Mott

 
4.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
990 0
Fenris and Mott
Age Range
8+
Release Date
August 02, 2022
ISBN
978-0062970633
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When Mott finds a puppy abandoned in a recycling bin, she’s ready to do everything she can to protect him. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that this is the legendary wolf Fenris, who’s prophesied to bring about the end of the world by eating the moon.

Now Mott has found herself in charge of making sure the hungry pup—who’s busy munching on lampposts, cars, and water towers—doesn’t see all of California as an appetizer, while also hiding him from the Norse gods who are hot on his trail, determined to see the prophecy come true.

Mott vows to protect Fenris, rescue him from his destiny, and prevent the world from ending. But will she be able to keep her promise? Or has she bitten off more than she can chew?

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Puppies and Ragnarok
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Mott (short for Martha) is trying to settle in to Culver City, California after her mother has moved her there from Pennsylvania. She misses her best friend Amanda, with whom she hosted a root beer review internet show. Outside her new apartment, she puts a bottle into the recycling bin and hears a "mweep". This turns out to be an absolutely adorable dog, and Mott is incensed that someone would dump an animal. She's also sad that she had to give up her newly adopted dog when her mom lost her job and they had to move to a smaller apartment, so wants to take care of the dog. When she takes him to a shelter and finds out that the animal is actually a wolf, she realizes that he will have to go back to the wild. When the animal makes a break for it, things start to get weird. A guy in a costume claiming to be Gorm the Vicious informs her that the wolf is actually Fenris, "The moon-eater. The Odin-slayer. The world-ender." Gorm, of course, wants to destroy Fenris, and Mott becomes defensive. Mott makes some notes about Ragnarok. It's rather alarming, but since she promised to take care of him, she takes him home, since she is not going to break her promises the way her dad breaks his. While walking in the park, the two meet Thrudi, who is dressed oddly and carrying a sword, and get more information about Fenriss. She claims to be Fenris' guard. Since Fenris has eaten the Rune of Annihilation, it's just a matter of time before all of the prophecies surrounding Ragnarok come true and the world hurtles towards its end. Many of these are evident; humans have just been attributing them to climate change and other causes. Together with Trudi, Mott travels to a nursery to meet Fenris' mother; thanks to the way the World Tree works, most locations to which they need to travel are very close. The mother, Angrboda, isn't a lot of help, but does give Mott some mistletoe, which could be used to kill Fenris, who has been leaving a path of destruction in his wake. There are a lot of other beings from Norse mythology whom the group meets, and Mott wants more than anything to be able to save Fenris. Will she be able to?
Good Points
Puppies. It's hard to go wrong when you start right in with a puppy. There was no time lost in getting right into this story, but we still found out everything we needed to know. This is not easy to do. The world building also is introduced briskly and is free of info dumps. Thrudi is a great sidekick, and Mott navigates her new California world with a world-ending puppy very well. The different Norse characters they meet are funny and interesting, and Mott works hard to try to save the world. I enjoyed the environmental undercurrents in the book as well. The ending left room for a sequel, but this could also be a stand alone story. Very enjoyable!

I'm not well versed in Norse mythology, so it would have helped to have notes in the back of the book, or D'Aulaire's Norse Myths or Napoli's Treasury of Norse Mythology by my side as I read this.

This was a short, fast-paced, action-packed fantasy book, and perfect for fans who want Norse mythology but don't necessarily want to read all three books of Armstrong's Loki's Wolves, Harris' Runemarks series, or Riordan's Magnus Chase chronicles. It's more dog focused than Subity's The Last Shadow Warrior, and I think I can convince one of my readers who ONLY wants to read dog books to pick this one up! Certainly fans of Van Eekhout's Kid vs. Squid, Cog, Voyage of the Dogs, and Weird Kid will be glad to see another book by this author.
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Can a kind heart save the world from annihilation?
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked:
The book opens with Mott finding a cute, cuddly puppy in a recycling dumpster. The conflict is introduced when she discovers it’s actually a wolf and that it’s a supernatural monster prophesized to destroy the world. She promises to protect Fenris and keeping her word becomes a big deal, and it may offer a valuable lesson to young readers. The vow becomes more difficult to keep when she realizes the potential destructive powers contained within this adorable puppy. Her attachment is accentuated since she has no friends after moving across the country to California. Her father has remarried and has new kids, so Mott has trouble handling his lies and a feeling of abandonment.
The story is based on Norse mythology and the foretelling of Ragnarök, a final battle that kills everything on Earth. A couple of major characters are included that aren’t often found in these tales. The antagonist is Tew, god of war, who wants to use Fenris as his weapon. The story that Tew causes Fenris to become the destroyer of Earth is new to me but it presents a potential solution to the problem. The Valkyrie are Odin’s female warriors, but this story describes Thrudi as being the protector of Fenris. Her interactions in Midgard, or Earth, add humor to the plot, as she doesn’t understand the customs of humans. She wonders why it’s inappropriate to threaten someone with her shining sword, and her idea of fun might include human sacrifice. Root beer is an unexpected pleasure!
Fenris is the highlight of the story due to the contradictions in his character. He’s playful and delightful, but he’s going to destroy the planet. His “comments” vary from sweet, soft mweeps to ferocious growls and roars. If he’s not cuddled in Mott’s arms he might be eating a car or a water tower. The urgency of his inevitable destruction is the fact that his appetite is growing, his level of devastation is amplified, and the signs of a looming Ragnarök are checked off Mott’s list. Ragnarök is a prophecy of what will happen, not what might happen, so how can Mott stop an inescapable future? How can she stop Mott while still upholding her oath to protect him?
What didn’t work as well:
The plot and conflict are simple to follow, so readers shouldn’t expect a seriously developed story. However, the simplicity, humor, and action make this an easy adventure to enjoy. It includes battles, emotions, and an insurmountable problem, so the story creates nice momentum and energy.
The Final Verdict:
Can a kind heart save the world from annihilation? The author creates a fast-paced, action-filled adventure that’s sure to entertain lovers of mythology and dogs. Mott, Fenris, and Thrudi are compelling characters, and it appears there’s an opening for them to reappear in a sequel. I highly recommend you give this book a shot.
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