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Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee Review

A young Loki living in the days before the Age of Heroes of the Marvel Universe finds himself desperate to be seen as heroic, but finds living in his beloved brother Thor’s shadow and assumptions about his future villainy overwhelming. Sent to Earth by Odin to investigate a series of murders related to Asgard magic, Loki discovers a journey throughout 19th century London that takes him to the source of his power in author Mackenzi Lee’s “Loki: Where Mischief Lies”. 

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The Synopsis

This is the first of three young adult novels from New York Times best-selling author Mackenzi Lee that explores the untapped potential and duality of heroism of popular characters in the Marvel Universe.

Before the days of going toe-to-toe with the Avengers, a younger Loki is desperate to prove himself heroic and capable, while it seems everyone around him suspects him of inevitable villainy and depravity . . . except for Amora. Asgard’s resident sorceress-in-training feels like a kindred spirit-someone who values magic and knowledge, who might even see the best in him.

But when Loki and Amora cause the destruction of one of Asgard’s most prized possessions, Amora is banished to Earth, where her powers will slowly and excruciatingly fade to nothing. Without the only person who ever looked at his magic as a gift instead of a threat, Loki slips further into anguish and the shadow of his universally adored brother, Thor.

When Asgardian magic is detected in relation to a string of mysterious murders on Earth, Odin sends Loki to investigate. As he descends upon nineteenth-century London, Loki embarks on a journey that leads him to more than just a murder suspect, putting him on a path to discover the source of his power-and who he’s meant to be.

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The Review

A fascinating read, the story truly dives into the complex mind and behavior of one of Marvel Comics’ most incredible villains. The exploration of Loki as a character was great to see unfold. From his deep relationship of humor and overshadowing between him and his brother Thor to the understanding and connection he feels with characters like Amora on Asgard and Theo on Earth, Loki explores not only his bonds with others and the trust he places in them but the fine line between heroism and villainy that has steered him back and forth so often in the comics and MCU. The only thing I’d loved to have seen is a more accurate portrayal of his sexuality as according to comic creators in the past and now more recently the MCU, as he has been confirmed to be bisexual rather than pansexual, and it is so crucial to have accurate representation throughout the narrative.

The historical and mythological aspect of the narrative was a big win for me. As a fan of Norse mythology and the history of 19th century London, it was great to see such an in-depth look into these settings and the cultural differences between the two worlds as well, from the early exploration of the organization that would become SHIELD to the acceptance of sexuality and gender identity in Asgard as opposed to the lack of acceptance on Earth during this time. These important social themes and identity storylines really helped elevate the magic and mystery aspects of the novel.

The Verdict

An engaging, action-packed, and brilliant narrative, author Mackenzi Lee’s “Loki: Where Mischief Lies” is a fantastic study of the classic Avengers villain and how we as a society can become responsible for the way people become villains through our own actions. Although some more character growth and development for Loki would have been great to see as far as his identity, the overall narrative and story do a great job of showcasing representation overall and creating an exciting new chapter in Marvel history. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Simmons College. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the historical fantasy novels THIS MONSTROUS THING, THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, which won a 2018 Stonewall Honor Award and the New England Book Award, and its sequel, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY, which debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list. She is also the author of BYGONE BADASS BROADS (Abrams, 2018), a collection of short biographies of amazing women from history you probably don’t know about but definitely should, based on her popular twitter series of the same name.

When not writing, she works as an independent bookseller, drinks too much Diet Coke, and romps with her St. Bernard, Queenie.

http://www.mackenzilee.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/loki-where-mischief-lies-by-mackenzi-lee

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Black Widow: Forever Red By Margaret Stohl Review:

The Marvel Universe has expanded into the YA book genre with Margaret Stohl’s “Black Widow: Forever Red.” The story does a masterful job of
delving into the mysterious history of everyone’s favorite assassin turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Natasha Romanoff. After a mission to stop the
man who broke, trained and turned her into a weapon ends with a young girl saved and the man supposedly killed, Natasha finds herself inexplicably
connected to the young girl she rescued. However, because she was trained to be an agent and not an open person who makes personal relationships,
Black Widow disappears from young Ava Orlova’s life, leaving her in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Years later, Ava is trying to fit in as a normal
teenager in Brooklyn, but her experiences and connections to her past has left her unable to let people past her own barriers.

Soon however, life get’s complicated for Ava. Children across Easter Europe have gone missing, and when Red Room technology is rumored to be
involved in the abductions, Black Widow fears her old teacher and tormentor may have survived their last encounter, and Ava might be the only
one who can stop him. Reemerging into the teen’s life, Black Widow and Ava must unravel the mystery and their pasts that remain in the dark
from even themselves, and will end up discovering a bigger mystery involving the dark-eyed teenage boy who walks through Ava’s dreams, sporting
an hourglass tattoo.

The mystery of this book’s story makes it one of the most thrilling political YA novels I’ve ever read. The way this book blends the thriller,
Cold War-era political mystery and YA romance genres is brilliant, and getting to learn more about this bad ass and strong character Natasha
Romanoff makes it addicting to read. Getting a chance to peel back the layers of the Black Widow’s history and mixing it with the governmental
politics of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a stellar storytelling technique, and fans of the Marvel universe will love the surprise characters involved in
the story, and the intimate look at a brand new character like Ava Orlova. The novel is filled with tons of action, romance and a fast-paced
plot that will leave you craving more by the last page. With a sequel in the works, Black Widow: Forever Red is a strong first entry in Margaret
Stohl’s Black Widow series, and Marvel has done an excellent job of entering the world of storytelling through novels. Pick up your copies today!