Disclaimer: I am a rabid Marvel and Loki fangirl. When I heard that Loki was getting his own YA novel, I shrieked just a little bit, and camped out on NetGalley and Edelweiss until the DRC gloriously appeared. In short, I’ve been really, really, flipping excited for this book! So let’s get the show on the road.
Loki is Thor’s younger brother, and still hoping that his father, Odin, will see that he’s just as capable of heroism – and possibly, the throne of Asgard – as his older, golden brother. He and his best friend, the sorceress-in-training Amora, find themselves in deep trouble when they accidentally destroy a powerful artifact. Amora takes the blame for Loki and finds herself banished to Earth; essentially a death sentence for a magical being, because her powers will wither and die slowly. Fast forward some years later, and Loki is sent to Earth to investigate a series of murders in Victorian London. He joins forces with a watchdog organization that believes otherworldly magic is involved in the murders. Dare Loki hope that Amora is still alive and in London? And if she is… is she connected to the murders? Our (well, my) favorite son of Asgard is at a crossroads in this first adventure.
I thoroughly enjoyed Where Mischief Lies. Mackenzi Lee has given us a delightful mix of Marvel/Tom Hiddleston Loki with a sprinkling of gender-fluid Norse myth Loki. He prefers high-heeled boots, sees Midgardian (Earth) society and its concern with binary sexuality and relationships ridiculous, and he’s got a wonderfully snarky way of interacting with people, especially those he sees as below him, which is… basically, everyone. He is also a vulnerable, often fragile, young man coming into his powers and frustrated by the lack of attention from his father, who prizes only traditional masculinity and strength rather than magic and wisdom. You can see Loki’s trajectory from this story to Earth’s favorite villain in years to come.
The writing is page-turning, with witty dialogue, a creepy whodunit, and slow-burn heartache throughout. My head spun a little bit as I tried to connect the dots from myth Loki to present-day Loki (What about Sigyn? His monstrous children? That whole situation with the cave and the venom?), but Mackenzi Lee deftly maneuvers around these questions with an interesting explanation that works for me.
I’m a fan of Mackenzi Lee’s God of Mischief. I’m looking forward to seeing who else she takes on in the Marvel Universe. A solid must-add to collections.